The 2017 Social Venture Challenge (SVC) built upon the success of our 2016 and 2015 programs to encourage, support and grow new social ventures in the Sea to Sky Corridor through capacity building, mentorship, and raising awareness. The SVC supports entrepreneurs with the development of their social ventures business idea/concept.
- 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
What’s a social venture?
A social venture is an initiative, run by a business, non-profit or solo entrepreneur, that uses business strategies to create community impact. Furthermore:
- The common good is its primary purpose, literally ‘baked into’ the organization’s DNA;
- Addressing a cultural, social and/or environmental need is the principal goal of the organization or initiative, which serves the common good through its products and services or through offering employment to people who face barriers to mainstream employment;
- Products and services are delivered through business activities, whether as a significant earned income stream in a non-profit’s revenue sources, or as a for-profit business/enterprise;
- Surpluses and profits are principally reinvested into its social, cultural and/or environmental mandate.
The SVC program includes:
Learning: Four cohort-based topic-focused learning sessions on components of business development and the Business Model Canvas.
- Value proposition and customer segments
- Key resources
- Partners and key stakeholders
- Making the pitch
Mentorship: One-on-one support developing business concepts.
“The Centre’s Social Venture Challenge was a crucial step in creating our business. The process turned our idea into a solid plan and provided a great overview for our business. From marketing channels to banking info, the course taught us the necessary next steps in order to make our initiative a reality. The Centre’s team was amazing to work with; they were encouraging, knowledgeable and helpful. I would highly recommend this program to anyone with an idea for a social venture.” Jeff Anderson, Co-owner of Dooshi Pet Treats
Videos: Short video to promote social ventures Dragons’ Den style Pitch Event – Each applicant has an opportunity to revise and fine-tune their pitch to present at a community event. The ‘winning’ social venture business concept will receive a $3000 cash prize in seed funding in cash/term deposit from Squamish Savings.
Feedback from our SVC participants
“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.”
“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.”
“The lessons learned apply not just to the venture we developed under the SVC but are already being integrated into evaluating future concepts.”
For more information please contact Cheeying Ho at 604-388-8421.
The SVC program is part 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. Thank you to our generous program sponsors Community Futures Howe Sound, Squamish Savings and the Resort Municipality of Whistler, as well as our in-kind sponsors the Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre and the Whistler Chamber of Commerce.