Social Innovation and Venture Creation (SIVC) is for anyone who wants to make a difference. Anyone who wants to help make the world a better place. You might want to help a non-profit organization run more efficiently, drive innovation from within a large organization, start a business with a ‘triple bottom line’, or advocate for change… Whatever your passion, if you want to use innovation and energy to help solve the world’s complex or ‘wicked’ social challenges, then SIVC is for you.

There are lots of different ways for you to get involved!

Social Innovation Zones

We are working to develop three physical spaces for students, staff and faculty who share your passion for innovation and social change. Social Innovation Zones will incorporate both a ‘maker space’ for active collaboration and focussed social innovation and social entrepreneurship project work as well as an ideation space for inter-disciplinary group interactions, workshops, labs,  and idea development.  Our Waterloo Campus ‘Purpose Lab’ , developed with the generous support of the Wilfrid Laurier University Alumni Association, is open and available for student, staff, and faculty use. Watch this site. Facebook and Twitter for more news and updates!

Speakers and Workshops

Get inspired and learn new skills at one of SIVC’s speaker or workshop events. We are committed to hosting two major speakers and four workshops for the Laurier community each year. Sign up to receive news and alerts about events or check our our Events page to see planned and upcoming events.

Challenges (Win Prizes!)

Challenge competitions are a tool used by governments, non-profits and businesses to inspire individuals and teams to tackle social challenges. SIVC is working with local and provincial partners to design challenge competitions for the Laurier community. You can also visit OpenIDEO.org to view the list of currently open global design and innovation challenges with an opportunity to win funding support from companies like Coca Cola, NBC, Mastercard, Oxfam, Clinton Global Initiatives and others.

Join a Student Club

startuplaurier.com – Startup Laurier focuses on empowering students to explore and pursue their entrepreneurial ambitions.
enactuslaurier.ca – Enactus enables students to combine business with social entrepreneurship to make a difference in their community and around the world.
socialinnovationlaurier.org – The Social Innovation Project develops students into inspired social entrepreneurs and innovators

Social Entrepreneurship Academic Option

The Social Entrepreneurship (SE) Option is the first Canadian undergraduate social entrepreneurship program grounded in the liberal arts. This Option is available to all Laurier students enrolled in an undergraduate Honours program.

The Social Entrepreneurship Option is built on three pillars:

  • Deeper appreciation of the world’s urgent problems, self-understanding, and entrepreneurial expertise.
  • The problems facing humanity are increasingly complex; sustainable solutions require broad knowledge and critical engagement – those who seek to help others must start by appreciating their own strengths, motivation, and worldview.
  • Sound business skills, such as organizational administration, financial management, strategic planning, market analysis and fundraising, are needed to manage sustainable ventures needed to make social change. This option is open to all Laurier students. Priority will be given to students in the Faculty of Arts.

The SE Option is comprised of 4.0 mandatory credits, combined with two non-credit placements, one international and one local.

SE Option Core Courses (see the WLU Course Calendar for more information)

UU101 Perspectives on Sustainability (0.5 Credit)

The course provides an interdisciplinary introduction to the topic of sustainability and is designed to be accessible and career relevant for students from all faculties.

SE200 How to Change the World: Introduction to Social Entrepreneurship (0.5 Credit – Fall)

This course introduces social entrepreneurship as a practice of creating social change.

AF300 Introduction to Community Engagement (0.5 Credit – Fall)

This foundational course for the Community Engagement Option introduces the key concepts of social inclusion, local democracy, distributive economics, and community development.

SE300 Entrepreneurship for Arts Students (0.5 Credit – Fall)

This course provides a hands-on introduction, specially designed for Arts students, on how to create social enterprises as a form of innovation and intentional change-making in society.

GS398 Global Studies in Practice (0.5 Credit)

Students will be introduced to the ethical, cultural, and practical issues associated with doing volunteer work abroad.

GS399 Post-Field Placement (0.5 Credit)

Students will reflect critically on their experiences in the field and link those experiences with their broader academic training in global studies.

SE400 Capstone Course in Social Entrepreneurship (1.0 Credit – Fall/Winter)

The aim of this course is to complete and consolidate the experiential and in-class learning that has been achieved through the SE Option, and to assist students in making the transition from studying social entrepreneurship to becoming real-world social entrepreneurs.