Social entrepreneurs who contribute to the economy and the community are setting new standards for business excellence, Ernst & Young said today when underlining the accomplishments of three such Canadians. Social entrepreneurs lead organizations that catalyze change by challenging the status quo and transforming traditional business practices by introducing innovative ideas, methodologies and changes in attitude to the market.
Johann Olav Koss (Right To Play International), Michael Fergusson (Ayogo Games Inc.) and Sandrine Faust (Allô prof) are this year’s recipients of Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur Of The Year Special Citation award for social entrepreneurship.
“These individuals represent the true meaning of social entrepreneurship,” says Colleen McMorrow, Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneurial Services leader in Canada and National and Ontario Director of Entrepreneur Of The Year. “They have dedicated their careers and companies to driving social change and improving the lives and quality of life for people in Canada and beyond.”
Michael Fergusson at Ayogo Games, for example, is pairing pharma with new technologies to create games that promote health and wellness.
“More and more, we’re seeing entrepreneurs take a vested interest in the broader community,” says McMorrow. “Ernst & Young research shows 57% of entrepreneurs actively support community service and 25% have created or funded an educational program. Social entrepreneurs like Michael Fergusson take corporate responsibility to a whole new level, making it the very reason they exist.”
Like Fergusson, Sandrine Faust and Johann Olav Koss are two entrepreneurs whose companies are creating positive change. Allô prof provides free academic support programs in Quebec that encourage students to stay in school while Right To Play International uses the power of sport and play to improve development, health and peace in disadvantaged areas of the world.
“It’s important to recognize the contributions entrepreneurs make beyond the business community — they’re community builders, too,” says McMorrow. “For social entrepreneurs, the bottom line is creating social value. It’s a different kind of bottom line but still makes a large impact.”
What’s more impressive is that these individuals are committed to sharing the tools, approaches and techniques to encourage the spread social change, adds McMorrow. “What makes a good social entrepreneur great is their ability to have their initiatives adapted to other regions of the world to solve similar problems.”
Notable past winners include Marc and Craig Kielburger, Free The Children; Greg Overholt, Students Offering Support (SOS); Gabriel Bran Lopez, Fusion Jeunesse; and Diane Johnson, Descriptive Video Works Inc.
Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year 2012 Special Citation award recipients:
Allô prof | Montreal
Non-profit organization that supports staying in school and academic success — by providing free help with homework to Quebec elementary and secondary school students and parents by phone and online
Sandrine will be honoured at the Quebec Entrepreneur Of The Year Awards gala on October 25, 2012, in Montreal.
Ayogo Games Inc. | Vancouver
Creates games that nurture human connection, motivate, educate, and promote health and wellness
Michael will be honoured at the Pacific Entrepreneur Of The Year Awards gala on October 4, 2012, in Vancouver.
Johann Olav Koss
Right To Play International | Toronto
Global organization whose mission is to improve the lives of children in some of the most disadvantaged areas of the world by using the power of sport and play for development, health and peace
Johann will be honoured at the Ontario Entrepreneur Of The Year Awards gala on October 10, 2012, in Toronto.