Where to Begin: How Social Innovation is Emerging Across Canadian Campuses

Scaled Purpose has partnered with Calgary's Mount Royal University to release Where to Begin: How Social Innovation is Emerging Across Canadian Campuses, the culmination of months of exploring models that universities have adopted or are exploring to build a culture of, and an ecosystem for, social innovation in campuses. 

This scan seeks to provide the foundation for how campuses and emerging community incubators can consider how to provide engaging and high impact support to students and social entrepreneurs across Canada. Ultimately, we provide recommendations on (1) the important first steps for any university or college, (2) how students can lead the dissemination of a social innovation culture across campus, (3) the importance of terminology and how to use phrases like entrepreneur and changemaker in your favour, (4) tying in your work to the larger community or even global goals, (5) identifying you niche, and ultimately (6) reconsidering the role of universities in a community.

We hope you take a look and please contact us at info@scaledpurpose.com for any questions or inquiries. Also, for those attending the Ashoka U Exchange in New Orleans, keep an eye out for print copies!

Download the report here.

From Social Enterprise to Social Franchise

 From Social Enterprise to Social Franchise, Centre for Social Innovation with Scaled Purpose

From Social Enterprise to Social Franchise, Centre for Social Innovation with Scaled Purpose

We are thrilled to have worked with the Centre for Social Innovation to release the new report From Social Enterprise to Social Franchise: An Introductory Guide to Achieving Scale Through ReplicationThis report conducts a wide scan of what it means to pursue questions of scale. What are those introductory questions you need to ask yourself as you become overwhelmed by demand, or even your own internal excitement to scale. What is the difference between scale, growth, and replication? What does it mean to scale up, or out, or to scale deep? 

Most importantly: do I need a scaling strategy, and what are the next steps?

This report begins to answer some of these questions. That said, as with any good report, this one maybe generates more questions than it answers. Let this be the starting point as you explore the brightly lit, but daunting hill of scale. 

Huge thanks to Kevin Hurley at the Centre for Social Innovation leading this research and report, and for involving Scaled Purpose. We hope you enjoy.

To access this report, you can download it on the CSI website.


It is important to remember too that this guide is not the final word! Take these lessons to heart, and borrow, replicate and remix as much as you can. But also be prepared that you might reach a point where you have to roll up your sleeves and innovate your way to your own scaling model that meets your own social impact ambitions. Social franchising is afterall an innovation on a pre-existing commercial model, so don’t be afraid to look for the next model to innovate on.
— Tonya Surman - Executive Director, CSI

Peer-to-Peer Lending and the Future of Cooperation

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Scaled Purpose contributed research and editing to this report authored by Sean Geobey, Assistant Professor, School of Environment, Enterprise and Development, University of Waterloo.

An entrepreneur born in 1990 has grown up in quite a different world than one born in 1960. Imagine a person born in 1960 opening a restaurant in 1985. She would have relied on traditional outlets such as banks, credit unions, and investors for business capital—unless the venture was self- funded. Many industries in 2015 would be mostly unrecognizable to an observer from 1985, from retail to entertainment to travel. The funding industry is no exception. Today’s 25-year-old entrepreneur is living in a new era of lending where traditional institutions are competing with new alternatives. Instead of going to a bank or credit union for business capital, the 25-year-old entrepreneur can turn to online- enabled crowdfunding platforms. These platforms allow large numbers of people, often strangers, to pool their financial resources to achieve common goals and finance everything from new consumer products to feature length films, charitable causes, and, most recently, consumer loans. There are thousands of crowdfunding platforms, each using a unique business model and financing strategy and targeting a different and increasingly specific niche. 

In this report we investigate the major providers of peer-based lending and analyze the opportunity for credit unions. This type of lending is between identifiable individuals or businesses and harkens back to the long credit union tradition of reputation- based service delivery. It may present opportunities to extend credit union services to new members and provide alternatives to poor and exploitative options. 

Alongside a modernization of and return to core credit union values, the peer-to-peer lending market has major disruptive potential. Online peer-to-peer lending platforms can provide a pipeline to bring in new members who might not otherwise consider a mainstream financial institution as well as a range of new algorithmic tools that can aid in lending decisions.

Full Report is available to Filene Institute Members Only.