The CHNGR project has taken root thanks to funding provided through the RECODE program of the J.W. McConnell foundation ($500,000 on three years). This initiative, created in partnership with thought leaders and partners from the private, public, and not-for-profit sectors, aims to catalyze social innovation and social entrepreneurship in higher learning institutions across Canada. At its initial stage, eighteen Canadian colleges and universities have received matching grants.
The CHNGR objectives’ are also encompassed in the Je Vois Montréal project, “Entreprendre collectivement pour une prospérité inclusive” (collective entrepreneurship for a shared prosperity) now called Je fais Montréal. Adding the Caisse d’économie solidaire Desjardins (CECOSOL) as a partner, the project will increase the scope of the initiative and encourage cooperation between institutions, notably through the work of the student ambassador team.
We promote collaboration and we really mean it, CHNGR is a collective project:
The initiator of the CHNGR initiative, Concordia University brings, in addition to its financial support, its expertise in curriculum development, working to adapt curriculums in order to include a social innovation component.
District 3, located at the heart of Concordia University, is a startup incubator open to all. Its collective and social branch has been launched, and they already offer support, training and coaching to the entrepreneurs wishing to start a social enterprise including collective enterprise such non-profits, COOPs or mutuals.
The Chantier de l’Économie Sociale is a network of networks at the regional and national levels. Its mission is to promote the social economy as an integral and legitimate part of Québec’s plural economy and to connect different actors. Responsible for the ambassador training and offering ongoing learning opportunities, the Chantier offers a large network of experts and resources useful for our “changers”.
The mission of Territoires innovants en économie sociale et solidaire (TIESS) is to organise the transfer of knowledge and best practices in the social economy field, from one territory to another. Master at monitoring, connecting and disseminating, the TIESS supports the CHNGR ambassadors in their mission of creating smarter campuses.
The École de technologie supérieure (ÉTS) already hosts a CHNGR ambassador. Their interest in collective and social entrepreneurship and their financial support allowed to select deux additional ambassadors to be part of the second cohort. They are from ETS and Dawson College.
The école des hautes études commerciales (HEC) was also selected to be part of the RECODE program. In fact, two CHNGR ambassadors are already operating on the campus. Currently, HEC is developing a social innovation center, IDEOS, and is working in collaboration with CHNGR to create a system to help bring together those with social impact projets to potential collaborators.