The latest news, resources and events about social entrepreneurship in Northern Ontario from SEE Northern Region Partnership.
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Vol. 5 Issue 1, February 4

Social Enterprise Information Session - North Bay

RSVP with Janelle

Barb Stegemann returning to Timmins for Social Enterprise Roundtable

Barb Stegemann, a “Top Game Changer” on CBC’s Dragon’s Den, CEO and founder of The 7 Virtues, and a Women’s Executive Network Top 100 Most Powerful Women in Canada will deliver a keynote address in Timmins.

Stegemann is the keynote speaker at the Timmins Social Enterprise Roundtable February 27th, 2019, hosted by the Business Enterprise Centre and NORDIK Institute, as part of ONE Social Enterprise Partnership, Northern Region (SEE). Barb will share how she launched her social enterprise out of her garage and went on to become the first Canadian brand available in the new "Clean at Sephora" space across Canada and the USA in Sephora.

Barb Stegemann launched her social enterprise after her best friend, a solider, was severely wounded in Afghanistan. She created The 7 Virtues, a perfume company that ethically sources organic, fair trade essential oils from countries experiencing turmoil, and supports these communities with proceeds of the business.

Barb’s compelling story is sure to ignite more social entrepreneurs at the conference by showing them what social enterprise can accomplish,” said Maggie Matear, Director of Community Economic Development at the Timmins Economic Development Corporation “We’re excited to hear her insights on building a successful social business,” she added.

“The event will give entrepreneurs a chance to hear from experts in social entrepreneurship, and some tools to develop a social enterprise of their own,” said Natasha Chalwell, Social Entrepreneurship Events Coordinator at the Business Enterprise Centre.

Register Now

Social Enterprise Roundtable - Kenora

Learn about social enterprises, discover funding opportunities and create a strategy to develop a social enterprise.

• Hear about the successes and challenges of local NW Ontario businesses in the Social Enterprises in the North Panel 
• Develop your Social Business Plan in a hands on workshop
• Craft your pitch in the Communicating Your Value Workshop
• Peer Mentoring opportunities
• Learn about available resources for Social Enterprises

Keynote Speaker:
  • Shaun Loney – “a ground breaking Canadian Social Entrepreneur.” Shaun Loney has created and established environmentally-friendly green solutions ( from gardening to green energy alternatives) to economies providing employment and prosperity to Aboriginal peoples in Canada. Shaun has co-founded and mentored 11 social enterprises, including BUILD Inc, which won the 2011 Scotia Bank EcoLiving Green Business of the Year, and the 2013 Manitoba Apprenticeship Employer of the Year.

For more information contact Andrea Zappe at or 807-407-5870.

Subsidies available for social enterprises.

Students discount available, contact Andrea for discount code.

Resgister Now

Sault Ste. Marie Innovation Centre

On January 11, 2019 the Sault Ste. Marie Innovation Centre’s Business Development Team engaged in a lively discussion with Maureen Strickland, SEE’s Social Enterprise Development Specialist, on the definition of social enterprise and importance of, and issues surrounding the movement.  In addition to this in-depth discussion of the role of social enterprise in business development and the larger economy and culture, Maureen also delivered training in how to assist social entrepreneurs in measuring impact and gave an overview of funding available to social entrepreneurs in the region.  As the social enterprise sector develops in Northern Ontario Maureen is seeing a growing demand for deeper discussion on the sector, advanced training and a desire to develop programming that fills in regional gaps in the social enterprise ecosystem.

Venture Centre

The Venture Centre CFDC presented a cheque from its Special Initiative Fund to the Business Enterprise Centre for the Timmins Social Enterprise Roundtable event.  We thank them for their partnership.

Spotlight Series: I Believe

I Believe is a clothing line with a worthy cause based in Kenora, Ontario. The clothing line was started by Anto Raic through his passion for clothing and helping people believe in themselves. He always knew he wanted to start his own clothing line, so he combined that with his love of sports to give back to the community. The long term goal is to start an athletic institute and a youth center in Kenora, Ontario.

"The I Believe Athletic Institute will be a place where all people can train all year long, whether they are athletes or not. The I Believe Youth Centre will be a place to help the youth learn to love themselves and find other things they love." Anto Raic strongly believes that love is important for personal development. He wants people to understand that the entire business model is about love. "If you could fill yourself with love, you represent the clothing line perfectly. There so much evil and hate in the world, I want this clothing line to represent love and believing in yourself."
Though Anto has had this plan in mind for years, he finally put it all into motion a few months ago around October. He started off with a lot of social media promotion and generated enough interest to sell out his stock completely twice and is currently processing his third round of products. He decided to develop his business plan as he goes because of how fast it caught on once he started promoting on social media. He has bought the business name and is processing the trademark on the logo, which demonstrates the newness of this enterprise.

Anto says he came up with this idea while training for basketball and had wanted to do it for years, but life happened and he had trouble with his confidence. "I was always insecure and looking to others for approval so that I could realise my dreams. One day I just realized that I'm never going to accomplish anything if I'm worried about what other people are going to think or say. I want to help people learn to love themselves. If you don't love yourself, you're going to have a hard go at life." The I Believe clothing line is designed to help combat insecurities in people of all ages because it helps you to remember to believe in yourself.
Though a large part of his mission is about the youth, Anto feels that it is also important to promote self-love for adults. "Adults struggle too, we all struggle. It's important for adults to believe in themselves too because they are the ones leading by example."

Anto is originally from Bosnia, moved to Niagra during his youth and eventually moved to Kenora to get away from the big city while training for basketball. Now he volunteers as a sports coach for kids at a gym in Rat Portage, near Kenora. Part of the profits from I Believe is going to help buy new equipment for the youth to use. "I fell in love with the area and the groups I work with. It's so easy to take the wrong path in life and I just want to help them believe in themselves."

You can find more information on I Believe at Anto also has a Facebook and Instagram page for I Believe, that you can find through a link on his website.
Thank you to our Partners and Funders!
Copyright © 2018, NORDIK Institute, All rights reserved.

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NORDIK Institute - [SEE] Social Enterprise and Entrepreneurship Northern Region Partnership · 1520 Queen Street East, Sault Ste. Marie, ON, Canada · Sault Ste. Marie, ON P6A 2G4 · Canada

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