Using business to promote social change
Straatman and his business partner, Trevor Bird, are now one of six socially-focused ventures to participate in the Coast Capital Savings Innovation Hub (CCS iHub), run by the UBC Sauder Centre for Social Innovation and Impact Investing (S3i). With the help of the Innovation Hub, Straatman hopes Meatme will be propelled to the next phase of growth.
“The CCS iHub is an extremely valuable opportunity for us to learn the best way to successfully grow our company. We’re also fortunate to work alongside some talented mentors and entrepreneurs, both of whom have a wealth of advice and experiences we can learn from,” says Straatman.
Funded by a $1-million contribution from Coast Capital Savings, the CCS iHub is designed for ventures wanting to embrace social innovation while using business models to create impact in society. The incubator program brings together early stage social ventures with B.C.’s social innovators, seasoned entrepreneurs, investors, faculty, alumni, and students.
During a 12-month period, ventures are fully immersed in an entrepreneurial environment where they learn the basics of business and valuable insight into the social innovation sector. Over the last four years the program has supported a total of 23 social ventures; 21 continue to be operational and actively grow their business.
According to James Tansey, S3i’s executive director, Vancouver is seeing a growing number of entrepreneurs turning to the tools and methods of business to solve social and environmental challenges. “Business can be a powerful force for good in today’s world and can bring about meaningful change,” he says. “For five years now, the CCS iHub has been providing socially-minded entrepreneurs with a strong, connected community where they can grow as leaders and propel their impact to the next level of success.”