Trico Foundation to make difference for young entrepreneurs…

July 25, 2011

One of Calgary’s most progressive corporations has made a significant contribution to the development and growth of socially responsible businesses in Calgary and across Canada. Trico Charitable Foundation announced yesterday it will donate $2 million over five years to support three major initiatives.

Social entreprenership generally means meeting social needs through businesses that have more objectives than just profit.  An oft-cited example is Muhammad Yunus and the Grameen Bank, which provide micro-loans to the poor in Bangladesh. Grameen uses “lending circles” comprised of the bank’s clients.  Capital to lend is only available when loans are paid back, so the members of the circle put social pressure on borrowers to not default.

“The Trico Charitable Foundation is focused on being a catalyst and incubator for the Social Entrepreneurship Movement and Social Enterprise in the non-profit sector. Today’s announcement clearly demonstrates how we are going to do that,” said Executive Chairman Wayne Chiu, who is also the founder of Trico Homes, when he made the announcement Monday.

Social entrepreneurs can include individuals, partners, groups or non-profit organizations.

The Foundation is supporting three related initiatives:

1. $500,000 commitment has been made over five years as the Founding Partner of the Canadian Youth Business Foundation’s (CYBF) “socialpreneur” Alberta initiative. This program will assist socially-minded Alberta entrepreneurs, between the ages of 18 and 34, in the establishment of new businesses.
CYBF provides pre-launch coaching, start-up financing and mentoring. To date CYBF says it has invested in “more than 3,700 young people, whose businesses have generated CAD$106 million in tax revenues, and hundreds of millions in sales and export revenues, and created more than 17,100 new jobs.”

2. The Foundation has launched an Enterprising Non-Profits program in Alberta (enp-ab). The Program Manager for enp-Alberta’s office will be responsible for $500,000 in direct funding. enp-Alberta’s objective will be to empower Alberta non-profit organizations to enhance their sustainability by providing grants and technical assistance in support of the development and growth of their “profit-generating” social enterprise.

enp-Alberta is a joint initiative with highly successful Enterprising Non-Profits British Columbia (enp-bc), which has been operating for over ten years.

“We have helped dozens of non-profits in BC set up thriving businesses and we are confident that enp-Alberta will have instant traction,” said David LePage enp-BC Program Manager. “It’s all about sustainability for organizations that are so vital to a caring community” LePage added.

3. The third initiative is the establishment of the Trico Charitable Foundation Social EnterPrize. Every year two individuals and two organizations working in social enterprise in the non-profit sector will be awarded a cash prize to assist them in personal and organizational development and the advancement of their important work. The contribution to the Social EnterPrize totals more than $500 thousand over five years.

“We are very excited about the Social EnterPrize and we encourage all non-profit organizations and individuals working in this field locally, regionally and nationally, to visit our website for entry details,” said Chiu.

“The 2011 Trico Charitable Foundation Social EnterPrize Celebration and Symposium will be held on November 17 with Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi as keynote speaker“.

Established in 2008, The Trico Charitable Foundation is dedicated to provoking innovation and building capacity in social entrepreneurship. The vision is to grow a community of sustainable, entrepreneurial non-profit organizations.

“The establishment of the Foundation is a natural evolution of the deep commitment to corporate responsibility of the Trico Group of Companies,” said Richard Gotfried, VP of corporate and community relations.

The next step, say Gotfried, is to commission a study by the University of Calgary to determine the impact on the private sector of social entreprise.  The Foundation wants to ensure social entrepreneurship is meeting community needs that aren’t being met by the private sector.

“Congratulations to Mr. Wayne Chiu in the creation of the Trico Charitable Foundation and what an honour to be chosen as an inaugural partner,” said Vivian Prokop, Chief Executive Officer of the Canadian Youth Business Foundation.

“Our collaboration will greatly advance social entrepreneurship in the province of Alberta and together, we will champion this movement to cultivate the next generation of socially-minded young entrepreneurs through education, awareness, advocacy and start-up support.”

The Calgary Foundation, a community foundation focused on strengthening the philanthropic sector, has determined that our city has a strong appetite for innovation and growth in the area of social entrepreneurship, and that non-profits and companies alike are coming together to achieve a connection between societal and economic growth.

“Entrepreneurial companies are increasingly interested in work that has greater benefits for society, and we are proud to champion Trico Charitable Foundation’s exciting social entrepreneurship and social enterprise initiatives,” said Eva Friesen, The Calgary Foundation President and CEO.