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Social Startup Meetups: March 2017 edition

Are you an entrepreneur, investor or startup community stakeholder? Come have some drinks and meet current and aspiring social entrepreneurs* at Social Startup Meetups on the last Wednesday of each month at Mahtay Cafe.

Leah Feor is Strategic Advisor, Administrator & Founder of Simply Sustainable, will tell her story. Simply SustainableTM is a mutable movement by nature.  It has evolved from a post grad project in 2006, to a grassroots organization dedicated to promoting handmade & fair trade products, and finally into a platform for people to connect & learn about simple acts that create sustainable impact.

About Leah
Balancing a Triple Bottom Line is Leah’s utmost goal. She’s a big picture thinker with an eye for detail. Passion for the environment and social impact brings her business background to life.

With over 10 years of experience in sustainability and accountability, she offers a unique perspective on ecology, economy, and social impact. Outdoor adventures, healthy living, and continuous learning are just a few of her favourite things.

Learn more: simplysustainableblog.com

 

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Social Startup Meetups: February 2017 edition

Are you an entrepreneur, investor or startup community stakeholder? Come have some drinks and meet current and aspiring social entrepreneurs* at Social Startup Meetups on the last Wednesday of each month at Mahtay Cafe.

At this month’s meetup, we’ll launch our new website! Social Enterprise Niagara Planning Committee member Tom Jakop will take you on a tour of our new online home we’ve been working on for several months now. We’ll now have a place to tell the stories of people who are driving social enterprise in Niagara, update our community on events and developments, and connect with stakeholders. We can’t wait to hear your thoughts, so come on out!

 

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Social Startup Meetups: January 2017 edition

Are you an entrepreneur, investor or startup community stakeholder? Come have some drinks and meet current and aspiring social entrepreneurs* at Social Startup Meetups on the last Wednesday of each month at Mahtay Cafe.

At this month’s meetup, Vanessa Faloye will tell her story. The self-described semi-obsessed ambassador and activist of social change is co-founder of The Hobby Shop, a community arts centre that promotes creation, collaboration and celebration around art, culture, and environmental sustainability in downtown St. Catharines. She  leads Business Development and community Management efforts at the organization.

As well as this recent venture, she freelances as a trainer-facilitator in social enterprise and pitching and public speaking. In her non-existent spare time, you can either find her guest blogging for the social entrepreneurship and innovation blog Whatamission or deeply enjoying her few non-work hobbies such as traveling, reading and raving. Faloye holds a post-graduate certificate in Social Enterprise and Innovation at The Do School in Germany. Building on her freelancing side projects, her ambition for the future is to start a social impact education project that teaches underprivileged groups about social entrepreneurship, diversity and inclusion, and public speaking.

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Social Startup Meetups: November 2016 edition

Shawn MurphyAre you an entrepreneur, investor or startup community stakeholder? Come have some drinks and meet current and aspiring social entrepreneurs* at Social Startup Meetups on the last Wednesday of each month at Mahtay Cafe.

At this month’s meetup, Shawn Murphy, a 16-year hospitality professional born in St. Catharines, will talk about his experience of taking the social enterprise model and working it into his for-profit businesses.

After cooking throughout the fine dining restaurants of Niagara, Montreal and Toronto Shawn has come back to relaunch his catering business and open Your Farm Gate, a retail, e-commerce and take out restaurant focusing on local ingredients with Latin influence.

For the past 10 years, Shawn has helped build and develop businesses that focus on using local ingredients and working with local businesses. His goal is to ease logistical barriers that make it a challenge for our local communities to access great ingredients and healthy food options. With expanding access within existing networks and the creation of new channels, this is an exciting time for those working on food initiatives.

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Social Startup Meetups: September 2016 edition

Are you an entrepreneur, investor or startup community stakeholder? Come have some drinks and meet current and aspiring social entrepreneurs* at Social Startup Meetups on the last Wednesday of each month at Mahtay Cafe.

