Business Legacies Initiative is a research and innovation project exploring how to:

  • address succession and transition challenges facing small business owners,
  • support non-profits to explore business acquisition as a social enterprise strategy, and;
  • ensure that essential goods, services and employment provided by local businesses remain in communities.

The goal of the Business Legacies initiative is to understand the challenges and opportunities for business-to-social-enterprise transition; develop processes, resources and training to assist; and identify initial pilots to support through the process.



Pathway to a Successful Business Purchase


Scale Collaborative, in partnership with Royal Roads University, has launched a comprehensive toolkit for non-profit and charitable organizations actively exploring acquisition as a means of diversifying social enterprise revenue streams.  Pathway to a Successful Business Purchase (PSBP), adapted from Venture Connect’s buyer’s workbook of the same name, is the first of its kind in Canada to address the unique challenges and needs of the non-profit sector. <Click here to read full Media Release>  The PSBP Toolkit is available to organizations as a resource for self-assessment.  The fillable PDF is can be downloaded by clicking the button below.

Pathway to a Successful Business Purchase




Business Legacies Incubator


The next step in the Business Legacies Initiative is an 8-module acquisition readiness program that will commence in October 2021.  Facilitated by seCatalyst, course content will include bi-weekly virtual session, between-session capacity building exercises and one-on-one coaching from industry experts.  Applications for the 2021 Business Legacies Incubator are now closed.  If you’re a non-profit or charity currently operating on Vancouver Island or the gulf Islands and you’d like to learn more CLICK HERE.



Engage with Us to Learn More

information sessions and opportunities to connect with the Business Legacies Team

This past June we teamed up with community partners to host three virtual information sessions.  Attendees learned more about the acquisition process and the unique considerations of nonprofits and charities.  During these sessions we shared stories from Island-based nonprofits that have successfully acquired existing businesses and transitioned them to social enterprises. You can view the recording of our most recent information session below.

WATCH RECORDING | Community Session #3 – June 17, 2021
Hosted by Scale Collaborative, Community Futures Central Island, and Community Futures Cowichan and funded by Island Coastal Economic Trust for organizations between Parksville and Shawnigan Lake.

We will be hosting two more virtual information sessions for organizations wanting to learn more about the Business Legacies Incubator Program coming this October.  These sessions will be hosted at 9:30 am on Thursday, August 19th and Thursday, September 9th, 2021.  Registration details will be posted in due course.  In the meantime, we invite you to sign up for our newsletter to stay up-to-date on future announcements.



Project Background & Resources

A summary of the Business Legacies Initiative to date

The Business Legacies Initiative was launched in April 2020 with funding from the Province of British Columbia BC Rural Dividend Fund, Island Coastal Economic Trust (ICET) and the Vancouver Foundation. Below is a list of project deliverables and milestones to date, as well as some case studies and a list of partner resources that may be useful for organizations exploring acquisition as a pathway to social enterprise.

  1. Conduct a Literature Review: Business Legacies Initiative- Literature Review
  2. Survey non profits and small businesses: Business Legacies Initiative Survey Summary
  3. Conduct interviews with experts, small business owners and non profits.
  4. Develop case studies to demonstrate possibilities:
    1. Studio 1313 Acquisition Case Study
    2. The Fernwood Yoga Den Acquisition – Case Study
    3. Community Futures Alberni-Clayoquot Acquires Coombs Country Candy – Case Study
  5. Develop tools and resources to help non profits and charities acquire businesses: Expectation Assessment Tool and Community Owned Acquisition Search Tool 
  6. Host a workshop series.
    • May 25th: Community Session #1
    • June 10th: Community Session #2
    • June 17th: Community Session #3
  7. Identify pilot acquisition projects.

Partner Resources:

Stanford Social Innovation Review: Small Business Today, Social Enterprise Tomorrow
Social Firm Scotland: Acquiring Business 4 Good Final Report
Legacy Leadership Lab, University of Waterloo: L3 Social Acquisition Primer and L3 Social Acquisition Process Map



Business Legacies Initiative is a joint initiative between Scale Collaborative
and Royal Roads University’s School of Business.




It is advised by the communities of:


We are thankful for funding support from Royal Roads University, the BC Rural Dividend Fund
and the Island Coastal Economic Trust.