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Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation

Social Innovation in British Columbia

May is Social Enterprise Month

To help raise awareness of the work social entrepreneurs are doing in B.C. and the contributions these businesses make to our communities and our economy, the Province has proclaimed May 2015 as Social Enterprise Month.

A social enterprise operates like a business, producing goods and services for sale and earning revenue. They range from thrift stores to farmers markets to businesses that provide skills training, affordable housing and jobs for people with disabilities. They can also be a for-profit business that is focused entirely on social objectives. What connects them all is that their primary purpose is a social one. They direct their revenues toward social and environmental goals.

Get Involved

  • Support local social enterprises
  • Go to HubcapBC.ca, B.C.’s online social innovation hub.
  • Join the conversation on Twitter with #Impact4BC to connect with others about social enterprise and social innovation in the province.

Get The Facts

The Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation is committed to supporting and encouraging social innovation and social entrepreneurship in British Columbia. As a member of the BC Partners for Social Impact, the ministry leads the co-ordination of government’s work to promote and support social innovation, to create a legislative and policy framework to maximize social innovation in B.C.

Social innovation refers to new ideas and ways to address complex social problems. Social innovation is, at its heart, about collaboration – of government, business, and community to address society’s most pressing challenges and create better social outcomes.

Social innovation is a way to achieve better results, deliver more effective solutions and improve social outcomes.

What We’re Doing

In January 2011, the BC Social Innovation Council was created to make recommendations “on how best to maximize social innovation... with an emphasis on social finance and social enterprise.” In March 2012, the Council presented its Action Plan Recommendations to Maximize Social Innovation in British Columbia PDF. The action plan includes 11 recommendations that together chart out a course of action for the province.

Based on the recommendations in the action plan, the BC Partners for Social Impact was created to carry on the work of the BC Social Innovation Council. The B.C. government co-chairs the BC Partners for Social Impact, which now includes more than 70 multi-sector partners who work collaboratively to implement the recommendations and support social innovation.

To support the work of the partners and the social innovation community, the partners launched Hubcap, a new social innovation website, in September 2014. Hubcap is the place to find tools and resources, learn about new and ongoing social innovation projects, and connect with B.C.’s innovators, entrepreneurs, educators, funders, and public policy makers.

Recent News
May 1, 2015 B.C. kicks-off Social Enterprise Month
Apr 22, 2014 B.C. gets a taste of Aboriginal social enterprise
Apr 15, 2014 Labour market funding supports social enterprise study
Apr 10, 2014 B.C. social enterprises building local communities
Apr 2, 2014 Social enterprises tackling big social challenges
Jul 31, 2013 Labour market funding supports social innovation
Jul 29, 2013 Registration opens for innovative new business model
Jul 15, 2013 Competition showcases innovative ideas for off-reserve Aboriginal communities
Mar 27, 2013 Proclamation honours social enterprises
Mar 2, 2013 Legislative changes encourage investment in social capital

Learn more about social innovation