written by: Dalyn Hebert
On March 12th the EPICentre hosted their annual Social Enterprise Forum. The event found entrepreneurs, students and community members all united to create change in their neighbourhood, industry and world. The event had an amazing keynote speaker, followed by the Libro-Epic Social Innovators and it concluded with a diverse panel with people from all ages, industries and causes sharing their advice and journey to create change.
The event started with a wonderful presentation from Kylee Guenther, founder and CEO of Pivot Materials. A manufacturing company replacing many of the plastics we use today with biodegradable bamboo. Her goal is to reduce and reuse waste while educating people of cheap durable plastic substitutes. Tackling the plastic industry valued at 1.1 trillion dollars is no easy task and would scare most people into giving up. But not Kylee, she stuck with her idea and passion and has made a huge difference in the amount of plastic waste that gets created. With her previous success and confidence she was able to showcase how successful social enterprises can be, and inspire a new wave of entrepreneurs to think about including social change into their business model.
Kylee was followed up by an amazing introduction to the start ups involved in the Libro-Epic Social Innovators competition all four teams did a wonderful job of telling their story. They detailed the benefits of the program the change they caused in their community and the change they saw in themselves. During the program they become confident in themselves and their businesses. The Social Innovators program was a great start for these social entrepreneurs and after hearing the passion in their presentation, it is safe to say it won’t be the end.
We wrapped up with a varied panel of wonderful social entrepreneurs each with their own reason and way of making the world a better place. The panel consisted of Dane Fader of GreenerBins Composting, Kylee Guenther of Pivot Materials and Ryli Michalczuk of Ryli’s Change Making Creations. Each of these individuals have been in the social entrepreneurship market for different lengths of time, with different scales and different industries allowing all the viewers to see how diverse and possible social entrepreneurship is. As the event wrapped up everyone left with warm hearts, a hunger for change and some delicious food from green bean who were the lovely hosts for the event.