We welcomed Sydney Thompson, the Entrepreneurship Program Lead at EPICentre located on the University of Windsor Campus.

Sydney is passionate about helping entrepreneurs and change-makers flourish, community building, and she is a proud Windsorite and graduate from St. Clair College and the University of Windsor.
She explained that she has been a proud Rotarian for the past three years and that her passion for social enterprise aligns very closely with Rotary's values and mission!

Social Entrepreneurship is relatively large in Canada, but everyone looks at social enterprise differently. With a socially purposed business, the big question is where does the money come from, and where does it go?

"As the impact grows, the business grows as well!" - Sydney.

These businesses typically have one of the following Sustainable Development Goals: to end poverty, hunger, climate change, life below water, responsible consumption, to name a few.
What makes a social enterprise different from a charity or a regular business is its focus on a triple bottom line (people, planet and profit), and its value proposition drives it.
There is no legal structure for social entrepreneurship in Canada, so it can be sole proprietor, co-operative, non-profit or charity.

A great example of a local social enterprise is Habitat for Humanity Restore store. Profits from the Restore are reinvested into building homes.
Today it's not a good strategy to rely on government funding unless you're a large and established charity. Thousands of non-profits and charities are competing for the same limited funds provided by the government.

EPICentre and organizations like it push entrepreneurs to think more about the social enterprise model because it helps the longevity of their business.
Sydney explained that Certified B Corporations meet the highest standards of verified social-environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability and balance profit and purpose.
A few examples that she listed with her presentation include two new businesses, Community Family Fitness and The Working Class

Social enterprise is focused on impact; the for-profit piece comes from selling its products, and the funds are reinvested into the business to benefit others. Examples include Reimagine Co. (zero-waste grocery store) and Unshattered.

If you have an idea for a social enterprise, you can apply to the Libro-EPIC social enterprise Program. Successful applicants will gain access to workshops, mentorship, public speakers, grants and a final pitch competition.