The rise of impact businesses: Vancouver leads rapid growth of social venture sector in B.C. | #VanStartupCity

The rise of impact businesses: Vancouver leads rapid growth of social venture sector in B.C.

  • May 30, 2016
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The Vancouver Economic Commission and Spring Activator present Startup City: Impact on June 6 – 10 to further accelerate growth of Vancouver’s impact businesses


Vancouver, B.C. (May 30, 2016)—Impact businesses, also known as purpose-driven businesses, are on the rise in Vancouver as more entrepreneurs discover that it pays to make a difference. Startup City: Impact, presented by The Vancouver Economic Commission (VEC) in close partnership with Spring Activator, is a series of events from June 6 to 10 that will showcase, educate and connect startup businesses looking to solve local and global challenges, while creating new economic opportunity.

“Vancouver’s impact entrepreneurs are changing perceptions, locally and globally, about how businesses operate by demonstrating that profitability is possible when taking social, environmental and cultural impact into account,” says Ian McKay, CEO of The Vancouver Economic Commission. “Through specialized programs like the VEC’s Startup City: Impact, we hope to gather like-minded innovators, investors and talent so our impact sector can flourish even more.”

According to a recent Sauder School of Business study, British Columbia’s social venture labour market has grown by 35% with sector earnings exceeding $500 million dollars annually. The study also shows Vancouver has the highest number of impact businesses, a feature that sets it apart from other startup ecosystems around the world. In addition to startups, established businesses are also starting to expand impact products and services, which has contributed to the growth of B.C.’s social venture sector.

“Any business can be an impact business. There are many ways companies can create positive impact in their communities and it may not always be obvious shifts,” says Keith Ippel, CEO of Spring Activator. “Apart from offering purpose-driven products or services, companies can also weave purpose into the way they operate, from supply chains to delivery to community engagement.”

VEC’s Startup City: Impact features ticketed and free programming that furthers the growth of Vancouver’s impact businesses, including workshops on how to attract strategic investors, how to pitch business ideas facilitated by angel investor Tom Williams, and more. There will also be a career fair featuring companies who are actively recruiting for top talent who want to be part of the impact sector. Each event requires individual registration and will take place in various locations around Vancouver. To learn more, click on the links below and visit



June 6 (Mon) FrontFundr x Spring Lunch and Learn Spring + FrontFundr Red Academy 12:30 pm – 1:30 pm
Founder Hour with Tom Williams VEC + Radius Backstage Lounge 4:30 pm – 6:00 pm
BlastOff Radius Backstage Lounge 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm
June 7 (Tue) Finance 101 New Ventures BC SFU Harbour Centre, Labatt Hall 11:30 am – 2:00 pm
Fast Pitch New Ventures BC SFU Innovation Lab 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm
June 8 (Wed) Mythbusting Mixer VEC Science World, Green Roof 5:30 pm – 8:30 pm
June 9 (Thu) Career Fair Spring Science World, Green Roof 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm
June 10 (Fri) Freelance Fridays Talent Collective Suite Genius 8:30 am -12:00 pm
SpringU Demo Day Spring Unbounce 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm
June 11 (Sat) CBCF Hackathon Protohack + Lina’s Dream + Victory Square Labs + Launch Academy Launch Academy 9:30 am – 11:00 pm
Open Source Circular Economy Day Goal12 The Hive 9:00 am – 5:00 pm



About The Vancouver Economic Commission

The Vancouver Economic Commission works to position Vancouver as a globally recognized city for innovative, creative, and sustainable business. The VEC does this by strengthening the tech, digital entertainment, and green economy sectors through strategic programs and initiatives that address each stage of the business growth continuum.



About Spring Activator

Spring empowers early entrepreneurs operating at the intersection of impact and tech to launch, grow, and change the world. Spring knows that starting a business and trying to change the world for the better is not an easy thing, their goal is to help entrepreneurs maximize their chances of success, avoid common mistakes, and have an easier journey to starting a successful venture. Spring University was launched to address a need for an accessible and comprehensive startup education for entrepreneurs everywhere. We believe that everyone has the potential to create positive impact, whether that’s in your world or the world.



Media Inquiries:

Kei Baritugo
BoldLove Communications