At this month’s meetup, Brendon Nicholson, Outreach Mobilizer at Southridge Shelter, will share what he’s learned about social enterprise startups. Brendon played an instrumental role in the development of Southridge Jam Company, which offers men and women who have experienced homelessness an opportunity to develop job skills while producing delicious jams and jellies. The Southridge Jam Company further broadens the impact of Southridge Shelter by providing a sense of purpose to its participants, generating stability and positive momentum as they transition out of homelessness.

By using cosmetically imperfect fruit and turning it into tasty jams and jellies, program participants internalize that they have value and can contribute despite their struggles.

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Social Startup Meetups: August 2016 edition

Are you an entrepreneur, investor or startup community stakeholder? Come have some drinks and meet current and aspiring social entrepreneurs* at Social Startup Meetups  of 2016 on the last Wednesday of each month at Mahtay Cafe.

At this month’s meetup, Kevin Jacobi, Owner/CEO and Treasurer of WP Warehousing will share the company’s experience with Start Me Up Niagara’s Garden Project.

More about Kevin Jacobi:

Born and raised in Niagara, Kevin has over 15 years experience in warehousing and fulfillment.
He worked at both Infomail Communications and Frontier Distributing as a database consultant focusing on ad mail campaigns.

As the General Manager of SanPack, Kevin oversaw re-pack lines as well as distribution for multiple clients.  In 2006, he set up Kelman Canada with Dianne Todd, running the warehouse and distribution of glass products.

In 2008, Kevin formed WP Warehousing with Dianne Todd and Joan Adam.  He currently oversees all aspects of the company operations and financials, including forecasting, quoting and setting us new business.

Start Me Up Niagara Garden Project

This first-time pilot between WP Warehousing, Start Me Up Niagara and Wrap It Up Raw is an NPI funded 1-year program designed to provide training and employment for the unemployed or underemployed clients of SMUN in the agri-food and logistics sectors.

Up to 14 people are rotating through 2 positions that provide training in food and beverage preparation, food dehydrating, packaging, shipping, e-commerce fulfillment, and general warehouse operations in order to determine their areas of interest for longer term sustainable employment.  SMUN is able to use their harvested fruits and vegetables from the Vineland Garden, as well as gleanings donated by other farmers in the area to create their own finished products in the dehydrating kitchen, that can then be sold to supplement the SMUN kitchen with proteins and other foods for their clients.  This project has already graduated two participants into regular part-time work with other companies and has been a great learning process and joint effort for the partners involved.  We are now in discussions about Phase Two funding to continue and expand upon the program.

SMUN is able to use their harvested fruits and vegetables from the Vineland Garden, as well as gleanings donated by other farmers in the area to create their own finished products in the dehydrating kitchen, that can then be sold to supplement the SMUN kitchen with proteins and other foods for their clients.  This project has already graduated two participants into regular part-time work with other companies and has been a great learning process and joint effort for the partners involved.  We are now in discussions about Phase Two funding to continue and expand upon the program.

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Social Startup Meetups: July 2016 edition

Are you an entrepreneur, investor or startup community stakeholder? Come have some drinks and meet current and aspiring social entrepreneurs* at Social Startup Meetups  of 2016 on the last Wednesday of each month at Mahtay Cafe.

At this month’s meetup, Rachel Crane, Project Manager of ncTakeOff (Niagara College’s hub for entrepreneurialism) will share the Lean Canvas model and explain the support programs aspiring and current entrepreneurs can access at the local and provincial levels.

More about Rachel Crane:

Rachel Crane teaches entrepreneurship and manages the entrepreneurship hub, ncTakeOff, at Niagara College. When not helping students to grow their business ideas and dreams,Rachel can be found on her yoga mat, nose-deep in books for her Masters of Arts in Leadership program, or out and about with her fiancé and rescued dog from Greece.

This event is part of Social Startups 2016, an initiative to bring together social entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial supports in Niagara to share skills and resources for the successful development of social enterprise ventures. Our vision is to build a social entrepreneurial ecosystem in Niagara that will create economic value and social impact. A social entrepreneur is someone who finds creative and sustainable solutions to the world’s problems.

