Growing Local Wealth in Vancouver through Social Venture Networking

An inspirational write-up in Granvile Magazine about the Social Venture Network Local Gathering last month.

Growing local wealth in Vancouver through social venture networking
By Emily Jubenvill, March 11, 2011
Granville Magazine

Vancouver is quickly becoming a hub for social ventures and community investing where a triple-bottom-line approach ensures business is giving back to the community

I didn't really know what to expect as I rode the quiet elevator up to Joel and Dana Bass Solomon's Downtown Eastside apartment. The occasion: the Social Venture Network Local Gathering, an evening of networking with people from some of North America's top values-based investment firms, businesses and non-profit organizations.

Vancity, Renewal Partners and Hollyhock hosted the February event, bringing guest speakers from B Corporation, RSF Social Finance and the Social Venture Network to connect and share knowledge.

Once inside, catching glimpses out the big floor-to-ceiling windows, I was struck by the dramatic panarama of downtown all lit up against the sweeping backdrop of the North Shore mountains; throughout the evening, each time the view caught my eye, I was reminded of where we were—Vancouver—and the energy pumping out of the room seemed to make the city appear all the more spectacular.

The innovation, energy and passion emanating from the dynamic room of people was palpable; this was not your average networking event. This one had a purpose, much like the organizations present, to strengthen the bonds between capitalism and social purpose, mission and money, community and investment.

The importance of this sort of gathering is magnified by the growing impacts of climate change and poverty, the need for change, and the thirst to shift to a triple-bottom-line economy.
Vancouver a hub for capitalism with a social purpose
Despite my lack of financial or business background, I found it easy to mingle and chat with this crowd; everyone was doing something interesting that ultimately attempts to give back to the community and build social capital.

Brought together by the Social Venture Network, Renewal Partners, B-Lab, Vancity and RSF Social Finance, the people in the room shared much in common; most specifically, they are all contributing to Vancouver's emerging role as an innovation leader in the realm of capitalism with social purpose.

As B-Lab proclaims in its Declaration of Interdependence:

We envision a new sector of the economy, which harnesses the power of private enterprise to create public benefit. This sector is comprised of a new type of corporation, the B Corporation, which is purpose-driven and creates benefit for all stakeholders, not just shareholders...

Redefining wealth in Vancouver's community...

CLICK HERE to read the full article on