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SENiagara August Meetup – START SOME GOOD

You don’t have to choose between doing good and being financially viable! A single person and a single idea can truly change a community for years to come—this is the future of sustainable impact. Dream big, do good. That’s social enterprise.

Presentor: Cathy Berkhout-Bosse, Co-Founder of local social enterprise, myNiagara Online will share lessons she learned while starting and operating a community promotion platform that includes the MyPelham.com, myWelland.com, myNOTL.com local networks.

As a member of our #SENiagara Planning Committee, she will also present an update of the current progress of the development of the Social Enterprise Niagara operational framework and our mission to help provide a support system for social enterprises to grow and flourish in our community.

Brainstorm Session:
We will close with an open forum opportunity for anyone who has a challenge or a question that they would like the group to brainstorm. Discussion will be limited to 10 minutes per item and will end no later than 6:30pm to allow time for informal networking until 7pm.

Sound good to you? Hope to see you out the Wednesday!

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Social Enterprise Niagara Meetups: July edition

Headshot of Alastair Davis, CEO of Habitat for HumanityThis month we are pleased to present as our guest speaker Alastair Davis, Chief Executive Officer of Habitat for Humanity. 


Before taking the CEO role at HfH in 2006, Alastair enjoyed a career in Executive Human Resource Management spanning various industries including financial services, resource industry, manufacturing and the federal government. 


For over 10 years he has enjoyed and been driven by the challenge of breaking the cycle of poverty through affordable homeownership. Alastair’s focus is working with a governance-centric Board of Directors, planning and developing strategic partnerships, teamwork, and seeking innovative means to increase Habitat for Humanity’s capacity to serve more families.


His specialities include board governance; strategic community relationship building & development; leadership, facilitating, coaching and mentoring; partnerships & fund development; strategic planning; execution of implementation plans; recruitment; government relations; land acquisition and development; and volunteer engagement.


Alastair will be speaking on the following topics and taking questions about them from the audience:



  • History of Habitat for Humanity in Niagara

  • Business Model(s) (Affordable Ownership and Restores)

  • How has or is Habitat adapting to the changes in the local housing market?

  • Keys to Success for Habitat as a Social Enterprise






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.


Vist our newly launched website here http://www.socialenterpriseniagara.ca/




Communities only get stronger when their leaders do. Additionally, local leadership is stronger, more relevant, and responsive when business, government, and the voluntary sectors work together. 

Typically the business sector measures success in terms of economic impact, whereas for nonprofits and charities, success is about being able to successfully address social issues. In other words we’re stacking up money versus humanity and compassion. Of course, we need both. And yet, we seem to separate the two with a very clear dividing line. This has created the challenge of not being able to find an infrastructure that addresses the need for both economic impact and social innovation.

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Movie Screening & Discussion – A New Economy

Thanks to the ongoing support of FirstOntario Credit Union and FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre, the Niagara Co-op Network, in conjunction with Social Enterprise Niagara, are thrilled to co-present Niagara’s first screening of A New Economy. Following the movie, participants are encouraged to join an open forum discussion led by Laurie Ryan-Hill, Niagara Regional Manager (On Co-op) and Tom Jakop, Committee Organizer (Social Enterprise Niagara). If you desire a more sustainable Niagara, want to know more about social enterprise and the co-op movement, this is one screening you don’t want to miss!

Tickets will be $7 for Film House Members and $9 for the general public. They can be purchased at the door too*

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Social Enterprise Niagara Meetups: May 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.


Vist our newly launched website here http://www.socialenterpriseniagara.ca/





Communities only get stronger when their leaders do. Additionally, local leadership is stronger, more relevant, and responsive when business, government, and the voluntary sectors work together. 

Typically the business sector measures success in terms of economic impact, whereas for nonprofits and charities, success is about being able to successfully address social issues. In other words we’re stacking up money versus humanity and compassion. Of course, we need both. And yet, we seem to separate the two with a very clear dividing line. This has created the challenge of not being able to find an infrastructure that addresses the need for both economic impact and social innovation.

Brenda Herchmer, Principal Collaborator, Campus for Communities of the Future will lead us through a discussion of the need for a new kind of community leadership—focused on the system-thinking needed for transformative change grounded in collaboration, community building, and ultimately the responsive and nimble networks, webs, and meshwork required for both social and economic development. 

Campus for Communities of the Future is a micro college built as a social enterprise to “enhance the ability of seasoned and aspiring leaders to meet complex community demands…the Campus simplifies the complexity of this change with resources, learning, and coaching.” Products include community leadership online training and certification, as well as publications, consulting, workshops, and keynote addresses for stakeholders across the country. 

However, the reality is that the Principal Collaborator, Brenda Herchmer, never set out to build a social enterprise. Instead it evolved more as the result of the push and pull between wanting to make a difference, and needing to be entrepreneurial in order to make it happen.

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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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