WE Social Entrepreneurship Centre

Envision the Future with John Manley

Empowering a generation of young social entrepreneurs to tackle society’s greatest challenges.

John Manley, A Champion of Young Social Entrepreneurs

A passionate advocate for growth and innovation, John has made an indelible impact on this country, first during his 16 years in Parliament, and later as a public policy expert, mentor and business leader. As Minister of Industry, John was an early proponent of integrating technology in education, recognizing that innovation would be key to preparing the next generation of Canadians to compete successfully in a growing global marketplace. Later, as Minister of Foreign

Affairs, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, John continued to promote entrepreneurial thinking, adopting new approaches to global challenges and remaining a steadfast advocate for Canada. From 2010 to 2018 as President and Chief Executive of the Business Council of Canada, John was a tireless champion of entrepreneurs, innovators and change-makers, promoting smart public policy that rewards risk-taking and forward-thinking approaches to tackling global challenges. We are incredibly grateful that you have joined us in celebrating John’s legacy as an innovator and thought-leader. Thank you for supporting young social entrepreneurs across Canada.

Watch this video to learn more about John Manley and WE.

About WE

WE is a movement that believes that when we come together, we can create an even better world. Over the last 23 years, WE’s family of organizations (WE Charity and ME to WE Social Enterprise) have created incredible social impact at home and around the world. As Canada’s largest youth service organization, WE engages nearly two million young Canadians each year, empowering them to learn and take action in support of 3,000+ local and global causes. WE is supported by 650+ staff across Canada, who are proud to serve young people from coast to coast to coast in both English and French.

Launching the WE Social Entrepreneurship Centre

Thanks to your support, WE is proud to be launching the WE Social Entrepreneurship Centre (WE SEC), Canada’s first centre for innovative social enterprises for young people under the age of 35. The Centre’s mission will be to support young leaders as they launch and scale social enterprises that apply business solutions to solve some of the world’s most pressing issues. The Centre will bring to life two streams of programming that will empower Canada’s young people to tackle society’s greatest challenges by merging charity and business to create a sustainable impact.

Program One—Movement: WE will inspire a national movement of young social entrepreneurs by leveraging the WE Schools network of 7,000 Canadian schools, colleges and universities to provide curriculum, resources, mentorship and connections in the sector to launch micro-social enterprises. Program Two—Scale Up: WE will offer multi-year deep support to young people who have a highly scalable social enterprise. We will incubate and accelerate ventures with a mission of leveraging business solutions to address local and global concerns.

Mentoring Young Social Entrepreneurs, Empowering Real Solutions

Charities address important societal concerns, but often rely on outdated models, and lack financial stability to innovate and scale their impact. Businesses have proven an exponential ability to grow and innovate, but traditional enterprise models do not have an inherent mandate to solve society’s greatest challenges. Thanks to your partnership, the WE Social Entrepreneurship Centre will support young leaders across Canada, with a focus on reaching priority populations such as female entrepreneurs, new Canadians and Indigenous young people.

With your support, the Centre’s programming will have dual outcomes:

• The Centre will empower young people under the age of 35, a group that faces significant challenges entering the workforce and advancing their careers, helping them to chart a better future through social entrepreneurship. • Secondly, the social entrepreneurship ventures launched through the Centre will help solve or address societal challenges.

Program 1: Movement

The WE Social Entrepreneurship Centre will provide programs and support that empower youth to create their own micro social enterprises. Leveraging the WE Schools network of 7,000 Canadian schools, colleges and universities, we will engage young people through tailored curricular resources, small group coaching sessions, hack-a-thons and mentorship. This builds on the success of WE Are Social Entrepreneurs, an existing joint program of WE and RBC Future Launch. We will celebrate the incredible ideas of young people and their spirit of social entrepreneurship at our signature WE Day events. Each year these youth empowerment events bring 250,000+ like-minded youth together in stadiums in cities around the world. We are currently continuing to launch and push the “movement” to bring more young people across Canada together, creating hundreds of initiatives through micro social enterprises to plant seeds of benefit across the country. The Scale Up program will elevate social enterprises to their full potential to create industry leaders. Through rigorous vetting, select young people and their ventures from the “movement” program will be invited into a multi-year deep incubation and acceleration program to help launch their initiatives at scale. Scale Up will devote resources in two key areas to help lead big changes: I. Business support: support services geared toward business needs, for example human resources, productization, finance, legal and accounting. II. Social impact support: support services to develop deep integration of social impact across the venture; for example, toward working with at-risk populations, accessibility and measuring and validating social impact. We are currently working with the government on the planning and logistics of the Scale Up program to ensure it’s success. Program 2: Scale Up

“By creating the WE Social Entrepreneurship Centre, we want to empower young people and transform the way Canadian society addresses today’s most pressing issues through social innovation.” Craig Kielburger, WE Co-founder

Social Entrepreneurship Program

WE has extensive experience engaging young social entrepreneurs to become powerful influencers of change and the next wave of leaders. Currently, our Social Entrepreneurship Program works with innovative, hardworking and ambitious young people from Grade 9 to the first year of university, and provides them with skills on developing a business model, start-up financing, branding, budgeting and pitching. participating youth have been wonderful; with 86% of participating youth agreeing with each of the following impact statements: “Because of the program …” • My personal goals were achieved. • I have a clearer understanding on what is a social entrepreneur. • I am confident in bringing my business plan to life. The positive impacts of the Social Entrepreneurship Program on

The business plans that the youth have created to date tackle a variety of social issues such as food insecurity, education and women’s rights. One group of participating young female innovators is working on creating an online platform for women who are leaders in the STEM field to provide mentorship to other young girls who are interested in the field. Thanks to your support of the WE Social Entrepreneurship Centre (WE SEC), we will build on this foundation of empowering young people to change the world and create the next generation of change-makers. Through the WE SEC, we will expand our ability to welcome more young entrepreneurs and provide them with state-of-the-art resources and training to make their dreams a reality.

“The amount of extensive support and guidance we received from the mentors was the reason why I recommend this program to our future innovators and world changers. The loving and supporting mentors who made us smile and laugh while making us work hard on our projects and look at our projects innovatively and critically is what made the program so special.” Youth, Social Entrepreneurship Program

Thank You for Your Support

We are deeply grateful for your commitment in honouring John Manley’s retirement from his position as President and Chief Executive Officer of the Business Council of Canada, by supporting a legacy of mentorship and inspiration of young entrepreneurs to make social change, through your support of the WE Social Entrepreneurship Centre.

Together, we will empower a generation of young social entrepreneurs to tackle society’s greatest challenges.

Thank you.

Thank You for Your Support

We would like to offer a huge thank you to our other supporters:

Founding Champion:

Thor Richardson

Founding Partners:


Jon Love




Thank You

We are deeply grateful for your support of the WE Social Entrepreneurship Centre.

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