Government will work with the Social Enterprise Network of Nova Scotia to help more social enterprises start and expand. Their new joint strategies were announced today, April 12.
A social enterprise is a business operated to address social, cultural, environmental or economic challenges. Most profits are reinvested to support that purpose.
“Social enterprise is an exciting business option for socially-minded entrepreneurs, especially youth, who want to create jobs, while making a difference in the world. These are businesses with more than one bottom line,” said Mark Furey, Minister of Business. “We’re proud to support a sector that has so much potential to contribute to our economy and communities in the future.”
“The Social Enterprise Network of Nova Scotia is thrilled that our government, through its framework, has recognized the value and power of social enterprise,” said Cathy Deagle-Gammon, president of the Social Enterprise Network of Nova Scotia. “These businesses are transforming communities and contributing to the social, cultural, environmental and economic well-being in every corner of the province.”
The network’s strategy aims to build business skills, enhance access to financing, expand market opportunities, promote and demonstrate the sector’s value, create a supportive policy and legislative environment, and build a strong network.
Government’s plan identifies actions it will take to help advance social enterprise with the sector. An initial $200,000 investment will support two projects: developing a portal where entrepreneurs can access resources and training, and conducting research into the economic and social value created by social enterprise.
These strategies were developed based on the work of the Social Enterprise Council of Canada, and with input from social entrepreneurs, associations, government departments and other Nova Scotians.
As of 2013, Nova Scotia’s social enterprise sector employed at least 3,000 people and paid out more than $83 million in wages and salaries.
Last fall, Invest Nova Scotia invested $1.5 million over three years for a social enterprise incubator to help businesses start, grow and develop new markets. The Impact Incubator, operated by the Social Enterprise Network and Common Good Solutions, has received close to 80 applications to date and is currently helping several businesses move their ideas forward.