We believe in the power of social ventures to address some of the most pressing social issues we face today. Our unique expertise lies in creating successful social ventures through human-centred design principles, while entrenching business performance and social outcomes throughout the development process. Our aim is, together with social entrepreneurs, to create, launch, and scale social ventures for better outcomes in our communities.
By virtue of our networks and our ability to call on deep expertise from a large community of planners and engineers, our Social Venture Development team focuses on ventures that are in deep alignment with our core strengths and those of our network. These may include such areas as community health, accessibility, renewable energy, water and food security, housing, and inclusion.
Depending on the stage that a social venture is at when our team begins work with them, we generally engage in the following process elements: empathize, create, launch, scale, and after care.
Empathize: Understanding the problem
Creating impactful social ventures begins with understanding the community that you wish to serve. We work closely with you to understand the areas of need, your role as an actor in it, and how to work alongside that community to create sustainable solutions.
Create: Ideate, prototype, and test
Once we have a sense of the problem you want to engage, we work with you through ideation, prototyping, and community-testing cycles to ensure your solutions are market-viable and socially impactful.
Launch: Getting started
Together we develop your business plan, your incorporation and governance model, your legal frameworks, and your preliminary marketing and communications tools. These steps can include securing seed financing, office space, and access to our networks so that you may engage with early potential clients. We also establish a mentoring team of industry experts to help guide you.
Scale: Growing your impact
Once you’ve made it through a successful launch phase, we work to support the scaling of your venture. This includes a scaling business plan, secondary marketing and communications tools, secondary financing and potential for impact-related investment, and extended access to our networks for clients and mentorship.
After Care: Joining the Community
Once a sustainable track record is established, we maintain a strong community-based relationship with your venture. We provide ongoing coaching support and the potential for ongoing access to mentors and clients, including impact investor networks, and the potential for creation and participation in joint events, projects, sales, and impacts.
Social Venture Development looks different every time, and each venture has different needs. Look through our case studies and project descriptions to see what that can look like with different types of social ventures.
what we’re working on
OGO Car Share Co-Op
Kanuu Indigenous Innovation
Universal Access Design
In 2017 Urban Matters CCC partnered with Stan Leyenhorst (formerly of the Rick Hansen Foundation) to support the development of Universal Access Design Inc. (www.uadi.ca), an accessibility consulting and education social venture. Aspiring toward ‘Access for Everyone, Everywhere, All the Time’ Urban Matters CCC provided early stage financial support, mentorship, social venture development expertise, network access and development building, partnership on funded projects together and some early sales development through Urban’s deep connectivity in sectors related to the built environment.
Between 2015 and 2017 Urban Matters CCC partnered with Andrew Greer (then of Accelerate Okanagan, a tech accelerator) to support the development and launch of Purppl (PURposeful PeoPLe, www.purppl.com), a social enterprise accelerator. Urban Matters CCC provided early seed funding, mentorship, facilities and equipment, credibility, as well as access to the Urban’s network of potential clients in municipalities and NGOs.