Reflections: SVI Hollyhock 2012

In mid-September, 140 business leaders and social entrepreneurs gathered on Cortes Island to share challenges, successes, and experiences with peers during the 17th Annual Social Venture Institute (SVI) at Hollyhock.

The unique mix of participants across generations and industries made this a gathering to be remembered. 81 participants joined us for the first time and seasoned faculty and attendees helped to welcome the new participants into the community. Hollyhock, once again, provided the ideal space for connections, learning and exploration.

Here is what this year’s participants had to say about it:

  • "I’m leaving the strongest I’ve been as a young female.  My experiences at SVI made me think of a Yiddish quote I learned as a child: “I ask not for lighter work but for stronger shoulders”.- Ilana Labow
  • "I wasn’t sure what to expect, but it exceeded all expectations.  SVI gave me the opportunity to connect with trees, nature, and myself.  Trees intertwine their roots and support each other.  That’s also what we do here at SVI".- Keena  Hicken-Gabberia
  • “… That drive to make the world a better place is not only evident and permeates the whole SVI experience. It comes automataically to those who attend and it comes from the heart.”
  • “Attending SVI is the smartest business decision I’v ever made. I learned more in an hour at SVI than in the previous 2 years of running my business.”
  • “SVI has played an incredible role in  growing me, my business and opportunities for scaling up in the future. Each day at SVI I find myself in awe, inspired, motivated, replenished and full of new business opportunities.”
  • When you have something in your mind that you think is amazing, that’s one thing… but to be with the group is incredible.  The people here have given me the courage to go home and say, “we can do this.” – Karen Joseph
  • "I’ve never known business as anything other than aggressive and a beat down race to the top.  I’m in a real paradigm shift.  We need you all to grow your businesses so big that we can change Canada." – Kate Storey
  • "I found the community I had always dreamed of." – Alyssa Hall
  • "SVI is Canada’s leading gathering for social entrepreneurs. Their genius is in the calibre of entrepreneurs they gather, the perfect balance of the personal and the professional and the high level faculty they bring in. There is genuinely nothing like this anywhere else in Canada where a social entrepreneur can arrive and immediately know, ‘these are my people.’"
  • "SVI enables me to recharge, hone my skills and glean best practices for next steps on the social change projects I work on. The network and relationships that I have grown through SVI enable me to do the work that I do in the world."
  • "SVI Hollyhock offers an unparalleled setting to progress your business, grow your self, and network with impact investors and social entrepreneurs. There is no better place to accelerate the growth of your social enterprise."
  • "SVI has played an incredible role in growing me, my business, and opportunities for our scaling up in the future. Each day at SVI I find myself in awe, inspired, motivated, replenished, and full of new business opportunities to pursue."
  • “SVI is a critical hub for creating those deeper connections for the social venture community and really building a strong community of practice”
  • “This was a game changer for us!” – Matt MacDougall, Save On Meats
Our media partners at Axiom News have written several articles about SVI.   Read them here.
SVI Hollyhock participants have been eager to share their experiences.  Check out some of their blog posts:

1. Five Reflections and 100 Photographs by Christopher Roy
2. A Slice of Social Venture Instituteby Nicole Chaland, SFU
3. Tad Hargrave, Marketing for Hippies, rocked the blog scene with a few blog posts: (1) No One Cares about Your 4. Project, (2) Honesty is Boring, (3) Who Would Miss Your Project if it Died, and (4) Marketing Lessons from Bryan Welch.
6. Supporting a Community of Leadershipby SVI Sponsor, Junxion Strategy
Check out some amazing photos from SVI Hollyhock 2012 on  Flickr.

Stay Connected:

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If you have attended a program at Hollyhock, we invite you to 
share your story.