Local Economy Action Network (LEAN) Social Venture ChallengeThe Social Venture Challenge (SVC) is an initiative to encourage, support and grow new social ventures in the Squamish, Whistler, Pemberton, Lillooet region through capacity building, mentorship, and raising awareness. SVC 2015 supported eight entrepreneurs with the development of their social ventures business idea/concept.

Program Goals

  • To raise awareness of social ventures (what they are + the benefits to the community and region)
  • To encourage, support and inspire social venture development
  • To create a stronger culture of social ventures that can generate greater social impact in the region


EastVanRoasters2015 Program participants received $1200 worth of learning and mentoring.

“I really feel like the whole [Social Venture Challenge] process transformed my big idea and helped lay the foundation for the next step of my social venture. It was not only the incredible coaching, but the incredible networking done though the whole process.” [2015 participant]

Activities included:

Learning – Four cohort-based topic-focused learning sessions on components of business development and the Business Model Canvas

“I think that anyone would benefit from running their idea through the business market canvas, no matter what stage of business. It really makes you ask the important questions.” [2015 participant]

  • Mentorship – One-on-one support developing business concepts (1.5 hours every 2 weeks, over 2 months)
  • Videos – Short video to promote social ventures
  • Pitch Event – Each applicant had an opportunity to revise and fine-tune their pitch to present at a community event. The ‘winning’ social venture business concept received $3000 of seed funding in cash/term deposit, and financial  strategy advice from Squamish Savings!

“I thought the program was very well done. I really feel like the whole process transformed my big idea and helped lay the foundation for the next step of my social venture.” [2015 participant]

Business Model Canvas - templateParticipants learned:

  • Value proposition and customer segments
  • Marketing
  • Key resources
  • Partners and key stakeholders
  • Making the pitch

“The lessons learned apply not just to the venture we developed under the SVC but are already being integrated into evaluating future concepts.” [2015 participant]


If you’re interested in partnering with us to deliver a custom-designed Social Venture Challenge in your community, please contact Cheeying Ho at 604-388-8421 for more details.

The SVC 2015 program was generously supported by Squamish Savings and Community Futures Howe Sound. The SVC is a new program of the Centre’s LEAN (Local Economy Action Network) initiative, which aims to create a stronger shared-value based local economy through collaboration and collective action.

Squamish Savings Community Futures of Howe Sound