Buy Social Canada May Newsletter
Here's the latest in social enterprise and social procurement news
Upcoming deadlines for social value supplier training
Are you interested in responding to RFPs and finding new markets for your services? Or maybe you want to improve how you communicate your impact?

To support capacity-building, we offer Procurement for Social Value Suppliers, and Storytelling for Social Value Suppliers, two courses offered as part of the SUPER Project, a suite of tools, resources and training to elevate the capacity of social enterprises and other suppliers with a social purpose (i.e. B Corps, diverse-owned businesses, and more) to access procurement opportunities.

These courses are a great place to grow your skills, for only $60 per participant!

Upcoming registration deadlines:

  • The next cohort of Storytelling for Social Value Suppliers is fast approaching on May 19. Register by May 5 to save your space.

  • The next cohort of Procurement for Social Value Suppliers begins next month on June 9. Register by May 26 to attend.

We look forward to connecting with you. Reach out to with any questions.
Choose the right purchasing strategy for your goals
Social procurement’s purpose is based on the goals of the buyer. You decide what you need to buy, the best tactic to use for the procurement, and where you can create impact.

Read this blog post for practical steps you can take to choose the right tactics for your desired outcomes, and create impact through your purchasing decisions.
Welcome Erin Mackie, new Director of Social Enterprise and Engagement
We're thrilled to be welcoming a new Director of Social Enterprise and Engagement: Erin Mackie.

A long-time collaborator in the Community Economic Development sector, Erin brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to this new role.

Q: What is your background with social procurement and social enterprise?

A: I worked in co-operative development for 16 years internationally, and also worked with co-operatives across Canada in that time.

In addition to my work with co-operatives, I completed an MBA in Community Economic Development at Cape Breton University in 2006, and worked with CCEDNet on the national Social Enterprise Ecosystem (S4ES) program from 2017-2021. Buy Social Canada was a key partner on S4ES, where I was first introduced to the team.

Q: What are you looking forward to in this new role?

A: I'm looking forward to engaging with social enterprises! I'm excited to use social procurement as a tool, and to build the capacity of social enterprises to engage in social procurement opportunities fully. There's so much potential that we're just scratching the surface of right now. Buy Social Canada has been leading this important work, and through this role we can do even more.

Q: What is your vision for what a marketplace revolution can look like?

A: Ultimately, where every purchasing decision we make has full accountability in terms of impact socially, environmentally and economically. I hope for my son's generation that this is just an automatic calculation that happens, that it is deeply integrated into the way we think about our economy as a whole.

Q: Anything else people should know?

A: I've spent my career trying to figure out how to connect people and organizations, focused on building trust and relationships with people. When I think about my role here, I'm here to build and strengthen relationships, and make those connections.
Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo pilots Social Value Questionnaire on bids
Buy Social Canada continues to support the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo (RMWB) as they implement their Social Procurement Program.

Currently, the Municipality is piloting a Social Procurement Questionnaire on RFxs, and is collaborating with local Indigenous peoples and Nations to strengthen their Indigenous Procurement policy and practices.

We look forward to seeing the positive social, environmental, cultural and economic impacts of RMWB's Social Procurement Program.
City of Vancouver's Community Benefits Agreement Policy creates positive impact and opportunity
As part of their work to fulfill the City of Vancouver's CBA targets for local and diverse hiring and social procurement, PCL Construction, the general contractor on the New St. Paul's Hospital Project, has made many purchases from social enterprises in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside, supporting community wellbeing and economic development.

Here's what one PCL administrator has to say about their experience purchasing from Buy Social Canada Certified Social Enterprise Potluck Catering:

"We have used Potluck a couple of times and have been very happy with them. Both times were not a lot of notice for them, but they accommodated us and the feedback was great. Everyone enjoyed the food and had enough to eat. I really appreciate that they include water in their lunch boxes and their prices are still very reasonable. As well, Darcy is great to work with. Thank you for giving me their information – it is a win/win situation and they are definitely my “go-to” now."
British Columbia Social Procurement Initiative updates: P-Card training, welcome new member Town of Creston, and a Purchasing Power Recap
Join Leah Hamilton (Government of BC) and the British Columbia Social Procurement Initiative (BCSPI) at an upcoming webinar to learn how to use P-Cards to achieve your social procurement goals and create big impact from low dollar-value purchases.

