Round table over social entrepreneurship

28 March 2018

On the occasion of the State visit to Canada of Their Majesties the King and Queen of the Belgians, on Friday 16 March the Myriad Canada Foundation organised a round table at the TOHU (Montreal), devoted to social entrepreneurship.

The main subjects discussed were:

  • Scaling up

For a social entrepreneur, as for those in small and medium-sized enterprises, the challenge is often one of moving from a pilot/local experience to an operation on a larger scale in order to have a significant and even systemic impact. But what has to be done to succeed in scaling up and a change of size? What is the human impact of such scaling up: can appropriate talents be found? In expanding, does the job of a social entrepreneur not change radically by moving from that of specialist/expert to the very different function of manager? Is there a risk of burn-out if growth is too fast?

  • Conciliation of the social/societal objective with that of economic profitability

It is not always easy to reconcile these two objectives. How do social entrepreneurs experience this apparent tension? Do difficult choices sometimes have to be made in order to remain pragmatic on the one hand as against losing one’s soul on the other hand?

The Canadian social entrepreneurs who took part in the discussion were: Jean-François Archambault (La Tablée des Chefs), Manon Barbeau (Wapikoni Mobile), Sandrine Faust (Allô Prof), Pierre Legault (Renaissance), Fabrice Vil (Pour 3 points) and Stéphane Lavoie (La Tohu). Several Belgian social entrepreneurs also participated.