Check out the list and summary of the topics that emerged from the Co-Creation sessions.

Topic 1: Education and Social Enterprise

Discussion Proposed by: Aniquah Zownie

The idea: There is a need for more experiential learning about Social Enterprise. High school students want more opportunity to explore their passions and learn it is okay to be an entrepreneur.

What could be done: Increase youth mentorship opportunities with entrepreneurs and social entrepreneurs, educate parents about the benefits of entrepreneurship/social entrepreneurship so that they support young entrepreneurs.  Develop more opportunities in school for youth to address take initiative in addressing local issues.  Develop/offer a Social Entrepreneurship course.  Align school board policies with social entrepreneurship.  Develop/provide a toolkit for youth to find their passion.  Make the Encore program mandatory.  Connect with Mayor’s Youth Advisory about social entrepreneurship.


Topic 2: The Teachings and Experiences Students Need to Gain the” Social Enterprise Mindset”
Discussion Proposed by: Rachel & Maggie (DSBN Academy students)

The idea: Students want more exposure to different ideas such as social entrepreneurship.

What could be done: include more youth, increase input from youth, more promotion to youth, more social networking, more connections and word of mouth, make it more engaging for youth, make it more accessible, find funding to support youth engagement in Social Enterprise.


Topic 3: Create a Local Network or Alliance for Social Enterprise

Discussion Proposed by: Jasmine Olah

The idea: A Network or Alliance for Social Enterprise could bring existing and new organizations together in a physical or virtual community of practice to: increase resource sharing and eliminate duplication, hold each other accountable, provide advice and encouragement, barter services, provide intergenerational mentorship opportunities, and support for youth leadership.

What could be done: get current social entrepreneurs together to discuss what already is happening, recruit current social entrepreneurs, create an asset inventory, encourage diversity in participation for better ideas, profile group members in own words explaining how they see themselves as social entrepreneurs, share struggles with “wicked issues” in our community.  Actively engage youth to participate.


Topic 4: Bridging the Gap Between Social & Business

Discussion Proposed by: Stefan Johnson

The idea: For outsiders it is difficult to identify what is meaningful about social enterprise.  How do we understand how the profit goal of a business and the social goal of the community interrelate?  For businesses to effectively prioritize community needs they need more information about community needs.  Lack of understanding creates a negative perception locally of Social Enterprises.

What could be done: Have a neutral third party complete a local community needs assessment that could be shared with the business community.  Develop criteria to rank community priorities.  Increase local understanding of what a Social Enterprise is. Develop an online platform (possibly social media) to share information locally.  Work to promote through local media (newspapers) to increase exposure of the general public to SE.


Topic 5: Is There Room for Social Aims When the Current Economy Seems to Favor Profit Seeking / Greed?   

Discussion Proposed by: Karl Dockstader

The idea:  A scribed summary was not available at this time.

What could be done: A scribed summary was not available at this time.


Topic 6: Turning Competition into Connections

Discussion Proposed by: Terra Stevenson

The idea: Enterprises that are not directly competing can work together to build alliances and share information.  Each can bring different resources to the table for mutual benefit and share complementary advantages.

What could be done: Create local entrepreneurship clubs.  Develop a classification system for Social Enterprises like there are for Private businesses or Charities/Non-Profits.  Leverage connection smaller businesses have with local community. Review government policies on partnerships with local businesses.


Topic 7: How Brock students can Help with Your Social Startup or Enterprise

Discussion Proposed by: Gillian Kemp

The idea: The Goodman school of business provides opportunities to become community partners on a project basis through the service learning which is built into the courses.  Recruitment for projects is in july/aug for the fall term, oct/nov for the winter term, and feb/mar for the spring term.

What could be done: Community Partners can get more information on the Goodman website. Can also apply on the site or contact Gillian Kemp for more information.


Topic 8: Small Business Involvement in Social Enterprise

Discussion Proposed by: Agostino Menna

The idea: There is a need to work with and develop partnerships with other small enterprises, and to involve the government to leverage impact of small businesses on the local economy and community.

