The Naramata Centre is one of four recent recipients of the United Way Southern Interior BC (SIBC) Social Enterprise Accelerator Program fund this year.
In partnership with Interior Savings Credit Union and the Community Foundations of the North and South Okanagan, the fund is awarded to deserving local organizations in the Okanagan.
The Kelowna and Vernon-based BrainTrust Canada, IndigenEYEZ, which operates across the region, and Operation Take Two, based at Rutland Senior Secondary School in Kelowna, were also recipients.
All four organizations have secured funding designed to help them build long-term sustainable revenue for their social enterprise programs, reads a United Way media release.
“This collaborative fund is about supporting the capacity and long term sustainability of charities in our region, a goal we all share,” said community investment manager with United Way SIBC, Jude Brunt in the release.
“This is year two of a fund that is ground breaking in our region. It’s something we hope to repeat in future years as we learn how this kind of smart investment can spark the growth of new social businesses, and have positive impact on their missions at the same time.”
While charities and non-profits traditionally rely on three core sources of revenue: government funding, philanthropy and earned income, it is only their earned income that offers any prospect for long-term growth and sustainability, the release states.
According to the release, the Okanagan Valley has an entrepreneurial culture that is ripe for growth of mission-based ventures, which now earn more than $500 million annually in B.C. and provide 13,000 paid jobs across the province.
All four organizations will receive a year of mentorship through Purppl’s Scale Up social enterprise acceleration program.
The program allows recipients to work with Purppl who will team these social enterprises with experienced “Entrepreneurs in Residence” to help them refine and scale their business model, the release states.
Entrepreneurs in Residence are an increasingly beneficial resource in the Okanagan where a wealth of skilled professionals with diverse business and organizational backgrounds bring a balance of experience and coaching, while also helping to hold each social enterprise accountable to moving forward.
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