Third Annual Roundtable Discussions: Social Enterprise and Higher Education Institutions

WUSC is pleased to announce that we will host our third annual roundtable discussion for members on Thursday November 22, 2018. This year’s theme will be “Social Enterprise and Higher Education Institutions: Optimizing Development Impact”. The event will take place in the afternoon, following a workshop for WUSC members who are new to the Student Refugee Program (SRP).

In recent years, there has been a great deal of interest around social enterprise and social entrepreneurship, in Canada and globally. We have seen the rapid rise of a plethora of start-up incubators, competitions and training on campuses. There has also been a growing interest from civil society organizations, private sector, governments and donors in these models and the potential they offer for inclusive economic growth, including in under-resourced communities in the global South.

At the same time, there remains very little evidence or examples of social enterprises which have achieved significant scale – an important step if social enterprises are to play a role in contributing meaningfully to inclusive economic development.

The roundtable discussion will explore a number of questions, including: What role can Canadian universities play in aiding social enterprises to scale up in Canada and globally? What kind of partnerships with nonprofits, governments, Southern Universities and financiers, are needed to make this happen? What role can WUSC and our network play to support a more robust ecosystem for internally engaged social enterprises?


A former International Seminar participant shares entrepreneurial know-how with the next generation of participants in La Paz, Bolivia. She created her own accessories and apparel brand now being sold in Bolivia and abroad. Photo: Cécile Robert.


We will bring together Canadian and international experts to share case studies and promising practices, and explore challenges related to this issue with a particular focus on scale and the potential of social enterprises in low-resource contexts.

The event will take place in Ottawa following the 2018 Canadian Bureau for International Education (CBIE) conference. Registration and venue information will follow, along with an agenda.

We hope to see you in Ottawa in November!


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