Ditto Communications

December 21, 2011 17:14 ET

T'is the Season: Corporate 'Philanthropy' Not Reserved for Big Business

Funding earmarked specifically for young entrepreneurs who are 'socially-minded'

CALGARY, ALBERTA--(Marketwire - Dec. 21, 2011) -

Editor's Note: There is a photo associated with this release.

The word 'philanthropy' might conjure up imagines of enormous foam cheques and grip and grin images. Or, perhaps the image is one of crisp white collars and plush carpets.

"To the contrary," says The Trico Foundation (TCF) and The Canadian Youth Business Foundation (CYBF), two local not-for-profits who have teamed up to make the concept more accessible, particularly to young entrepreneurs.

They are using a different, perhaps less intimidating term - 'socially-minded entrepreneurship.'

"While the phrase may not roll off your tongue with such ease, the idea is to give young and aspiring entrepreneurs the sense that doing something - anything - that brings benefit to their community is within their grasp whether they run a business of 1 or 100," says Michele Fugiel Gartner, Program Manager of Trico Charitable Foundation.

And, the Foundation is prepared to financially back their belief by providing CYBF with loan funds earmarked for young entrepreneurs that are seeking to be socially-minded entrepreneurs.

So, just what is socially-minded entrepreneurship? Well, says Christi Millar, Director of CYBF Alberta, there really a spectrum. A socially-minded business could be a for-profit business that serves a social need; a for-profit business that encourages or even requires community volunteerism from its staff ; or a business that has an ingrained value (and publicly expressed purpose) to giving back to the community.

The organization has funded a number of businesses that fall in various areas of that spectrum. DeliverGood (www.delivergood.org) is a for-profit business that matches charities and not-for profits who need 'stuff' with people and companies who have 'stuff.' Eligeo (www.eligeoit.com) is an IT consulting firm which dedicates human and financial resources for philanthropic efforts, particularly volunteerism. Blanc Cosmetics (www.blanccosmetics.com) donates a portion of each sale to the charity Operation Smile.

Socially-minded entrepreneurship is delivering real, measurable results not just on the collective society, but the bottom line for many organizations corporate, charitable or somewhere in between.

It's that 'in-between' that was most intriguing to CYBF when they committed to being the medium to recruit, vet and finance for-profit entrepreneurs on Trico Foundation's behalf through the partnership.

"CYBF doesn't just look at a potential entrepreneur's individual bottom line and instead provides our financing based on a full picture including character, not just collateral." says Millar. "This funding allows us to go even beyond that and extend our funding variables to consider the triple bottom line - which is defined as people, planet and profit."

Robb Price's business is one that fits easily into the triple bottom line philosophy.

www.delivergood.org matches charities and not-for-profits who need stuff, with companies and individuals who have stuff. And, and no it's not a not-for-profit itself. It's a concept that he often finds himself explaining and one that only recently he stopped apologizing for.

"If my organization is doing well while doing good, it's a win for all involved. And, because our service is free to the charities, we can especially be confident in our approach to our bottom line - both financially and socially," says Price. In addition to being a for-profit business that serves a social need, www.delivergood.org also provides a percentage of its profits to a designated charity.

"It's a double whammy on that spectrum of being a socially-minded entrepreneur," says Millar whose organization also matches its entrepreneurs with strong, community-based mentors as a key pillar of its programming to its entrepreneurs.

Fugiel Gartner says, "I think it's common knowledge that once you start giving it becomes addictive - the benefit that the giver gets far outweighs the recipient. We envision that once someone is structuring their business corporately to include philanthropic values, they are also more likely to also give in their personal lives. The reverse is also true. This is why we believe so strongly in this partnership and are strongly encouraging young entrepreneurs to consider applying for this funding."

About The Trico Charitable Foundation

Established in 2008, The Trico Charitable Foundation is dedicated to provoking innovation and building capacity in social entrepreneurship. Through Enterprising Non-Profits Alberta, the Social EnterPrize, and our partnership with the Canadian Youth Business Foundation, we provide education and support for social entrepreneurs - in both the for-profit or non-profit sectors. Our vision is to grow a community of sustainable, entrepreneurial organizations. For more information please visit www.tricofoundation.ca

About the Canadian Youth Business Foundation

The Canadian Youth Business Foundation (CYBF) is the 'go to' place for youth entrepreneurship. As a national charity, we are dedicated to growing our nation's economy one young entrepreneur at a time. We look at character not collateral, when providing youth, age 18-34, with pre-launch coaching, business resources, start-up financing and mentoring, to help them launch and sustain a successful entrepreneurial business. www.cybf.ca

To see a video describing concept, click the following link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8rnXzOFvin4&feature=related

To see a photo of Robb Price, click the following link: http://www.marketwire.com/library/20111221-800robb.jpg

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