Essential Resources for Social Enterprise and Non-profits

Last Updated: May 12, 2016

The fifth annual Canadian Conference on Social Enterprise takes place this week in London, Ontario. In honor of CCSE, we are highlighting some great resources for Canadian social enterprise and non-profits.

What is CCSE?

The Canadian Conference on Social Enterprise takes place over three days and offers training and work sessions, networking opportunities, speakers, and interactive events. This is an opportunity for practitioners, government, social investors, and non-profit organizations from across Canada to come together to learn from leaders and members of the social enterprise community as they share their first-hand insights.

Resources for Social Enterprise and Non-profits

First of all, what exactly is social enterprise? According to CCSE, “A social enterprise is a business with a social mission.” While the private sector measures success based on financial return on investment (“How much profit was generated for our shareholders?”) and the non-profit sector reports on a social return on investment (“How many people did we provide services for this year?”), social enterprise is the simultaneous achievement of both economic and social values.

The following resources will be useful for social enterprise in any stage of development.

Social Enterprise Council of Canada

The Social Enterprise Council of Canada (SECC) is an alliance of social enterprise leaders who leverage their networks, knowledge, and experience in order to build a strong and enabling environment for social enterprise. Find resources and tools for learn about, plan, finance, and manage social enterprise.

enp British Columbia

enp British Columbia is a collaborative program that promotes and supports social enterprise development and growth across BC as a means to build strong non-profit organizations and healthier communities. Attending the “Building Your Social Enterprise” workshops qualifies registered charities to apply for a social enterprise development grant from Enterprising Non-Profits BC.

Not in BC? The enp program is available in other provinces as well. Use the navigation bar on the left to find a support program near you.


seToolbelt is an open content resource hub that helps social entrepreneurs plan, launch, manage, and grow successful social enterprises. Learn basic background information for social enterprise, collaborate with other social entrepreneurs, and find tools, manuals, articles, video, business plans, other resources searchable by type, sector, format, and language.


Idealware is a US-based non-profit which provides thoroughly researched, impartial and accessible resources about software to help non-profits make smart software decisions. Find articles and reports, seminars, and blog posts about topics such as: fundraising, social media, multimedia tools, web management, software applications, and more.

Non-Profit Accelerator Guide

The SBA's Non-profit Accelerator Guide will introduce you to online and library resources and research tools, that focus on the non-profit industry including books, government websites, associations, directories, and more. This accelerator guide will give you the secondary market research information you need to start and run a successful non-profit in British Columbia.