Social Entrepreneurship Summit unites business, non-profit, academic and government leaders in advancing social change

    One-day conference builds momentum and support within Canada's burgeoning
    social entrepreneurship movement

    TORONTO, Dec. 4 /CNW/ - Over 250 business, non-profit, academic and
social thought leaders from the social entrepreneurship sector in Canada
convene today for a full day of inspiration and engagement on ways to address
some of the most significant social, economic and environmental issues facing
Canada and the world.
    An often under-recognized community, social entrepreneurs work to
catalyze systemic social change through new ideas, products, services,
methodologies and changes in attitude. The work of social entrepreneurs is
increasingly important as a means of addressing social problems in an
innovative and effective manner.
    "The Summit represents a defining moment for the social entrepreneurship
sector and its coming of age in Canada," says David Pecaut, Chair of the
Summit and senior partner with The Boston Consulting Group. "This new model of
social change is distinctively appropriate for mobilizing talent, markets, and
capital to bring innovation to some of our most challenging and intractable
social issues. Government leaders, corporate leaders, and funders are
realizing the breadth and importance of this movement."
    Through a series of workshops and panel discussions social entrepreneurs
from across Canada will extend their networks and share experiences in finding
innovative and high impact ways to address some of the most pressing issues of
our times.
    "Canada needs to distinguish, celebrate and support the opportunities for
social entrepreneurship in this country," says Tim Brodhead, President and
Chief Executive Officer of The. J. W. McConnell Family Foundation. "This event
is the first of its kind - it is supporting the growth of these initiatives
and advancing the need to promote social entrepreneurship at the local,
regional and global levels."
    Hosted in partnership by MaRS Centre, The Boston Consulting Group (BCG),
the Centre for Social Innovation and the Toronto City Summit Alliance, the
event has attracted social entrepreneurs from across Canada as well as the
country's top social venture funders, academics, business leaders, and
government representatives. The Summit program was developed with the support
of an advisory committee drawn from the social entrepreneurship community.
Participants and panelists include:

    Tzeporah Berman                      Michel Labbé
    Forest Ethics, Cortez Island         Options for Homes, Toronto

    Tim Brodhead                         David LePage
    McConnell Foundation, Montréal       Enterprising Non Profits, Vancouver

    Ethel Côté                           Honourable Madeleine Meilleur
    L'Art du developpement, Ottawa       Ministry of Community and Social
                                         Services, Government of Ontario

    Tim Draimin                          Rod Schwartz
    Tides Canada Foundation, Vancouver   Catalyst Fund Management & Research
                                         Ltd., UK

    Michele Giddens                      Tonya Surman
    Bridges Community Ventures, UK       Centre for Social Innovation,

    Pamela Hartigan                      Ilse Treurnicht
    Schwab Foundation, Geneva            MaRS, Toronto

    Tom Heintzman                        Bill Young
    Bullfrog Power, Toronto              Social Capital Partners, Toronto

    Scott Hughes                         Honourable John Wilkinson
    VanCity, Vancouver                   Ministry of Research and Innovation,
                                         Government of Ontario

    Reinforcing the belief that innovation occurs in every sector and touches
each community in the province of Ontario, the Government of Ontario has been
generous in its support of the Summit. This partnership ensures that the
social and economic benefits of innovation continue to be supported and the
sharing of learning and best practices is made available to all citizens in
Ontario and Canada as a whole.

    Social leaders, academics and entrepreneurs will address topics of
relevance to social entrepreneurs and also discuss innovative ways to handle
some of this century's most pressing and significant concerns. Topics include:

    -   The state of Social Entrepreneurship in Canada
    -   Learnings from Abroad
    -   Scaling Social Entrepreneurship in Canada
    -   Creating an Enabling Environment

    In parallel with the Summit, Canada joins 26 other countries in awarding
the prestigious Schwab Foundation 'Social Entrepreneur of the Year Award'. The
Canadian winner will be announced at the Summit's closing dinner the evening
of December 4, 2007. He or she will be invited to join other past and present
international award winners at the annual Summit for Outstanding Social
Entrepreneurs of the Schwab Foundation in January 2008 in Switzerland, to
showcase their success in addressing some of the world's biggest social,
environmental and economic problems.
    "Social entrepreneurs are natural leaders who apply practical, innovative
and sustainable approaches to benefit society in general," says Tonya Surman,
Executive Director of the Centre for Social Innovation and Green Enterprise
Toronto. "As drivers of change, they are cultivating a unique approach to
economic and social problems that cut across all sectors and disciplines. We
need this new way of thinking to address the ongoing and extremely tough
issues in our society - starting first in Canada."
    Further information on the Social Entrepreneurship Summit can be found

For further information:

For further information: or to arrange an interview, please contact:
Dorenda McNeil, Counsel Public Relations, Tel: (416) 961-5898 x 216, Cell:
(416) 300-0269

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