City of Kamloops Awards Inaugural Social Enterprise Accelerator Program Grants

Kamloops, BC  City Council has authorized the recommendations from the Social Planning Council to award the initial grants from the new Social Enterprise Accelerator (SEA) Program, as well as nine Social Planning Grants.

The City of Kamloops updated the Social Planning Grant program for 2018 to better reflect the goals outlined in the City’s Social Plan and expand the program’s reach and impact within the community. The result was the introduction of the SEA Program, in conjunction with Purppl Community Enterprise Accelerator CCC Inc. (Purppl), which will provide three social enterprises $15,000 per year for three years, along with mentorship, training, and capacity building.

The successful applicants for the inaugural SEA Program are:

Kamloops Music Collective Society – Kamloops Interior Summer School of Music (KISSM) Social Enterprise

The Kamloops Music Collective Society offers year-round community programs that serve low-income families, at risk youth, and those who lack the means to access music education. The primary revenue source is the Kamloops Interior Summer School of Music (KISSM), which brings 250 emerging musicians together for a three-week music program, led by music educators and professionals, with additional support from university students.

Kamloops Food Policy Council: Gleaning Abundance Social Enterprise

This program connects volunteers, fruit tree owners, farms and local food organizations to fruit that is harvested in Kamloops and distributed to those in need. While the donations go a long way, there is often excess fruit that food providers do not have the capacity to process. This social enterprise would enable the Kamloops Food Policy Council to transform the excess gleaned fruit into a variety of snack foods. They are working with the Boys and Girls Club of Kamloops to replace the pre-packaged granola bars, dried and frozen fruit snacks that are offered to their program participants, and would expand into the general marketplace.

Kamloops and District Elizabeth Fry Society: Street Scene Street Publication Social Enterprise

The Lived Experience Committee (LEC) with the support of the Kamloops and District Elizabeth Fry Society has increased its capacity over the past year and plays a key role in informing community tables on issues surrounding poverty and homelessness. This includes mobilizing peer based activities that focus on supporting each other and minimizing the stigma around homelessness. Street Scene is the name of a street newspaper that is being developed and will be sold by members of the LEC – individuals who have experienced, or may be currently experiencing, homelessness. This publication model would be similar to that of Megaphone in the lower mainland and in other countries, where vendors would purchase the publication for re-sale and then keep the proceeds they collect.

Over the next twelve months, Purppl will provide these organizations with customized structured mentorship, training, and tools to help implement and scale their social enterprises. They will then use the following two years of funding to implement what they have learned. The mentorship will come from business leaders in Kamloops, providing guidance relevant to each social enterprise type.

“Social entrepreneurs in Kamloops are implementing new, customer driven revenue models to help improve their sustainability while solving long term community, social, and environmental challenges. Purppl will match each social enterprise with experienced entrepreneurs (from Kamloops) as mentors who will help to provide expertise, to create accountability, and to implement operational processes. We couldn’t be more excited to get started,” said Andrew Greer, Community Catalyst, Purppl.

In addition to the SEA Program, the Social Planning Council also recommended a total of $49,067 in Social Planning Grants to be distributed to nine community organizations. These grants will fund projects throughout the community that help further the goals of the Kamloops Social Plan.

The successful 2018 applicants are:

  • Arnica Artist-Run Centre Society – 12-week artist mentorship project
  • Kamloops Community Volunteer Services – digitizing its Volunteer Link Program
  • Kamloops Food Policy Council – Household Food Insecurity Forum
  • Kamloops North Shore BIA – Community needs assessment
  • Kamloops Society for Alcohol and Drug Services – Phoenix Centre – Ashes to Dust Mountain Bike Camp
  • Pacific Sport Interior BC – Physical literacy and APPLE Seeds program workshops for Early Childcare Educators
  • Spinal Cord Injury BC – Adaptive paddle boarding and wheelchair rugby, and monthly meet-ups
  • Thompson-Nicola Cariboo United Way – Community Poverty Simulation workshops
  • Thompson Shuswap Master Gardeners Association – Citizen Science Project to survey pollinators
Media Contacts:

Natalie Serl, Social Development Specialist
City of Kamloops
250-828-3758
nserl@kamloops.ca

Amanda Loewen, Marketing Coordinator
Purppl
250-462-1784
amanda@purppl.com

Kristen Rodrigue, Communications and Community Engagement Advisor
City of Kamloops
250-828-3803
krodrigue@kamloops.ca

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