Social Enterprise Sector Report & Database Released

For Immediate Release-Halifax:  Since co-releasing the Social Enterprise Sector Strategy in partnership with the Government of Nova Scotia in April 2017, the network secretariat, Common Good Solutions, has been collecting and analyzing data and authoring a report that captures the promise the social enterprise sector holds for businesses pursuing positive community impact as well as profit.

“With this research we have been offered a snapshot of the enormous potential the social enterprise sector holds (with over 3000 identified) and we are thrilled to move forward with a clearer understanding of how to grow and strengthen the sector,” said Cathy Deagle-Gammon, President, Social Enterprise Network of Nova Scotia.

Respondents indicated:

  • This sector wants to grow.  The majority of respondents (66%) plan to grow their business activities to further meet their missions.
  • This sector can grow, if supported by policy and access to capital.  The three strongest priority areas identified by respondents to assist in their development was to increase their access to customer markets, expand business skills of their directors and managers, and increase their access to capital.
  • There is lots of room for budding social enterprises.  Social enterprises make a strong financial contribution to the province. Respondents reported $179 million in revenue in 2016, $123 million of which was from the sale of goods and services.
  • Social enterprises are actively making the economy and communities stronger.  Respondents indicated they believe their role and the sector’s role should be as an agent of fundamental change. They seek, through their operations, to build a more socially, environmentally, culturally and economically just society.

Another exciting component of this release is the launch of the social enterprise resource portal. This database can be found at, where over 500 data points have been researched and curated to directly serve anyone looking to start or grow a social enterprise. The new portal exists to remove barriers to startup success for social enterprises across the province by bringing resources together in one place, exclusively for the emerging social enterprise business model.

The Social Enterprise Network of Nova Scotia (SENNS) is a non-profit, member-led society, building a movement on behalf of social enterprises across the province. SENNS is committed to advocating on behalf of entrepreneurs and businesses whose missions involve strengthening our communities.



Media Contact:

Maria Wamboldt

SENNS, Secretariat Communications Coordinator

902-407-0822 ext 101

Social Enterprise in Nova Scotia Being Showcased on the Global Stage


  • Putting Nova Scotia on the world stage in social enterprise policy development, showcasing the provinces dedication to healthy people and healthy communities.
  • Bring 1,000,000 out of poverty through providing social enterprise education and supports to 100,000 users globally by 2030.
  • Another outstanding example of what Nova Scotia’s youth can do when given the opportunity to stay in Nova Scotia.

Social Enterprise Institute Makes Official Debut on National Stage

On May 11th the Social Enterprise Institute (SEI) made its official debut on the national stage at the Canadian Conference on Social Enterprise in Winnipeg, Manitoba. SEI boasts content for every stage of building and running a social enterprise. With 42 courses and growing, this online learning platform is at the forefront of making resources more accessible for social entrepreneurs across the country; where course content is presented in manageable lengths for entrepreneurs and managers on the go, and structured based on immediate need or phase of development.

“The need for a platform like SEI was re-confirmed throughout the conference.  We repeatedly heard there was a real need for access to online training, for every stage of business development, from start-up to growth, and beyond.” says Stephanie Pronk, Common Good Solutions’ Learning Management System Coordinator. “We are working hard to meet these needs and make starting and growing a social enterprise as seamless and affordable as possible, no matter your location or background.”

CGS Team Members Recognized for Making Impact Through Social Enterprise

Two CGS team members attracted national recognition for their efforts in promoting social enterprise this past week, receiving awards on both the Pacific and Atlantic coast of the country. Rebecca Dunphy, a Research Officer at Common Good Solutions (CGS) was awarded Student Leader of the Year at the 2017 Enactus Canada Exposition in Vancouver, BC while CGS Social Enterprise Developer Chloe Donatelli won the Governor General’s Award for achieving the highest marks in her MBA in Community Economic Development from Cape Breton University

"We are so proud of the talented young people in our organization. Together they are trying to change the world of business and make a difference in people's lives,” says CGS co-founder David Upton. “The value these people bring to our communities is the reason business owners need to make a concerted effort to invest in the youth in our province.”

Social Enterprise Gets Mention in Report on Atlantic Growth

On May 15 the Atlantic Growth Strategy Subcommittee on Innovation released a report on findings from their Atlantic "Innovation Tour". Our office was one of the stops on this tour. During this visit we wanted to highlight the amazing youth in our province, paired with shining examples of social enterprise, two factors that if we can support well, will be powerful drivers of innovation and growth in the Atlantic provinces and across the country. 

Read the full report here and watch the press conference here

Our Stories for the Common Good Series Has Taken a Growth Spurt!

INTRODUCING: The Social Shift, a documentary on business for the common good.

Four millenials, three being our teammates, have officially set out to highlight the stories of social enterprise and finding values-based work across the country.

Last July we began sharing the stories of social enterprises and social entrepreneurs across Nova Scotia, but quickly realized there was a bigger story to tell. Tapping into our network of amazing people and businesses across Canada, we began to map out what a trip across Canada would look like, and almost one year later, here we are!

Check out the official documentary website at

Careforce: More than just a home health care agency

Careforce began in 1990 and became a fully cooperative business in 2007. Because many of the Careforce staff are co-op members they are fully invested and take great pride in the work they do: helping those that need care services live where they’re most comfortable, by providing the services they need to do so – from companionship, errand running and housekeeping to 24-hour care.

Uniquely Gifted: Gift Giving that Gives Back

Since July 2015 Uniquely Gifted, a social enterprise of The Entrepreneurs with Disabilities Network, has been helping entrepreneurs with disabilities bring their products to market. In just over one year they have built a network across Nova Scotia of over 15 suppliers, six of whom are actively selling in the marketplace while the others are moving through planning and development, and 10 buyers.

African Community Investment Cooperative of Canada (ACICC)- Believe in community, grow together.

ACICC is an asset-based social enterprise that creates economic opportunities for people with economic barriers, with a focus on immigrants, women and seniors. The ACICC team combines small business incubation with skill development to reduce procurement, operational and management costs as well as other socio-cultural barriers to business development.