Three Canadian entrepreneurs prove merits of taking business from boardroom to community
(Toronto, 25 July 2012) Social entrepreneurs who contribute to the economy and the community are setting new standards for business excellence, EY said today when underlining the accomplishments of three such Canadians.
Johann Olav Koss (Right To Play International), Michael Fergusson (Ayogo Games Inc.) and Sandrine Faust (Allô prof) are this year’s recipients of EY’s Entrepreneur Of The Year Special Citation award for social entrepreneurship.
“These individuals represent the true meaning of social entrepreneurship,” says Colleen McMorrow, EY’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.”
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.
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. “EY 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.
EY 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. For more information, contact Sophie Leclerc at firstname.lastname@example.org or 514 879 8173.
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. For more information contact Sandie Atkinson at email@example.com or 604 643 5486.
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. For more information contact Katelyn Jarosz at firstname.lastname@example.org or 416 941 1810.
About Entrepreneur of The Year
Entrepreneur Of The Year honours the spirit and contribution of entrepreneurs here and around the world. Nominees are reviewed by an independent judging panel composed of several distinguished business leaders and previous award recipients. The 2012 Special Citation judging panel consisted of Allyson Hewitt, Director of Social Entrepreneurship, Social Innovation Generation at MaRS Discovery District and Nancy Wright, Vice President, GLOBE Foundation, in collaboration with regional judges.
For more information on the program, FAQs and key dates, please visit ey.com/ca/EOY.
Follow us on Twitter @EYCanada: #EOYCanada.
This year’s national program sponsors are National Post, La Presse and RDI.
About EY's Entrepreneurial Services Practice
Ernst & Young LLP’s Entrepreneurial Services Practice guides Canadian entrepreneurs by delivering integrated services tailored to their goals and needs at every stage of the business lifecycle. We are the world's leader in advising, guiding and recognizing the entrepreneurs who propel the economy – and community – forward. To learn more, please visit ey.com/ca/entrepreneurs.
EY is a global leader in assurance, tax, transaction and advisory services. Worldwide, our 152,000 people are united by our shared values and an unwavering commitment to quality. We make a difference by helping our people, our clients and our wider communities achieve their potential.