SERA (Social Enterprise Rural Alliance) Community Ventures began as an idea to respond to the local needs and challenges of rural areas in and around North Durham Region. There are ways to do this, but through the development of social enterprises, rural communities can address multiple social, economic and environmental issues at the same time.
The SERA publication From Need To Opportunity: Building Vibrant Rural Communities was published in 2010 as a blueprint to promote positive change through the creation of social enterprises.
Today, SERA is a non-profit organization with an arrangement of resources, information, support and pioneering ideas to help social entrepreneurs make progressive social change through community economic development strategies. Through a network of like-minded organizations, entrepreneurs, academics, businesses and government officials, SERA will engage, educate and support entrepreneurs in the community by enabling collaboration and innovation.
Our mission is to promote and support social enterprises by assisting entrepreneurs through knowledge-sharing, access to resources and venture development while we establish a collaborative rural alliance for the purpose of encouraging social innovation.
…turning ideas into opportunities
Social Justice – Seek economic solutions to create progressive social change.
Capacity Building – Seek innovative responses that enhance community life.
Empowerment – Seek community-based approaches to address rural needs.
WHAT WE DO
- Engage and excite communities about social enterprises and their positive contributions.
- Facilitate workshops, webinars and a resource library, where people can start to turn their ideas into a workable plan of action.
- Support social entrepreneurs through consultation and linking them to prospective funders for grants, investments and small-interest loans as well as business mentors to share their expertise.
- Assist with developing market surveys, business plans, and other business start-up necessities.
- Provide access to relevant research data and information necessary to social enterprises.
- Network and partner with local social enterprises, organizations and community leaders to foster a cooperative linkage of knowledge, support and advocacy around social enterprises.
WHAT IS A SOCIAL ENTERPRISE?
A social enterprise is a business engaging in the sales of goods and services that work primarily towards social and/or environmental purposes. This is often called the triple bottom line – “people, planet, profit”. Social enterprises are established to meet social needs or problems in the community, yet be financially sustainable. The success of a social enterprise is not measured entirely in the money made, but rather, on the impacts it has in the community.
We could not do the work we do without the support from our funders: