Buy Social Canada January Newsletter
Here's the latest in social enterprise and social procurement news
Social value isn’t just nice, it’s necessary: The marketplace revolution in 2024 and beyond
This year we celebrate the 10th anniversary of Buy Social Canada. Beyond the growth and successes of 2023, the past decade has seen a paradigm shift in the marketplace as we’ve collaborated with peers to shift the market from transactional to transformational.

Read our new year's blog post to reflect on the past year, and past decade, and get a sneak peek at what we've got planned for 2024.

This year, let's get rich in community capital.
City of Vancouver CBA Policy boosts construction sector impact on local projects
Construction projects have the potential to build more than just structures, they can create additional benefits for community. In Vancouver, the City’s Community Benefit Agreements (CBA) Policy is currently applied to several projects throughout the city which are exceeding targets, creating jobs for equity-deserving groups and supporting local businesses and social enterprises.

Read our blog post to get the latest data and stories that show how the City's CBA policy is boosting construction sector impact in the local community, exemplified by the story of EMBERS and PCL employee Natalia:

“Being an immigrant is a massive challenge because you must start everything from scratch. We have three kids, and it was critical to get a job as soon as we landed in Canada. EMBERS made this possible and immediately gave me a work opportunity with PCL, even though I had yet to gain construction experience. Working at PCL through EMBERS has been a life-changing experience for our family,” Natalia explains.

Photo courtesy of EMBERS Staffing.
Low cost, high value: invest in your social procurement journey for 2024
We want to support you on your social procurement journey in 2024. Develop or deepen your social procurement implementation by signing on as a Buy Social Canada Engage Member.

At $3,000 annually, the Engage Package is a low-cost, high-value option for organizations of any size to get started with social procurement or to maintain connection to evolving best practices.

With the Engage Package you get:
  • Breadth of learning with an Introductory Webinar for your full team
  • Depth of learning for one champion who will be certified as a social procurement professional
  • Access to a range of networking and learning events
  • Opportunity mapping to find suppliers
  • Public recognition for your engagement
  • Customizable consulting time to suit your needs

Contact Niamh O'Sullivan to get signed on and take your impact to the next level this year.
We're thrilled to welcome three new Community Champions: Tapestry Community Capital, ECPAR, and LOCO BC. Community Champions are the individuals and organizations that support our mission to promote and advance social procurement activities within their networks and communities.
Tapestry Community Capital provides a funding solution for charities, non-profits and co-operatives through community bonds and impact investing.

ECPAR is a network of sustainable procurement leaders in Quebec. More than 20 of Quebec's major purchasers are members, along with many community stakeholders.

LOCO BC is a non-profit that conducts research, education and engagement to advance buy local campaigns and local economic development. They also have a directory of Local BC businesses.
Join a 2024 cohort of the Social Procurement Professional Certificate course
Register now to save your spot in a cohort of the Social Procurement Professional Certificate course and take a deep dive on social procurement design, implementation and culture change.

Upcoming cohorts:

February 2024 Cohort:
February 7, 14, 21 and 28, 2024 from 10am – 12pm PT / 1 – 3pm ET
(Application deadline: January 24; Early bird deadline: December 27)

April 2024 Cohort:
April 9, 16, 23 and 30, 2024 from 10am – 12pm PT / 1 – 3pm ET
(Application deadline: March 26; Early bird deadline: February 27)

Register now to save your spot.
Join us virtually on February 1 to celebrate David LePage's career and retirement
Join us online for David LePage’s retirement party to celebrate his incredible career and impacts in the social procurement and social enterprise ecosystem.

February 1, 2024
3:30pm – 4:00pm PT / 6:30pm -7:00pm ET
Celebration and speeches online via zoom

Niagara region explores social procurement
Regional Municipality of Niagara and City of St. Catherines are both exploring developing and implementing social procurement programs.

This article in The Pointer explores the regional activities to advance social procurement, and features insights from Buy Social Canada's COO, Tori Williamson.

Welcome Joséphine to the Buy Social Canada team!
Joséphine Adegnon began her career in purchasing in the energy sector in France, then in the automotive industry in Germany, before moving into the social economy field. In Canada, she has worked on the development of social enterprises and cooperatives, and managed non-profit organizations. Working for Buy Social Canada is a great way to leverage her experience in procurement and her passion for creating a positive impact.

