Youth Social Enterprise

December 2014 Month Theme: Youth and Social Entrepreneurship

In December, the oneNS Coalition is turning its attention to social enterprises and the economic and social value they deliver to our province.

What are social enterprises? This term refers to businesses or organizations operated for the purpose of tackling social, economic or environmental challenges. It may surprise you that they can be can be profit or nonprofit, charitable or not. Social Enterprise Canada defines them like this:

What is Social Enterprise?

They are businesses; they create community impacts and social values; and they limit or don’t have distribution of profits and assets to individual shareholders. So rather than a defined thing, social enterprises are much more a means to achieve value, they are a verb, not a noun.

It may also surprise you to learn that social enterprises can play a big role in growing our economy.

Here in Nova Scotia, there are already many social enterprises undertaking world-leading work in all parts of our province. In addition to the direct help they provide to people, they are creating jobs – many times in rural areas, encouraging entrepreneurship, developing innovative solutions and spurring creativity, offering coaching and training, and providing important opportunities for inclusion and expansion of our workforce.

Flower Cart (New Minas)

Just Us Coffee (Wolfville)

Off the Hook (Digby)

This month, the oneNS Coalition brought together over a dozen leaders in this area to discuss how social enterprise can help Nova Scotia achieve the goals of the Report of the Nova Scotia Commission on Building our New Economy.

In November, a competition was held to inspire Nova Scotia’s dynamic and creative young people to create their own jobs and carve out a niche for themselves in areas that have the potential to bring about positive social change.

Know of a great social enterprise in your community? Tell us about it.

Learn more about social enterprise.