Social Enterprise

With the triple hit of the pandemic, declines in donations, and declines in funding, your nonprofit organization may be reviewing options for remaining sustainable, including considering social enterprise (some sort of business or commercial activity that financially supports your mission.)

Because there are numerous risks involved in social enterprise, it is important that your organization starts its social enterprise the right way, with a full understanding of the legal and regulatory environment. IntegralOrg has a number of resources for your nonprofit to tap into.


Social Enterprise Resources

Social Enterprise Legal Structures Toolkit

IntegralOrg has created the Social Enterprise Legal Structures Toolkit to guide Alberta organizations and entrepreneurs interested in developing a social enterprise through the decision-making process of selecting a legal structure.

In the toolkit you will be guided through a series of questions about what kind of organization you have, how it is structured, and what you want to accomplish through your social enterprise. Your answers will bring you to a result - a suggested legal structure.

In addition to the assessment, the toolkit contains definitions of key terms, case studies, and resources to assist with your understanding of important concepts and deepen your educational experience.  


INTRO to Social Enterprise: Which legal structure should we choose?
Thursday, June 9, 1-2pm, with Yvonne Chenier

This webinar, held on June 9, 2022, is part of the INTEGRALIntros series and provides a brief introduction to social enterprise and possible legal structures. 

To watch the recording, click here.

This session provides an overview of:

  • The legal regulations on social enterprises imposed by the Income Tax Act
  • CRA-related business rules for charities.
  • The most common nonprofit statutes (Societies Act, Companies Act, CNCA), for nonprofits and charities operating in Alberta.

Yvonne Chenier is a lawyer and philanthropy consultant – and co-founder of IntegralOrg. Yvonne brings more than 35 years of experience helping those in the philanthropic, nonprofit, and social enterprise sectors as general legal counsel and as an advisor on planning, organizational, regulatory and governance matters.


Start Your Social Enterprise the Right Way: A panel discussion about social enterprise and the legal and regulatory environment

This engaging panel discussion - held on May 6, 2021 - shares how organizations can structure social enterprises and the lessons established social enterprises have learned along their journey. 

Event moderator, Kristina Roberts, IntegralOrg’s Legal Initiatives Manager, is joined by panelists Yvonne Chenier, IntegralOrg co-founder and a charity and nonprofit lawyer with over 40 years of experience; Jane Bisbee, the Executive Director of the Social Enterprise Fund which provides financial support (in the form of loans) to organizations across Alberta that are developing a social enterprise; Kate Beneteau, Director of Finance with Chrysalis: An Alberta Society for Citizens with Disabilities; and Diane Hodgins, CFO of Shorefast, the organization behind a series of innovative community development projects on Fogo Island, Newfoundland.

We invite you to watch the recording of this informative event. 


Blogs about Social Enterprise

Shape-Shifters: What happens when social enterprises need to change their legal structure? Kristina Roberts, April 28, 2021

An overview of the structural options for social enterprises in Alberta  Kristina Roberts and Yvonne Chenier, April 12, 2021

A social enterprise journey: Two Wheel View  IntegralOrg: March 29, 2021

Is social enterprise a game-changer for Alberta nonprofits?  Kristina Roberts, March 9, 2021