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REF NO.: 94

SUBJECT: Memorial University launches Centre for Social Enterprise

DATE: May 25,2017

A new centre focused on nurturing social entrepreneurship in the province was officially launched today on Memorial University’s St. John’s campus.

The Centre for Social Enterprise (CSE), a campus-wide centre led by a partnership between the Faculty of Business Administration, the School of Social Work and the School of Music.

The centre was created to act as a catalyst to develop new social entrepreneurs, strengthen existing social enterprises and build resilience through social innovation to foster economic success and sustainability throughout Newfoundland and Labrador.

“Social enterprises are an innovative form of organization that are increasing in impact and importance worldwide,” said Dr. Gary Kachanoski, president and vice-chancellor, Memorial University. “The Centre for Social Enterprise capitalizes on the long history of social innovation in Newfoundland and Labrador and further advances the reputation of Memorial University as a national leader in understanding and advancing social enterprises and social entrepreneurship. At Memorial, we aim to equip our students to engage with such emerging fields and this centre is an important element in fostering that innovation and success.”

Social enterprises are innovative businesses and organizations that are created to pursue social, cultural or environmental missions in a financially sustainable way.

The CSE will play a key role in developing academic capacity to increase understanding of social entrepreneurship and social enterprise within the Memorial community. It will support the development of curricula focused on social enterprise and social entrepreneurship; link faculty members across the university to work together to strengthen understanding of social enterprise and social entrepreneurship; and help prospective social entrepreneurs convert their ideas into businesses that provide social, cultural and environmental benefits.

Funding of $225,000 was provided by the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) and $225,000 by the Department of Tourism, Culture, Industry and Innovation (TCII) to help create the CSE. The J.W. McConnell Family Foundation and the Suncor Energy Foundation also provided financial support.

“I commend Memorial University on the official launch of the Centre for Social Enterprise, which acts as a catalyst to nurture social entrepreneurs and strengthen the social enterprises that they create,” said Seamus O’Regan, member of Parliament, St. John’s South-Mount Pearl, on behalf of Navdeep Bains, minister, Innovation, Science and Economic Development, and minister responsible for ACOA. “The Government of Canada, through ACOA, supports Memorial’s efforts to strengthen the impact, knowledge and development of social enterprises in this region.”

“Our government recognizes that social enterprise development is important to the economy and collectively, our efforts focus on strengthening, promoting and advancing opportunities for social enterprises as well as on encouraging entrepreneurial business models,” said Christopher Mitchelmore, minister, Tourism, Culture, Industry and Innovation. “We proudly support the establishment of the Centre for Social Enterprise and, as outlined in The Way Forward: A Vision for Sustainability and Growth in Newfoundland and Labrador, we are committed to developing a social enterprise action plan for Newfoundland and Labrador.

For more information about the Centre for Social Enterprise, please visit here.

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For more information, please contact Susan White, communications advisor, Faculty of Business Administration, at (709) 864-2616 (office), (709) 689-7988 (cell) or susanwhite@mun.ca.

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