I’ve spent my career in leadership positions in social purpose businesses – companies with a social mission in the healthcare industry and with one of Canada’s social purpose business success stories – Canadian Universities Travel Service Ltd. (Travel CUTS). I have an MBA from The Richard Ivy School of Business. I now use that experience to mentor entrepreneurs working at the juncture of entrepreneurship and social mission. I am very lucky to end up being paid to pursue my passion!
1/ As an Entrepreneur-In-Residence with ventureLAB, a Regional Innovation Centre north of Toronto. There, I train and mentor entrepreneurs on both a one-to-one basis (all social entrepreneurs) and as an instructor for small groups of pre-revenue entrepreneurs of all kinds.
2/ As a management consultant, I consult to nonprofit organizations founding or expanding a social enterprise. An example of my work is the creation of business plan for the establishement of an employment-focused social enteprise of Virtual Assistants. It was to provide employment for women who had completed various programs of a charity focused on getting women back on their feet after coming out of poverty and violent relationships.
3/ Recently, I have been tasked with helping to build-out the social enterprise ecosystem in York Region where ventureLAB is located just north of Toronto. The initiative is called CommunityBUILD. It involves a very interesting an dynamic partnership of four organizations: ventureLAB, United Way York Region, York University and Seneca College.
I am also on the Board of Directors of a large charity in Toronto, Family Services Toronto, which has a large and long-established social enterprise, FSEAP. The position allows me to see the challenges of managing a business from inside a nonprofit. This is a change. I am accustomed to reporting to a nonprofit board as management of a business owned by the nonprofit. In the case of Travel CUTS, the nonprofit owner was the Canadian Federation of Students.