VANCOUVER - On Friday April 27, the BC Social Innovation Council presented to government their Action Plan Recommendations to Maximize Social Innovation in British Columbia.
The plan charts out a course for government, businesses, non-profits and communities in British Columbia that sparks action now, while providing a strong foundation for the future.
The BC Social Innovation Council incorporated feedback from individuals and organizations in the community and non-profit sectors, as well as youth, academic, business and government stakeholders in its recommendations, which focus on five key areas:
- Supporting social enterprise.
- Legislative and regulatory environment.
- Social innovation labs and design processes.
- Engaging everyone.
- Learning and research.
The council was established in February 2011, to assist the Province in seeking new and innovative ways to help B.C. communities tackle some of their most pervasive social challenges. The council represents government, community and business agencies that are interested in social entrepreneurship, including credit unions, foundations, academics, local and provincial governments, along with business, investors, and social entrepreneurs and innovators. All council members have volunteered their time and expertise to move social innovation forward in B.C.
The Province has also established a Social Innovation Assistant Deputy Minister's (ADM) Committee, with the goal of maximizing social innovation within government and acting on the recommendations of the new council and previous committee recommendations. Both the BC Social Innovation Council and the ADM Committee report to Gordon Hogg, B.C.'s first parliamentary secretary for social innovation.
The council's work complements the Non-Profit Partnerships Summit: Collective Impact through Social Innovation, which was held in November 2011. The summit brought all sectors together for the first time to discuss innovation and create a made-in-B.C. model for social innovation, and fulfilled a throne speech commitment to host a summit on social innovation with non-profit organizations.
To read the BC Social Innovation Council's action plan or for more information on the BC Social Innovation Council, visit: www.socialinnovationbc.ca
To get involved in social innovation discussions, visit: www.innovatebc.ca
For information on an upcoming social innovation challenge in the province - BC Ideas - visit www.BCIdeas.ca
A backgrounder follows.
Ministry of Social Development
April 30, 2012 Ministry of Social Development
BC Social Innovation Council
BC Social Innovation Council recommendations
Social Enterprise Investment Tax Credit
The B.C. government should establish a social enterprise investment tax credit to attract new investors and capital for non-profits and social enterprises and to help build a network of new enterprises.
Government, business and non-profit sectors should implement social procurement requirements to encourage private- and community-sector organizations to develop innovative solutions that benefit the public.
Social Impact Bonds
The private and non-profit sector should partner with the provincial government to create social impact bonds, which are performance-based contracts between social investors, foundations, social enterprises, non-profits and government.
Small and Medium Enterprises (SME)
The Province should include social enterprises under eligibility criteria for government-sponsored business development - programs that target small and medium enterprises and help strengthen the business acumen of charities, non-profits and cooperatives.
Community Contribution Companies (CCCs)
The B.C. government should complete the work to establish CCCs as new corporate structures that combine benefits to the community and limited investor returns within the context of a traditional for-profit company. In March 2012, the Province introduced changes to the Business Corporations Act to allow for the creation of CCCs: http://www2.news.gov.bc.ca/news_releases_2009-2013/2012FIN0011-000240.pdf
Non-Profit Charitable Sector Issues
British Columbia should place social innovation and the sustainability of Canada's non-profit sector as ongoing agenda items for meetings with their federal, provincial and territorial partners.
Social Innovation Labs
Government, community, social enterprises, business and academic sectors should continue to work together to explore the best social innovation labs and design processes from around the globe and begin to apply them to social challenges in B.C.
Online Community Platform
Community, business and government partners should build on B.C. Ideas to establish a permanent online community platform that would showcase B.C. solutions to the world and help stimulate the creation of innovative enterprises and programs throughout the province.
Targeted Strategy for BC First Nations and Aboriginal Communities
First Nations leaders, Aboriginal businesses and organizations, together with government, community organizations, social entrepreneurs, business and academia, should partner to develop a targeted strategy to build social entrepreneurship and social innovation capacity in B.C.'s First Nations and Aboriginal communities.
Build a Network
Partners in the research and education sector should implement a network of education, training, learning, capacity-building and community-based research to develop and support students, youth and Aboriginal entrepreneurs, and social entrepreneurs and innovators.
Partners for Social Impact
A multi-sector group of partners should form Partners for Social Impact, which will expand and continue the work of the council, assist with the implementation of the council's recommendations, identify new opportunities or gaps in the social innovation landscape, support youth and Aboriginal entrepreneurs and innovators, and co-ordinate the collective and independent work being done by social innovators and entrepreneurs in B.C.
Ministry of Social Development