B.C. has declared May 20, 2015, as “Aboriginal Social Enterprise Day” to celebrate Aboriginal social innovation and entrepreneurship and highlight the important role it plays in community and economic development throughout the province.
To commemorate the day, Minister of Social Development and Social Innovation Michelle Stilwell gathered with Aboriginal leaders and organizations at the Metro Vancouver Aboriginal Executive Council’s (MVAEC) social enterprise workshop. The workshop introduced participants to social enterprises, looked at legal structures and showcased examples of both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal social enterprises.
Social enterprises are businesses that produce goods and services for sale and then use their revenue to achieve their social, cultural or environmental mission. They range from thrift stores to businesses that provide skills training, affordable housing and jobs for people with disabilities. They can also be a for-profit business that is focused on social objectives. What connects them all is that their primary purpose is to make life better for people and their communities.
The B.C. government proclaimed May 2015 as Social Enterprise Month to help raise awareness and celebrate the work social entrepreneurs are doing in B.C. and the contributions these businesses make to our communities and the economy.
Join the conversation on Twitter by following @HubCapBC and use #Impact4BC to connect with others about social enterprise and social innovation in the province.
Minister of Social Development and Social Innovation Michelle Stilwell -
“Aboriginal Social Enterprise Day is about celebrating B.C.’s expanding social enterprise sector while acknowledging the important contributions that Aboriginal entrepreneurs make. Aboriginal people can be proud of the many innovative ways they work to support change and economic development in their community - this is really the heart of social enterprise.”
CEO of Metro Vancouver Aboriginal Executive Council Dwight Yochim -
“The Aboriginal community has long embraced the concept of social enterprises to help support their organizations and the people of the community. It is an honour to be recognized by the Province for this work and the ongoing effort to improve the lives of the people of Metro Vancouver.”
Executive director at BC Association of Aboriginal Friendship Centres Paul Lacerte -
“Social enterprise is playing an important role in strengthening the capacity of Aboriginal organizations and communities throughout British Columbia. The BCAAFC celebrates Aboriginal Social Enterprise Day together with the Province of British Columbia and the many innovators in Aboriginal communities that are working hard to make a better life for themselves and their families.”
- B.C. social enterprises provide valuable services, offer employment and training opportunities, involve volunteers and train thousands of people each year.
- Aboriginal people are the youngest and fastest-growing demographic in the province. Aboriginal youth will play a vital role in B.C.'s future, expanding our available workforce, creating new businesses and contributing overall to our economic growth.
- The BC Association of Aboriginal Friendship Centres (BCAAFC) oversees 25 Friendship Centres throughout the province, many of which operate successful social enterprises.
- The Government of B.C. proclaimed the first Aboriginal Social Enterprise Day on April 22, 2014, and the first Social Enterprise Month in April 2014.
- In 2011, the Government of B.C. created the BC Social Innovation Council to provide recommendations about how to increase social innovation in B.C. To carry out this work government created the BC Partners for Social Impact in 2012. The group includes more than 100 partners from government, business, non-profit organizations, and academic and financial institutions.
- The Government of B.C. has worked closely with the sector to help establish a framework to support innovation and growth. In July 2013, B.C. created Canada’s first hybrid corporate model - the Community Contribution Company - to help social purpose businesses market themselves to both customers and investors. To date, 26 organizations have registered as “C3”s.
- In 2014, BCPSI launched HubcapBC.ca, B.C.’s online social innovation hub.
- Hubcap is the place to find tools and resources, learn about new and ongoing social innovation projects, and connect with B.C.’s innovators, entrepreneurs, educators, funders, and public policy makers.
View the proclamation at: http://tinyurl.com/kre77ap
Visit Hubcap, B.C.'s Social Enterprise Hub: http://hubcapbc.ca/
Metro Vancouver Aboriginal Executive Council: http://www.mvaec.ca/
BC Association of Aboriginal Friendship Centres: http://www.bcaafc.com/
Learn more about the BC Partners for Social Impact and the Action Plan to Maximize Social
Innovation in B.C.: www.sdsi.gov.bc.ca/social-innovation/index.htm
Find out how to start a social enterprise: www.socialenterprisecanada.ca
Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation