Social Enterprise

With the triple hit of the pandemic, declines in donations, and declines in funding, nonprofit organizations have had to review their options for remaining sustainable, including considering social enterprise (some sort of business or commercial activity that financially supports their 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 nonprofit organizations to tap into.


Upcoming Events

The Legal Possibilities for Social Enterprise for Charities
Thursday, June 10: 1:30-2:45pm

Social enterprise is one of the options to help Canadian registered charities improve their financial sustainability. Is your registered charity interested in (or has already embarked on) a social enterprise?

This free workshop is for registered charities operating in Alberta that are interested in starting up a social enterprise/business within their organization. Lawyers from IntegralOrg will provide an overview of the legal restrictions imposed by the Income Tax Act, as well as an overview of the CRA’s related business rules for charities. Examples of real-life social enterprise models will be discussed.

Participants will have ample opportunity to ask specific questions, which will result in learning for the whole group.




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 devlopment projects on Fogo Island, Newfoundland.

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


Social Enterprise Legal Structures Toolkit

IntegralOrg is developing an interactive online toolkit to help organizations structure their ventures appropriately. The toolkit will include a self-assessment and resources and will launch in late June.



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