Friday, 29 March 2019
Speaker: Edward Jackson
Lecture title: Social enterprises: What are they and why do they matter?
A social enterprise is a commercial business that sells products and services that improve the well-being of citizens, especially those facing social or economic challenges. A mobile money platform in Asia priced for low-income customers, a home renovation company employing ex-convicts in an inner city, a rural ecotourism operation that treads lightly on the earth—these entities take many forms around the world and are attracting young people seeking to align their values with the way they make their living. Social businesses often benefit from grants from governments or foundations; is such support fair or effective? Do these organizations displace private entrepreneurs? In general, why do they matter? How can the value and scale of social enterprises be maximized to the benefit of Ontario towns? And what is needed to make that happen? This talk will draw on experience with social enterprises from around the world and will focus in on businesses and strategies that are relevant to Eastern Ontario.
Bio: Edward Jackson
Ted Jackson is a professor, consultant and author who advises foundations, development agencies, universities and governments on social enterprise, impact investing, local economic development, program evaluation and campus-community partnerships. A former tenured faculty member in public policy and an associate dean (research and graduate affairs) at Carleton University, he is currently president of E. T. Jackson and Associates, a consulting firm, and evaluates programs on youth employment, small-business financing, and international scholarships in North America, Africa and Asia. Born in Ottawa, he spent his high school years in Kemptville, where he played Junior B hockey, basketball, football and fastball. He is a volunteer with youth projects in Ottawa and Kingston and serves on the boards and committees of several international-development non-profits. His other interests include golf, fitness, travel, jazz and poetry—and two young grand-daughters.