Venture Deli Management Services seeks an experienced Executive Assistant to help in the growth and development of its growing management consultancy and investment management business.
The last few years have seen a proliferation of websites and business models that donate a percentage (typically 2-10%) of your purchase to charity. I call this model “marginal giving”, because the donation is harvested out of the company’s margin on a sale. That is, if a shirt costs $20, and the seller makes $10 on it, they donate a percentage of that $10.
I’m not a big fan of this model, though I started out as one.
Last month, Young Social Entrepreneurs of Canada held our second annual re:Vision conference on social entrepreneurship. The re:Vision series brings together some of Canada’s brightest young and emerging social entrepreneurs to connect and drive this movement forward in their communities. This year, we convened around a vital question: Where is social entrepreneurship heading in the next five years?
The question consumed our organizing team in the months prior to the conference, having witnessed first-hand the incredible pick up in dialogue, events, and commercial activity reinventing the relationship between business and social change. With more than 100 representatives of the next generation of social entrepreneurs present, we posed that question at the event. Here’s what they said:
In 2006, Statistics Canada forecast that one in five Canadian entrepreneurs would be retiring within the next five years. That timeline is knocking on our door now. What’s more, the Canadian Youth Business Foundation (CYBF) projects that 71% of business owners will retire by 2020. Read this to mean that a dangerous majority of Canada’s entrepreneurial force is leaving very soon. The timing couldn’t be worse.
While we are emerging from the economic earthquake relatively unscathed compared to other industrial economies, labour markets shook here too. Ontario lost 160,000 jobs last year. Small business is helping to rectify that. In 2008, SMEs accounted for 52% of the net job gain across the country - something we can thank Canada’s entrepreneurs for, the same segment that is now shrinking.
I've been thinking about this for the last few days, and I'd love your contributions to this thought experiment. It seems to me, I've only come across 3 types of business models for serving low-income/impoverished people.
The social entrepreneurship movement is making clear gains. Social enterprise start-ups pop up regularly, and there’s been a noticeable injection of new vocabulary employed by both grantmakers and applicants – a good indicator of shifting priorities. From my own vantage point I’ve seen a drastic increase in the number of people – many of them under 30 - willing or aspiring to identify as social entrepreneurs.
There is a great deal of interest, instruction and debate around the how of social enterprise: how to start, how to manage, how to fund, etc. As I see it, this is partly to meet growing demand for practical knowledge, partly the process of deciphering what works and doesn’t in the huge experiment that is social enterprise, and partly our response to bolster its credibility as a new way forward.
Is anybody talking about the why?
I recently attended an event of the Toronto Entrepreneur Advisory Roundtable where a question emerged about how to time the transition from working on your idea as a side project to making the dive in head first. Good question. And probably without a formulaic enough answer to calm the asker’s nerves.
When you peel back the onion, at the heart of the ask here is how to know whether an idea is good enough; whether it’s the kind of idea you bet a comfortable lifestyle on. You know you’re certain about it, but what about everybody else?
Beginning in 11th grade, my parents made several unsuccessful attempts to enrol me in classes on business fundamentals. It just wasn't my "thing" and I instinctively shied away from everything business because I thought it ran counter to my pursuit of social justice. Business fosters the kind of greed that has made carnage of retirement savings lately, whereas social engagement is about organizing grassroots movements. Or so an idealistic teen thought.