BC Ideas: Investing in Solutions for Stronger Communities

Social innovation is alive and thriving in BC! With inspiration at every turn, the province is teeming with interesting ideas about how to strengthen communities. BC Ideas asked people to submit their ideas for addressing social, environmental, and health issues. With more than 25 partners and more than $275,000 dollars to invest in solutions, this online competition and collaborative community is uniquely poised to impact BC in new and innovative ways.

The first round of funding opportunities is now closed. During the competition, any person with an idea to strengthen BC communities could enter. Non-profits and charities, social enterprises, and individuals were all welcome to enter an idea and compete for a chance to win investment funding. Entries from every region have proposed unique solutions to a wide variety of challenges that are facing the province, from starting-phase projects to established programs.

How does it work?

Participants logged-on to www.bcideas.ca, created a profile for themselves, and entered their idea into an online form. Entries are now being evaluated, and an expert panel of judges will select the 10 to 12 finalists. These finalists will be posted online, and it is up to the public to vote for the solution they believe is most unique and innovative. The top three vote-winners will each receive a $15,000 investment to help establish or scale-up their idea.

Voting starts October 26th and ends on November 9th. The remaining $200,000+ of funding will be awarded by our investing partners who will choose the best entries in their area of work from all of the entries.

Open Dialogue Series

To help build this community of collaborative innovators, BC Ideas is also engaging experts who are bringing their knowledge and passion to our online community. The Ideas Center has featured open discussion, blogs, and question-and-answer sessions with over a dozen Thought Leaders from a variety of fields. These accomplished individuals have spoken out about BC Ideas and provided mentorship for those who have questions and ideas to share on a range of topics that include socially responsible investment, community engagement, business, and fundraising.

Upcoming themes include socially responsible investing (September 17th), values-based leadership (September 24th), literacy (October 1st), a “how to” series (October 8th), poverty and homelessness (October 8th), and engaging the media (October 15th). Visit www.bcideas.ca to join the dialogue and learn from our past discussions!

Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/markybon/183727304/

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