What could be done: Organize a discussion with small businesses about how they can give back to the community, create opportunities for small businesses to work together and with non-profits, connect with chambers to engage in networking with other small businesses, connect with Federation of Independent Businesses.


Topic 9: Promoting Citizens and Community

Discussion Proposed by: Maria Hekkert

The idea: Our community needs genuine leaders who are enterprising as their way of life, and we need to encourage citizens to have agency in their own lives through social enterprise and programming. Within the social enterprise the understanding of the consumer and customer is important to the growth of cause because that is where revenue streams are developed and maintained.

What could be done: Find others who care passionately about this, Promote the importance of community impact and citizen agency.


Topic 10: Caring for Ourselves to Prevent Burnout and Loss of our Gifts

Discussion Proposed by: Susan Russell

The idea: We can reduce burnout by claiming ownership of our mind and focusing on the gifts we bring to our community.

What could be done: Meditation and Stress Control, Recognize (and write down) our own gifts and strengths, Do not give too much of our strengths so we burn out, recognize the parts of our lives/work that drain us, engage in topics that fascinate us.


Topic 11: Creative Methods of Funding for Non-Profits

Discussion Proposed by: Dave Drenth

The idea: What creative ways are there for Non-Profits to access the resources they need?

What could be done: Connect with peoples’ passion, increase volunteers, connect with youth, start with mentorship, create teachable moments, develop memberships, affordable transportation.


Topic 12: Reducing Challenges to Sharing Intellectual Property

Discussion Proposed by: Karen Stearn

The idea: Community benefits from members freely share ideas that will benefit the community, but corporations claim public ideas as intellectual property.  We can share in a way that is respectful and everyone can get something out of the conversation.

What could be done: Develop face to face relationships to share values and find common ground, address how funding models reduce idea sharing and promote competitiveness, Work to shift attitudes toward sharing, work to open up more data.


Topic 13: Creating a Tool Lending Library in Niagara

Discussion Proposed by: David Alexander

The idea: A tool library based on the Ottawa or Toronto tool library could be developed in Niagara  so that those with limited means and without a credit card could access tools.  

What could be done:  Research best practices from successful tool libraries, conduct market research, source sponsors and donors, find 1000 square foot building and possible satellite sites or explore possible mobile tool library (truck).


Topic 14: Local Food Distribution

Discussion Proposed by: Shawn Murphy

The idea: Low income families are struggling with the cost of fresh foods.  Need to strengthen local food distribution system for farmers and local consumers.

What could be done: Identify loss and surplus for local farmers, explore produce vending machines, explore mobile markets, work with Avondale to carry food baskets for pickup, develop local food hub to take in local farm products, develop perishable food hub for local food banks and soup kitchens, increase local chef’s knowledge of local seasonal availability, focus conversation on impact of local produce on personal health, provide training and information with products, provide training for newcomers about local foods.


Topic 15: Growing / Restarting Local Social Entrepreneur Support Programs

Discussion Proposed by: Terra P.

The idea: Changes could be made to strengthen supports for social entrepreneurs

What could be done: Develop a local Social Enterprise registry/inventory, provide education and training in SE for organizations, Showcase local SE leaders, Help organizations develop impact statements, develop co-ops to provide support for SEs (Information Technology/Admin etc.), change funding to better support social entrepreneurs, develop a shared space for Social entrepreneurs, promote more conversations.


Topic 16: Scaling Up & Out – One Stop Resource Centre and Local “Dragon’s Den” for Social Enterprises

Discussion Proposed by: Brenda Herchmer

The idea: We need a local Dragon’s Den for Social Enterprises and a one stop resource centre to help social entrepreneurs get ready for their Dragon’s Den pitch.

What could be done: Develop a team (Brenda would like anyone who wants to work on this topic to email her at [email protected]), Research current and possible impact of social enterprises on the economy, work on resource center, work on local S/E Dragon’s Den, develop a buy local campaign.

If have questions or would like to provide additional information on these topics, please contact Jeffrey Sinclair at [email protected]