One comment on “SOCIAL ENTREPRENEURSHIP: The Missing Piece to Our Social Policy Puzzle

  1. I couldn’t agree more! Unfortunately, I do think that there are many barriers that such start-up enterprises currently face – not only in Alberta, but globally. Such barriers include a variety of subjects that at first glance might seem quite unrelated, but upon being more closely considered many turn out to be pieces of the same puzzle. For instance, the installment of counter-intuitive intellectual property laws and subsequent international agreements can impede or even prevent the occurrence of innovation for social entrepreneurs – at the very least, reducing the profitability of social enterprises by way of increasing operating costs that result from royalty responsibilities and the like. Similarly, the cost of bringing a good to market or providing a service is most often higher for smaller start-up companies than it is for larger companies offering competitive products and services. As a result, the size of the consumer base(s) that are able to purchase a product can be significantly reduced with every additional dollar added to the price of a product or service (e.g. those who are most reliant on social assistance or even those earning lower incomes that do not depend on such programs might only be able to afford those products or services that are offered at lower cost than their competitors’). Of course, these are only two examples of such obstacles…

    There are effective ways to eliminate or weaken such barriers through government subsidies, grants and other forms of assistance (including those of a non-monetary nature. Similarly, larger, socially responsible companies that are a step or two to the right of the social enterprises on the return on investment (ROI) continuum can also play a key role in helping the neighbors to their left on the continuum succeed.

    I’m currently working on a few ideas that might help facilitate change in these areas. Perhaps we can put our heads together at some point in the (relatively) near future!

    Keep up the great work! I’m definitely looking forward to seeing more of the positive results!!

    ~ Gary Reinsch

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