BC Ideas Winners Announced: Social Finance & Enterprise
Recently, the winners of the much anticipated “BC Ideas: Solutions for Stronger Communities” competition were announced. This was an exciting event as over $270,000 in funding was allocated to a range of socially innovative organizations that are seeking solutions to the health, social and environmental challenges facing communities in British Columbia.
The competition was launched this past summer and there was significant interest in the funding options, as evidenced by the sheer number of applications (over 450). After a rigorous selection process, 33 organizations were selected to receive funding through a variety of funding streams.
Several of the organizations selected are involved in social finance, either as practitioners, or (as social entrepreneurs) recipients. They are highlighted below. For details on all of the winners, please see the Winners Announcement blog post released by BC Ideas.
Local Peer-to-Peer Micro Lending connects lenders in the Greater Victoria area with local borrowers to fund small businesses and start-ups for as little as $500. These community-based micro-loans help to promote sustainable livelihoods and create a strong, resilient local economy. Emerging entrepreneurs also receive business advice and support from both program staff and a team of volunteer mentors.
The Community Social Planning Council of Greater Victoria aims to develop a community investment fund to support businesses and social enterprises in the Capital Region to create jobs, affordable housing, and other assets for community development.
Shift Urban Cargo Delivery is Canada’s first cargo trike delivery service, which aims to replace vehicle deliveries in downtown Vancouver with its low-impact, clean, cycle-based delivery alternative.
Green Coast Rubbish is an environmentally conscious disposal company, which donates and recycles materials that would otherwise be diverted to local landfills.
Fusion Kitchen trains immigrant women to teach cultural cooking classes, which helps them build self-confidence, develop transferable skills, and gain Canadian work experience, while improving their English language skills.
Gen Why Media is a social enterprise that uses public art, participatory media, events and intergenerational dialogues to engage youth and young adults in new forms of civic participation.
Our Local Markets provides local farmers and artisan food producers with affordable, high-impact e-commerce marketing and distribution services.
The North Shore Culinary Education Society of BC helps marginalized and underprivileged members of the British Columbia community get back on their feet with with free culinary training, hands-on experience, and job placements as Red Seal-certified chefs.
The competition highlighted the impressive work underway in British Columbia to address the province’s complex social challenges. It is inspiring to see not only the innovative organizations, but also the movement to develop funding opportunities for them. It will be exciting to see the impact created by these projects.