Courtesy of Jane Bisbee
May 2, 2023
Monthly webinar offers encouragement to budding social entrepreneurs
Once a month, five Alberta panellists with extensive knowledge of the social enterprise landscape come together on Zoom to host Ask Me Anything About Social Enterprise, affectionately referred to as “amaze” (AMAASE) webinar.
Jane Bisbee is one such panellist. With over a decade of experience in the field, Bisbee, along with her fellow panellists, brings valuable insights and a passion to help social entrepreneurs turn their ideas into successful businesses that create positive social impact in the community.
“It’s a chance for people who have questions, big or small, to come and ask them,” says Bisbee, executive director of the Social Enterprise Fund and member of the Social Innovation Advisory Council. “Sometimes they don’t know where to start, sometimes they don’t have the confidence to call me or the other people on the panel and ask. So, the webinar gives them access to us directly.”
Topics covered in the webinar range from the basics of social enterprise, such as how to start a social enterprise, to more complex issues such as financing and scaling.
This is what led Yi Chen, B’Comm’22, BSc (Eng)’22, to her first AMAASE webinar.
At the time, Chen was working to address and reduce waste in the fashion industry for her entrepreneurship capstone project. “I was curious to learn if I could transform my business startup idea into a social enterprise,” says Chen.
There are a lot of misconceptions around what social entrepreneurship means, says Bisbee. “A lot of people get all tied up in definitions and find that they have questions that are not answered in other places. That’s what AMAASE can do for them — it's people who have had some experience, who have seen some things in many years coming together as a group to address a question.”
Courtesy of Yi Chen
In this, the AMAASE webinar sets itself apart from other information resources. “People are used to webinars where people talk at them. We’re not interested in talking at them. We want to talk with them,” says Bisbee.
This is how Chen not only learned about social entrepreneurship and the viability of her startup idea but also where she found a network of like-minded individuals. "I found a community of social entrepreneurs who are truly passionate about social enterprise, who are sympathetic and empathetic, and who are deeply driven by a sense of purpose to make positive social impact,” she says.
For anyone interested in social enterprise in Alberta and beyond, the AMAASE webinar is a must-attend event. It’s a unique opportunity for social entrepreneurs to connect with experienced professionals working in the field and gain valuable advice and guidance to the ins and outs of social entrepreneurship in the province. It is where community comes together to share knowledge and resources on their journeys in the social entrepreneurship ecosystem.
The AMAASE webinar is hosted by the Trico Foundation Social Entrepreneurship Centre at the Haskayne School of Business in collaboration with numerous community partners including the Trico Charitable Foundation, Innovate Calgary, Alberta Social Economy Ecosystem Development (AB SEED), Social Enterprise Fund, Momentum, Calgary Foundation, and Local Investing YYC.
The centre was founded through the generous support of the Trico Charitable Foundation.