Names: Ben Scholl, Ian Stecher, Bruna Gjini
Company Name: The Good Exchange
1. Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Ben: I am a new graduate of the Odette School of Business and will be pursuing a master’s in communications and social justice at The University of Windsor this fall. Over the last couple years of my undergrad I became increasingly drawn towards social entrepreneurship as a means of conducting business in a manner which provides more holistic benefits to communities. That’s why I’m very excited to start working on a social enterprise of my own!
Ian: I am a BCOMM Honours – Business Administration and Economics student going into my fourth year of study at UWindsor. My passions lie in social innovation, global development policy, and sustainable supply chain development. I’m extremely excited to work on my business idea this summer thanks to the funding from EPICentre! I hope my teammates and I can create a lasting positive impact in our community.
Bruna: My desire to experience new cultures and be independent lead to me moving to Canada three years ago to begin my studies in Business and Economics. Since then, I have focused my experiences on making a social impact while striving for economic growth and business development. I am looking forward to start working on our social enterprise and make an impact in Windsor!
2. Tell us about your company
The Good Exchange is a social enterprise which aims to improve the livelihoods of Windsor’s priority populations. We’ve recognized that individuals in our community who collect and include the consignment of alcoholic beverage containers in their income are often underappreciated for the public service which they perform. Our goal is to legitimize, destigmatize and vastly expand our members ability to perform the service they provide. In order to do so, The Good Exchange will establish a new currency to be issued for all forms of recyclable materials and volunteer labour while building the localized economy to support it.
3.Why do you feel the EPICentre Founders program will be beneficial to growing your company?
Our founders recognized early on that a large portion of our business would rely on building a network in the community. We knew working with EPICentre would allow us to tap into a wealth of pre-existing local business networks and lend us immediate legitimacy. The RBC EPIC Founders program provides us with a wealth of support, opportunities and mentorship, right in our own backyard!
4.Why do you feel it’s important to have a company like yours in our community?
We feel very strongly that Social Entrepreneurship is the future of business. We want to help alleviate the issue of poverty by identifying the entrepreneurial habits of our community members and working to foster and enhance them. While Windsor recovers from the damage caused by the great recession we can help lead the way in ushering a new business era which serves the interest of the community while satisfying the bottom line. At The Good Exchange the bottom line doesn’t have to be a flat line.
5. Where do you hope to see yourself and your company by the end of this program?
By the end of the RBC EPIC Founders program we hope to have a local network up and running and to facilitate our initial transactions!