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Social Startup Meetups: June 2016 edition

Are you an entrepreneur, investor or startup community stakeholder? Come have some drinks and meet current and aspiring social entrepreneurs* at Social Startup Meetups  of 2016 on the last Wednesday of each month at Mahtay Cafe.

At this month’s meetup, community builder Jasmine Olah will lead our discussion about community challenges that social entrepreneurs in Niagara can tackle, and Jeff Sinclair, Community Engagement Co-ordinator at Niagara College’s Centre for Student Engagement & Leadership, will add local context to the discussion.

More about Jasmine and Jeff:

Jeffrey Sinclair
Jeffrey Sinclair is the Community Engagement Co-ordinator at Niagara College’s Centre for Student Engagement & Leadership, and also a consultant who assists non-profits, funders, government, and small businesses to develop strategies, action plans, and measures of their performance and impact. He is an active citizen whose civic involvement has comprised the areas of public transit, homelessness and affordable housing, women’s issues, youth attraction and retention, leadership development, and social innovation.

Jasmine Olah
A facilitator and community builder at heart Jasmine has a passion for empowering community stakeholders to discover the synergy created by uncovering their own skills, strengths, and talents. With a background in recreation her mission is to improve the quality of life for those within the grassroots of the community.

This event is part of Social Startups 2016, an initiative to bring together social entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial supports in Niagara to share skills and resources for the successful development of social enterprise ventures. Our vision is to build a social entrepreneurial ecosystem in Niagara that will create economic value and social impact. A social entrepreneur is someone who finds creative and sustainable solutions to the world’s problems.

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Social Startup Meetups: May 2016 edition

Are you an entrepreneur, investor or startup community stakeholder? Come have some drinks and meet current and aspiring social entrepreneurs* at Social Startup Meetups  of 2016 on the last Wednesday of each month at Mahtay Cafe.

To kick off the event, we’ll hear from Trevor Twining. Trevor is an advocate for social enterprise and a champion of the Niagara co-operative community who brings a startup mindset to his efforts in both of these areas. As the founder and president of Cowork Niagara Co-operative Inc., (the home of Niagara’s independent workforce and one of the region’s first social enterprises), he’s active in local co-op development and advocacy. He works with other Niagara co-operatives to ensure challenges in startup and operation are met early and head-on.

At this month’s Social Startup Meetup, he will tell the story of his Cowork journey and explain how to bootstrap a startup.

This event is part of Social Startups 2016, an initiative to bring together social entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial supports in Niagara to share skills and resources for the successful development of social enterprise ventures. Our vision is to build a social entrepreneurial ecosystem in Niagara that will create economic value and social impact. A social entrepreneur is someone who finds creative and sustainable solutions to the world’s problems.

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Social Startup Meetups: April 2016 edition

Are you an entrepreneur, investor or startup community stakeholder? Come have some drinks and meet current and aspiring social entrepreneurs* at Social Startup Meetups  of 2016 on the last Wednesday of each month at Mahtay Cafe.

To kick off the event, we’ll hear from Jillian Berswick, the Sustainable Business Development and Marketing Manager at Loop Recycled Products. Jillian is passionate about sustainable business and circular economies, and is always working to develop new community, business, and social-good driven initiatives. Working with Loop Recycled Products on the front lines of a nationally visible brand has allowed Jillian to gain valuable insight from government and non-governmental organizations, business leaders and community influencers.

Loop Recycled Paint  is a product developed by Photech Environmental Solutions, located in Niagara Falls, ON. Loop recycled products specializes in the reintroduction of otherwise waste materials back into the marketplace as viable products, including the processing of waste paints and coatings into the national retail brand Loop Recycled Paint, sold in Wal-Mart stores across Canada, Walmart USA and Walmart.com. Alternative brands are sold in Giant Tiger, Lowes.ca, Amazon.ca and Amazon.com.

This event is part of Social Startups 2016, an initiative to bring together social entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial supports in Niagara to share skills and resources for the successful development of social enterprise ventures. Our vision is to build a social entrepreneurial ecosystem in Niagara that will create economic value and social impact. A social entrepreneur is someone who finds creative and sustainable solutions to the world’s problems.

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