Register now (BCSPI Members join for free through the Member Home).
BCSPI welcomes new member, Town of Creston. As they onboard, their team will go through training and consulting to support their strategic goals with purchasing that benefits people, planet and community.

Interested in becoming a member? Reach out to Rob Fisher at
The BCSPI Purchasing Power series features leaders who are putting the principles of a social value marketplace into action, and explores how local governments and institutions can use purchasing power to address the issues that are growing community priorities.

During the Winter of 2021-2022, BCSPI hosted the first five events in the series, to explore how social procurement can engage Indigenous businesses, support local economies, increase food security, support diversity and inclusion, and address climate change.

Sign up for the BCSPI newsletter to stay informed about future events.
Spring AB Seed Reconvene: Social Innovation and Social Finance Engagement
Join AB Seed for a day of engagement exploring how we might collectively increase the scale and coordination of the social impact of Alberta's Economy.

This live, in-person event will be an opportunity for community members to interact and drive the conversation about the social innovation/social finance ecosystem.

Takes place in Red Deer, AB on:

Tuesday, May 10, 2022
9:30 AM – 4:30 PM MDT

York University launches a Social Procurement Vendor Portal
York University in Ontario is expanding its vendor diversity and social impact through a new Social Procurement Vendor Portal. By actively identifying and contracting with social enterprises and diverse-owned businesses, the University is helping to advance economic growth and reducing barriers to commerce. 

Learn more about York’s Social Procurement Policy and the Social Procurement Vendor Portal on their website

If you have questions, contact Brent Brodie at
New report: Financing Social Solutions through Outcomes Procurement
In a new report, Buy Social Canada Certified Social Enterprise Encompass Co-op and Canada West Foundation outline a new model to support social enterprises and other social value suppliers: Outcomes Procurement.

Through the use of procurement to engage non-profits, governments can shift from crises response and management to ending social problems.

Social Enterprise World Forum launches 2022 event with a hybrid model
Social Enterprise World Forum (SEWF) is the flagship event for the global social enterprise community, providing space for purpose-led people, policymakers, philanthropists, intermediaries and entrepreneurs to connect, learn and be inspired.

Join us at the two-day experience on September 28-29, 2022.

The themes for 2022 are:
  • Indigenous Social Enterprise
  • Climate Solutions
  • Excellence & Failure
  • Unusual Suspects
  • Policy & Systems

In 2022, the event is hybrid with options for digital and in-person participation. Book today to access the Early Bird discount (closes May 31)!

Finding safety and purpose at Mission Possible: Shirley's story
Mission Possible addresses barriers to employment by providing supportive, transitional employment for those who are ready to enter, or re-enter, the workforce. They currently run two enterprises, MP Maintenance and MP Neighbours, that employ an average of 90 individuals per year in transitional jobs. Their work can be summed up in the phrase “Empowerment Through Opportunity.”

Read Shirley's story to learn about the impacts that Certified Social Enterprises like Mission Possible make in the lives of countless individuals and communities.
Flavours of Hope—helping women refugees become food entrepreneurs
Angeles Canedo shares her story in this article from New Canadian Media, which also provides information about the work Certified Social Enterprise Flavours of Hope does to support "newcomer women not just adapt, but really flourish in all senses: socially, economically, culturally, and to feel that place of belonging through cooking, storytelling, and entrepreneurship.”

Read the article to learn more.
Gift forward at the Vancouver Social Enterprise Marketplace
If you're in the Vancouver area, plan a visit to the Social Enterprise Marketplace at the Bentall Centre Pop-Ups.

The Social Enterprise Marketplace offers the community an opportunity to purchase from and learn more about the Buy Social Canada Certified Social Enterprises. It's the perfect place to visit and buy a gift that gives back, or treat yourself.

The Marketplace, located at #304 595 Burrard Street in the retail concourse between Purdy’s Chocolate Shop and Canada Post, will be open until May 13. Hours of operation are Monday to Friday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. 
Beam Green Retrofits Inc.

Beam is the first Employment Social Enterprise in the Jane Finch community of Toronto. They offer energy efficiency building retrofit and general contracting services to a range of sectors in the community including multi-residential buildings, commercial and industrial buildings, and institutions.

Beam hires racialized youth with barriers to mainstream employment, provides paid skills training and wrap around support, and links employees to quality, stable employment.

Buy Social Canada
910-1050 West Pender St
Vancouver, BC V6E 3S7