RECODE grant to help Memorial University become leader in social innovation and entrepreneurship

Wilf-Zerbe

Dr. Wilfred Zerbe

Nov. 13, 2014

Memorial has been awarded a $250,000 grant aimed at developing social innovation and social entrepreneurship initiatives across the university.

The RECODE Catalyst Fund, a $10-million initiative announced by the J.W. McConnell Family Foundation in November, aims to encourage post-secondary students to become social entrepreneurs and contribute to Canada’s capacity for social innovation. Memorial is one of two post-secondary institutions in Atlantic Canada to receive the grant and one of 14 across Canada.

“There are many initiatives currently underway at Memorial that are focused on social innovation and social entrepreneurship,” said Dr. Wilfred Zerbe, dean of the Faculty of Business Administration, which applied for the RECODE fund in collaboration with the Leslie Harris Centre of Regional Policy and Development at Memorial.

“This grant will help us to bring these efforts together. It will accelerate, broaden and improve the work that we have already undertaken and allow us to develop new initiatives that will help Memorial to play a central role in the development of social innovation in Newfoundland and Labrador and beyond,” Dr. Zerbe said.

Using the RECODE grant as well as funding from other sources, Memorial plans to develop a university-level Centre for Social Innovation and Social Entrepreneurship that will connect and accelerate ongoing and proposed activities such as developing a social innovation incubator, expanding undergraduate co-operative education placements in social enterprises creating a master of business administration in social enterprise and entrepreneurship and enhancing partnerships with community organizations, private firms, governments and non-profit groups.

“With this grant, we now have the opportunity to build upon the capabilities within Memorial, and continue to connect faculty, staff and students with community leaders and groups to address pressing local challenges through social innovation,” said Mike Clair, associate director, Harris Centre, and grant co-applicant.

“Newfoundland and Labrador – and indeed, Canada and the world – face unique challenges in the 21st century,” said Dr. Natalie Slawinski, assistant professor, Faculty of Business Administration, who is also a co-applicant. “Memorial’s efforts to become a leader in social innovation and social entrepreneurship come at a time when we need to find new and innovative ways to address these economic, social and environmental challenges. Social innovation has the power and potential to help us navigate these challenges.”

For more information about the RECODE Catalyst Fund, visit www.re-code.ca.

For more information, contact Susan White, communications co-ordinator, Faculty of Business Administration, at (709) 864-2616 or susanwm@mun.ca; or Diane Keough, communications co-ordinator, Leslie Harris Centre of Regional Policy and Development, at (709) 864-3739 or diane.keough@mun.ca.