H1 Paper Session: Social Enterprises & Social Entrepreneurship
Date & Time
Friday, June 5, 2020, 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Time Zone
Eastern Daylight Savings
Location Name
Registration required - Virtual Conference links will be available 24 hours prior to session

Chair: Anthony Piscitelli, Conestoga College

‘Social’ vs. ‘Enterprise’: A Case Study of Inspirations Studio
Natalya Timoshkina, PhD, School of Social Work, Lakehead University

This paper presents results of an embedded case study of Inspirations Studio, a Toronto-based social enterprise, which teaches marginalized women how to make and sell pottery. The studio’s 25-year evolution from a craft collective to a social enterprise to a “ceramics-based program” under the trusteeship of St. Stephens’s Community House is examined. The primary focus is on the inherent conflict between social and business goals and aspirations – arguably the most significant challenge faced by all social enterprises – and its impact on the studio’s operations.

Selling Social — The experiences of non-profit social enterprises with social procurement and social purchasing
Laurie Mook, Arizona State University; Jennifer Sumner; OISE/University of Toronto; Andrea Chan; University of Toronto; Annie Luk; OISE/University of Toronto

Since their emergence into the non-profit sector in the 1990s, social enterprises have been trying to sell their goods and services to fulfil their social mandate. Customers who buy from social enterprises may be motivated by economic, social and/or environmental reasons. Organizations and institutions have shown increasing interest in leveraging their purchase decisions to promote social value. We will report and discuss our findings from a national study on whether social enterprises are actively capitalizing on the trend towards social procurement and social purchasing, as well as their experiences in working with social procurement and social purchasing.

An Action Research Approach to Social Innovation: Financing Union Sustainable Development Co-operative
Sean Campbell, University of Waterloo; Anthony Piscitelli, Conestoga College; Alex Szaflarska, Wilfrid Laurier University; Domenica De Pasquale, Conestoga College

Union: Sustainable Development Co-operative (USDC) is a new for-profit co-operative that seeks to buy and manage multi-unit residential and commercial properties for the environmental, social, and economic benefit of Waterloo Region. In launching the co-operative, USDC is relying on professional legal and accounting services to provide technical advice while leaving decision making in the hands of the community. During the paper presentation, the challenges associated with creating a social purpose investment co-operative within existing legal and accounting frameworks will be discussed. Consultation methods used thus far and the upcoming approach will be discussed. Feedback will be sought from presentation attendees.