Kamloops social entrepreneurs are invited to pitch their stories and solutions to some of the toughest community, social, and environmental challenges at this year’s ChangeUP on October 2nd, 2019. 

“The community is seeking sustainable solutions to tough community challenges. ChangeUP is an opportunity for local social entrepreneurs to share their business model and their impact model while engaging the community to help,” says Andrew Greer, co-founder of Purppl. “We’re looking for great organizations to apply to pitch at the event.

The pitch style event is a collaboration between Purppl, Valley First, a division of First West Credit Union, Interior Savings, and the City of Kamloops at the new X-Change building. The partnership is an alignment of shared priorities to support sustainable social enterprise development in Kamloops. 

Two or three selected social enterprises who pitch at the event will earn a spot on Purppl’s Scale Up acceleration program which provides ongoing tactical, functional mentorship to help build sustainable revenue models and sustainable impact models. It’s a program that piloted successfully in Kamloops over the last 12 months with Kamloops Music Collective, Kamloops Food Policy Council, and The Big Edition. 

A social enterprise is an organization that uses entrepreneurship to help achieve community, social, or environmental objectives. It can be non-profit or for-profit. “It’s really a balance of best practices from the social sector and the small business sector,” Greer says. About one third of startups globally now have social or environmental as a primary purpose, not as an afterthought (Global Entrepreneurship Monitor). “It’s a movement that’s growing globally and locally.”

This will be the first time ChangeUP is held in Kamloops. It was first held in 2013 in the Okanagan, and the sold-out event featured finalists making a difference in areas as diverse as financial literacy for low-income individuals to helping businesses decrease their carbon emissions. Since then, ChangeUP has seen 30+ social entrepreneurs present with over 800 attendees educated and inspired. Some of the presenters have included: Trellis Social Enterprise, Habitat for Humanity, and Start Fresh Kitchen

Colin Stansfield, Executive Director of the Gibsons Public Market and experienced social entrepreneur, will keynote the event. With a passion for social justice and resilient local economies, Colin is a charismatic champion of all things “social”. As Executive Director, Colin leads operations for the year-round Gibsons Public Market as well as the Nicholas Sonntag Marine Education Centre. In his previous role as Executive Director of Potluck Café in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, he acquired hands-on experience with delivering on a strong community and economic development agenda.

Social enterprises interested in pitching at ChangeUP can fill out an online application until September 9th. Anyone wanting to attend the event can purchase tickets online as well.