Launched in September 2023, this pilot project aims to build the capacity for the nonprofit sector in the East Kootenay region to enable organizations to look at developing social enterprises to support diversified and sustained funding. The project supports the growth of the entrepreneurial mindset of the nonprofits in the region which will in turn support the economic growth and impact in our local communities.

 This 10-month pilot project is split into two parts with the following activities:

o    Facilitated online monthly roundtables which create a community of practice, with the opportunity for nonprofit organizations to share their ideas, challenges and needs. Registration for the Community of Practice Roundtables has now closed. Please contact Robyn Peel, Community Economic Development Manager to register your interest for future opportunities.

o    For those interested in starting a social enterprise, free access will also be given to the Impact Toolbox 4-month incubation program, to guide and support them to develop the business model for their social enterprise. Registration for the Incubation Program has now closed. Please contact Robyn Peel, Community Economic Development Manager to register your interest for future opportunities.


Knowledge sharing and support: Nonprofit organizations will gain access to a supportive community of practice, enabling them to share experiences, challenges, and solutions

Social Enterprise awareness: Participating nonprofits will develop a deeper understanding of social enterprises, their potential benefits, and how they can apply these concepts to their own initiatives

Enhanced entrepreneurial mindset: Nonprofits will experience a shift in their thinking towards a more entrepreneurial mindset, empowering them to explore new approaches and innovative solutions.


A social enterprise is an organization or program that is driven by a public benefit mission, and sells goods or services to earn a revenue, while also helping achieve its positive social, cultural or environmental objectives.

Yes! People get fixated on the structure of what a social enterprise is, but it’s more about the positive impact it creates. Social enterprises can be incorporated within many different organizational structures, including nonprofits.

Grant program restrictions leave many nonprofit organizations struggling to cover day-to-day overhead and operational costs. Revenue diversification, including adding sales of goods or services, can reduce this burden, stabilize revenue and enable organizations to direct more of its resources towards direct social impact activities.

Social enterprises, similar to other business models, start by identifying a gap in services and/or goods desired by a target customer base. Good business practices will include a needs analysis and the development of a business model, which will highlight the potential for impact and financial feasibility.

No. Most social enterprises, regardless of how they are incorporated, are powered by a mix of customer revenue, grants, and partnerships.

Community Futures East Kootenay (CFEK) helps to foster strong, resilient local economies, and a key part of resilient local economies are sustainable and impactful organizations. CFEK is committed to supporting businesses and organizations to provide a positive impact in their communities.

Thank you to ETSI-BC for the funding for this pilot project, and to Purppl and Impact Toolbox for partnering with CFEK on the delivery of the project.