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Trico Foundation Announces Finalists for Calgary Social Entrepreneurship Awards

·7 min read

$100,000 in Prize Money Includes a $25,000 Audience Choice Award

CALGARY, AB, Oct. 21, 2021 /CNW/ - Ten social enterprises have been selected as 2021 finalists for What's Next YYC, a biennial award created by the Trico Charitable Foundation in 2019 to celebrate and advance excellence in social entrepreneurship in Calgary.

Photo cred: Kelly Hofer (CNW Group/Trico Charitable Foundation)
Photo cred: Kelly Hofer (CNW Group/Trico Charitable Foundation)

"Each of these finalists push our understanding of the power of business models to solve social problems. Collectively, their diversity, ingenuity, and momentum confirm Calgary is growing as a hub of social entrepreneurship activity," says Dan Overall, Executive Director of the Trico Charitable Foundation.

What's Next YYC features two $25,000 jury prizes, a $25,000 audience choice, and $25,000 the finalists share amongst themselves. The awards will be handed out on Thursday, November 18, 2021, at the virtual Pivot on Purpose Summit (POP).

What's Next YYC 10 finalists (in alphabetical order):

aGRO Systems Inc.: The engine transforming what is unwanted and discarded into something truly unique and valuable. We specialize in collecting and upcycling organic wastes and byproducts into Farm livestock feeds and inputs. We aim to reduce rural poverty of farm families with our affordable livestock feeds, increase access to healthy foods through better connecting farm to table, and reduce emissions through diverting wastes from the landfills. Our main branch of operations diverts beer byproducts from local Calgary Breweries and repurposes them into carbon-reducing feeds for Albertan sheep, poultry, hog and beef ranchers.

CareFind: At CareFind, it's our mission to connect families with child care providers. We create a space where families can find their ideal child care solution, and providers can easily find families looking for child care. The CareFind online directory allows parents to choose from over 2,400 licensed daycares, preschools, out of school care, approved dayhomes, and more, all in one place. We are passionate about building a community of child care where families can trust in connecting to quality child care and resources.

Colouring It Forward: Colouring It Forward is a social enterprise including a not-for-profit organization called CIF Reconciliation Society and a business called Colouring It Forward Inc. The purpose of the social enterprise is to advance education on indigenous issues, art, language and culture through a grassroots approach. We work with elders and artists to share their stories and teachings to help people to connect with Indigenous art and wisdom.

ENABLE: ENABLE breaks down barriers to care for families who have a member with disability. We craft meaningful matches between families with disability and reliable, vetted support workers. We match people based on shared interests. This means our matches build genuine connections that spark long-lasting friendships. With our service, families gain much-needed respite while their family member enjoys recreation, leisure, and skill-building activities in the community with their support worker. People with disability and their families are not the only beneficiaries; ENABLE support workers also benefit. They get paid to have fun, gain practical skills, and build their resume. With competitive wages and a flexible schedule, support work is easily managed alongside other commitments like university classes. We have formed over 100 connections and our support workers have provided nearly 20,000 hours of support. Connect with us to learn how you can ENABLE your community.

Fresh Routes: Fresh Routes is a not-for-profit social enterprise that is focused on creating new, innovative ways of providing healthy and affordable food to as many Canadians as possible—especially those who need it most. Our Mobile Market ensures that everyone has access to affordable, nutritious food, making the healthy choice the easy choice, providing under-served communities with a reliable solution to fresh and affordable food.

Included by Design: Included by Design is the leading for-profit accessibility and disability inclusion company in Canada. We work collaboratively with businesses to help them move beyond building code accessibility and embed disability inclusion for their employees, customers, and investors. By leveraging our ESG expertise, national residential and commercial building code development work, and propriety internationally recognized accessibility standards, we help future-proof businesses against upcoming legislated accessibility standards. But our work doesn't stop there. To enable the full benefit of disability inclusion, our clients are provided with Krooshl - a community marketplace that connects them with the 1 in 5 Canadians who identify as living with a disability.

Local Laundry: Local Laundry is in the business of building community. Through 5 brand pillars, Local Laundry creates an impact through the sale of garments for social good. By manufacturing locally in Canada, Local Laundry is able to reduce their carbon footprint, while ensuring their garments are ethically made. This allows customers, who are both individuals and businesses to reduce their own carbon footprint, and increase the impact their supply chain has. These garments for social good are also used in various fundraising campaigns to raise funds and awareness for various causes and charities across the country with an end goal to raise $1M for local charities by 2030.

Nicerr: Nicerr is a community mentorship platform that enables experienced professionals to give back - by mentoring people from under-represented communities. We partner with nonprofits, educational institutions and socially-responsible companies to make mentorship accessible to everyone. Features like context-based request and one-click scheduling make it super easy for mentors to connect with the right mentees. We also track mentoring time, and use it to fuel gamification elements such as community badges - to recognize mentors' community contributions and keep them engaged.

RetinaLogik: Out of the 2.2 billion people who live with vision impairment, over 1 billion are preventable or treatable with early detection and treatment. Although this problem is most common in developing countries, preventable or treatable conditions cause 75% of cases in Canada. Our social enterprise believes everyone deserves access to quality vision care. We make eye exam technology more intelligent and more accessible. Our life-changing eye exams are smart, portable, and a fraction of the cost. We're partnering with NGOs and health authorities to deliver it as part of a telehealth community care model and get it to people who need it most. RetinaLogik is 94% cheaper than comparable eye exam equipment, portable, battery-powered, and our added layer of AI detection outperforms existing condition detection techniques. Help us to save vision and promote wellness for millions inside and outside Canada.

STARS: STARS has been providing life-saving care to Albertans for 36 years. For the last 12 years this has extended to those working in rural or isolated locations - helping them return home to their families at the end of their workday. STARS Vigilant's sophisticated emergency communications centre provides essential emergency response and safety services for a range of industries across Western Canada.

About What's Next YYC:

What's Next YYC showcases ten exciting Calgary and area based social enterprises that have already won awards or successfully completed a local social enterprise support program. It looks to answer "what's next?" on the journey for these organizations. These awards celebrate excellence, best practices, high standards, advances in, and/or new knowledge relating to social enterprise in Calgary. As a key qualification is having won an award and/or successfully completed a local social enterprise support program, WNYYC also helps identify and link the resources of the social enterprise support community. Click here to see a list of the resources that have supported this year's finalists.

About Pivot on Purpose Summit (POP):

The Pivot on Purpose Summit (POP) is the next step in a movement to reimagine the power of business models to solve social problems. POP is held in collaboration with the Trico Foundation Social Entrepreneurship Centre at the Haskayne School of Business, the Trico Charitable Foundation (TCF) and the NU Community Board. Established in 2008, TCF seeks to close gaps in society by provoking innovation and building capacity in social entrepreneurship. Created by TCF, the NU Community Board is facilitated by young Canadian leaders for young Canadian leaders. NU's goal is to support emerging social impact leaders in the work of closing gaps in society through grants and awards.

The Trico Foundation Social Entrepreneurship Centre at the Haskayne School of Business was established through the generous support of Wayne and Eleanor Chiu's family foundation, the Trico Charitable Foundation.

Trico Charitable Foundation Logo (CNW Group/Trico Charitable Foundation)
Trico Charitable Foundation Logo (CNW Group/Trico Charitable Foundation)

SOURCE Trico Charitable Foundation

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