Last month our team members Mitch Harrison and Jason Turner traveled to Saskatoon, SK to deliver the first installment of The Pipeline’s train-the-trainer program. This was the first step towards the national expansion of The Pipeline, which is a social enterprise development service offered through the Saint Mary’s University Entrepreneurship Centre (SMUEC) that assists participants in the creation of cause-driven businesses that address community challenges.  Based on the success of the program within Nova Scotia, the SMUEC launched the train-the-trainer program to allow other like-minded organizations to adopt social enterprise training within their regular programming.

The train-the-trainer session was facilitated to 17 participants from economic development organizations situated in Saskatchewan and Manitoba. Participating organizations included the Saskatchewan Economic Development Alliance, Women Entrepreneurs of Saskatchewan, the National Aboriginal Council Corporations Association and numerous chapters from Community Futures Canada.

The training began with a 2-day design thinking phase called Think Differently. During this phase, participants worked together to identify and dissect a range of community challenges within rural Saskatchewan and brainstormed social enterprise solutions to address them. In Phase 2, Idea to Impact, participants assessed the feasibility of each idea by applying business development fundamentals to determine which ideas were viable options to pursue.

Through the completion of the train-the-trainer program, each organization took away a toolkit of processes, methodologies, and activities as well as a certification that will enable them to facilitate The Pipeline training within their communities.  The Saint Mary’s University Entrepreneurship Centre will continue to work with each organization as they begin to facilitate Pipeline training and support the development of social enterprises in their region.  Our next Train-The-Trainer session is scheduled for early September when our team will be traveling to Whitehorse to work with members of the Entrepreneurship and Community Innovation department at Yukon College.

For more information about the Pipeline and the train-the-trainer program, please contact [email protected].


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