Support for Social Enterprises

Published: May 1, 2017
Last Updated: May 10, 2017

What do British Columbians value? Making positive impacts—and the social ventures sector is certainly thriving in British Columbia. According to the BC Social Venture Sector Labour Market Study, 2015 study published by the Sauder School of Business, it was found that, “the social venture sector in British Columbia has grown by 35% since 2010.”

What Are Social Enterprises?

The BC Centre for Social Enterprise defines social enterprises as “[applying] an entrepreneurial approach to addressing social issues and creating positive community change.” A few factors that determine a social venture’s success, as found in the Sauder School of Business study, include:

  • Strength of its business model
  • Leadership capacity
  • Access to capital

However, of all the factors involved, the study suggests that the key factor that drives a social enterprise’s success is the “awareness of the sector as the means to affect social change and in which to obtain meaningful employment.” Unlike traditional businesses who must meet the expectations of their shareholders, social enterprises and social ventures’ unique strength lies in their mission to create positive change as well as their ability to inspire both their employees and consumers to share that mission.

British Columbia is also the first to offer a unique business model: the Community Contribution Company (C3 or CCC). A mix of both sides, this new model is both for-profit and devoted toward positive social impacts.

Support for Social Enterprises

Although there is growth in the sector, there is still room for improvement. The Sauder School of Business study found that social enterprises would benefit from more networking and mentoring opportunities. So if you are looking for ways to grow and support your social venture or enterprise, here are a few opportunities for you:


BC Centre for Social Enterprise. (n.d.) What is social enterprise? Retrieved from

Centre for Social Innovation, Impact Investing; Sauder School of Business,  University of British Columbia. (2015). BC social venture sector labour market study, 2015. Retrieved from

Ministry of Finance. (n.d.). Community contributions companies. Retrieved from

Social Enterprise & Non-Profit

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