As a Social Procurement Consultant, Josephine works with clients to help them advance social procurement within their organization's culture and practices to generate community benefits and opportunities.

Outside of work, you can find Josephine on a handball court with her teammates, sampling Toronto restaurants, cooking or exploring other countries.
B.C. Provincial Health Services Authority awards multimillion dollar contract to Indigenous-owned Certified Social Enterprise MSS Ltd.
Congratulations to Medical, Surgical and Safety Supplies (MSS) Ltd., the owners of Certified Social Enterprise Authentic Indigenous Value Supply Chain Alliance (AIVSCA), for winning a major contract with the BC Provincial Health Services Authority!

As a social enterprise, MSS is committing 51 per cent of the net proceeds to Indigenous communities in the Northern and Interior Health regions in BC.

The Vancouver Sun shares more details:

"The partnership, nearly two years in the making, is a deal between an Indigenous-owned business and the Provincial Health Services Authority to provide Indigenous-branded medical gloves to Northern and Interior health authorities in an agreement dubbed the “reconciliation glove project.”

“This is a little bit about business, but it’s more about reconciliation,” said James Hiebert, a member of the Mohawk Nation’s Turtle clan and president of Medical, Surgical and Safety Supplies (MSS) Ltd., an Indigenous-owned and operated Northwest Territories medical supply firm.

“Part of reconciliation is economic reconciliation, and that means getting Indigenous groups on the road to self-determination,” said Hiebert."

Edmonton social enterprises SPICE and Newo collaborate to bring renewable energy to non-profits
Certified Social Enterprises Newo and Solar Power Cooperative of Edmonton (SPICE) are collaborating on wêyôtan: The Abundance Project, to create a replicable financing model for energy-efficiency retrofits across the province of Alberta. Their financing vehicle will provide investors with opportunities to support projects that stimulate the local economy, create jobs for people facing barriers to employment, and provide clean-energy accessibility for non-profits and charities.

The first pilot project was completed to install a 30-kw solar-PV array on Bissell Thrift Shop, while providing training to Bissell Centre clients along the way, and more projects are in the works.

Watch the video to learn more.
Certified Social Enterprise DICED Culinary School Earns Coveted Accreditation from Tourism HR Canada
DICED Culinary School, an industry pioneer, proudly announces its recent accreditation under Tourism HR Canada's prestigious SMART + Accreditation Program.

“DICED isn't just a school; it's a creative hub, a place where passion for the culinary arts thrives," says Don Guthro, Founder and Chef Director. “I'm elated by this recognition. It signifies not only a milestone in our journey but also underscores our commitment to creating enriching and accessible education.”

DICED's innovative education model ensures accessibility, reaching aspiring chefs and industry professionals throughout Canada. The recent accreditation not only validates the excellence of DICED's programming but also positions the institution as a hub for quality education in the culinary arts. So far, 472 students have graduated from this one of a kind program.

Memorial University Press releases place-based social enterprise book
A new book from Memorial University Press shares a new framework for exploring how place-based social enterprises reimagine and revitalize communities. Born out of engaged research in rural Newfoundland and Labrador, the PLACE Framework offers principles and lessons for community development.

"Amazing! The compelling community stories make an engaging read for everyone - highly recommend!" - David LePage, Buy Social Canada

"An insightful journey exploring how social enterprise can build community. Essential - and enjoyable - reading." - David Miller, C40 Centre for City Climate Policy and Economy

Flavours of Hope shares stories of impact from 2023
It's fantastic to see the special story of Certified Social Enterprise Flavours of Hope and Angeles' journey featured by CBC News.

Watch the video to learn about the inspiration behind this social enterprise, and how they empower newcomer women through a food business incubator program.

Or read Flavours of Hope's 2023 Impact Report to learn more about how this social enterprise is changing lives through food.
BudgieBox continues collaboration with Destination Vancouver
For the past five years, Social Purchasing Partner Destination Vancouver and Certified Social Enterprise BudgieBox have continued a partnership for Destination Vancouver's annual holiday lunch.

BudgieBox is contracted to create and install table centrepieces full of treats from other social enterprises and social value suppliers. Hundreds of attendees are introduced to the stories and products of local social enterprises each holiday season through this partnership.

Buy Social Canada
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Vancouver, BC V6E 3S7