The Power of Community and Collaboration to Build Social Enterprises

Social Venture Bootcamp IDEA is taking place from February 15-18, 2018. Social Venture Bootcamp is an opportunity for those who have a social enterprise or venture idea to access the collective brain trust of these faculty members as well as successful entrepreneurs, community partners and financial institutions.


The goal is to harness the power of community and collaboration to support the development and launch of more social enterprises and ventures on the Island. This builds on the work of two networks and initiatives: seCatalyst and Vancouver Island Social Innovation Zone. The overlapping goals of these initiatives are to realize a robust social enterprise and venture sector on Vancouver Island. SVB IDEA is for entrepreneurs and organizations that have a social enterprise or venture idea (we don’t care about incorporation status, just impact) and want to test it for viability. SVB is taught by faculty from Royal Roads, UVic and Camosun, and full of social enterprise guest speakers. Early bird pricing ends on January 15, 2018!

Scale Collaborative is providing organizational support to help these initiatives be successful and ties directly into our vision of a powerful and entrepreneurial non-profit sector on Vancouver Island and beyond.

seCatalyst has been an amazing initiative to be involved with. The original goal was to create a highly visible event that showcased and supported existing social enterprises through a dragon’s den-type event. It filled a gap on the Island. The initiative ran for 3 years and was powered by the contributions of partners. Over 1500 people attended an seCatalyst event during the 3 years, and 9 social enterprises collectively received $120K in cash and in-kind support. We had amazing speakers such as Joel Solomon, Vickie Cammack and Sean Loney, amoung many others.  At the end of 2016, everyone took a breath and break- phew!

Running parallel, the Vancouver Island Social Innovation Zone mapped the current state of social innovation, enterprise, and finance on Vancouver Island. One of the identified gaps are incubator and accelerator programs for early stage social enterprises and ventures. As a combined network, we looked at licensing incubator and accelerator programs and adapting to the Island context. However, sitting around the table are a number of faculty from Island post-secondaries who teach entrepreneurship, social enterprise, marketing, social change and social innovation for a living. Just not in the same place or all these concepts combined. Another spark lit and here we go again!