Overall the 3rd CCSE was a great event. Sarah Lang, Anne Jamieson and their team did a wonderful job and again I thank them for including me in the dialogue.
Canada is a great nation of innovators. As a nation we have contributed to the fields of science, technology, arts, business and more. Social Enterprise is an area that Canada has the ability to demonstrate for the changing world how to make it work and to expand its reach and ability to do good work according to their social missions.
To do this it is imperative that Social Enterprise in Canada, working collaboratively, adopt a definition of exactly what social enterprise is. Currently social enterprise means a lot of things to a lot of people. By adopting a single definition some of the fog that currently surrounds social enterprise in this country may be lifted.
This single definition would be central to beginning to tell the story of social enterprise in Canada. It needs to be constructed to ensure the widest possible understanding across multiple domains and in the general public. Social enterprise needs to be demystified if it is going to be broadly understood. That broad understanding is critical to the success of social enterprise.
It is also necessary for social enterprise to find a unified voice. That voice needs to be an organization that is capable of speaking on behalf of social enterprise from coast to coast.
The most important point that came out of the conference is that social enterprise needs to focus on ‘enterprise.’ Without the business the social mission cannot be worked on.
Accepting that this is the most important point it is paramount that social enterprise identify management and employees that have the ability to navigate the business, governmental and social sector worlds.
Moreover it is important that social enterprise in Canada start to work with the institutions in this country that can help it most. As such social enterprise should be approaching Universities and Colleges so that Canada can start addressing the skill needs of the sector.
In accepting this it is also important for social enterprise to start working with the private sector. Adopting best practices, next practices, management techniques, business acumen, etc. social enterprise will be able to deal with the very real challenges that face Canada in the coming decade and better address the needs of their social missions.
Social enterprise is an important sector in this country. Through their various missions social enterprises make a difference everyday in the lives of Canadians.
Over the coming decade there are certain to be challenges the social sector is going to become ever more important in light of shrinking government budgets. As such the time is now for social enterprise in Canada to address its needs so it can best deal with the needs of Canadians going forward. Canada can further demonstrate for the world we are a nation of innovators that always rise to meet the challenges of the world in which we live head on.
Lester B. Pearson once said: “As we enter our centennial year we are still a young nation, very much in the formative stages. Our national condition is still flexible enough that we can make almost anything we wish of our nation. No other country is in a better position than Canada to go ahead with the evolution of a national purpose devoted to all that is good and noble and excellent in the human spirit.”
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The New Currency SDM “Change…At the Speed of Thought”