Generations Effect, the Georgian Bay Biosphere’s (GBB) new social enterprise, officially launched on Wednesday.
Erika Kramer, Social Enterprise Development Manager with the biosphere says the initiative is a business unit of the GBB.
Kramer says in line with the biosphere’s mandate, it’s been providing a variety of ecological and consulting services that promote sustainable development.
She says those include services like species at risk training, climate and energy services, where they help organizations find ways to approach their solutions to climate actions in a more cost-effective way, collaborative services like strategic planning and more.
“In order to scale those services up and meet growing demand for those kinds of services in the region, we decided to establish a business unit that will function independently of the charity, but, grounded in the same values and working in close collaboration,” she says.
Kramer says the revenues generated through the social enterprise will be reinvested into GBB programs as well as other programs in the region that support the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
“[On Wednesday], we had a launch event, and we recognized the contribution of the Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF). [The OTF] provided the biosphere with a Resilient Communities Fund grant of $92,500, which was amazing. It would have been impossible for GBB to get this far with the social enterprise without that investment,” she says.
Graydon Smith, MPP Parry Sound-Muskoka says he’s thrilled that these funds have been effective in helping the biosphere achieve its goal of scaling its social enterprise programing.
The funding was received in June of 2022 and ever since Kramer and her team have been hard at work building the social enterprise.
“In setting up the whole independent service, we created a new brand called Generations Effect. We have a beautiful new website. We’ve established operating procedures and just figured out how to actually run a business. That’s not a typical thing for a charity,” she says.
Kramer says GBB is excited about supporting the social enterprise business model. “Because you want to generate profits, but profits that you are reinvesting into healthy communities and sustainable development rather than paying shareholders. We think it’s the way of the future,” she says.
Kramer says the biosphere would love to see more companies adopting these kinds of practices that are based on reciprocating to the community.
You can learn more about the social enterprise by clicking here.