GEW 2019: Spotlight on social engagement
Every year, the entrepreneurial community around the world celebrates Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW). Entrepreneurs are known for innovating to solve problems, both large and small. This year, the international event is highlighting work being done to tackle today’s major challenges. This edition of the GEW is focused on social entrepreneurship, a concept that strongly resonates with Énergir, which provides annual support to companies that are making the world a better place. One such company is Coop FA, which created the Bourse du carbone Scol’ÈRE, an educational program on climate change. We sat down with Charles-Hugo Maziade, Director of Coop FA, to find out about his vision of social entrepreneurship.
É: What does social entrepreneurship mean to you?
CH: Organizations and projects whose activities have positive impacts, both for communities and their environment. In every sector, we can generate activities and initiatives that meet the needs of the community and create healthy spaces where people are happy to live.
Social entrepreneurship is also inherently linked to cooperation among numerous industry players who are stakeholders in the initiatives. It calls for us to consider the long-term effects of the actions we take today.
É: How did Coop FA come about?
CH: Founded in 2007, Coop FA is the culmination of a vision shared by five individuals from different fields, each one looking to create an organization that would launch positive, fun and creative projects related to education and the environment. One of the founding members had a background in cooperatives and recommended adopting the worker cooperative model. This allowed everyone to be involved in the organization’s development.
The founding members are now working in other fields, but we owe them a deep debt of gratitude. They made the most of their expertise and desire to make a positive difference in our communities.
É: What’s in store for Coop FA?
CH: Coop FA is proud to be working with partners from all industries on its projects, which will help us grow and have a positive impact throughout Québec.
Since April 2018, Coop FA has been working with a social economy organization in Europe to implement a project that will mobilize and connect youth in France and Québec. We’re extremely proud of this valuable partnership, which will enable us to share best practices and create a project with an international perspective.
In addition, Coop FA is capitalizing on the use of IT to reach and engage society regarding social and environmental projects. The potential is so inspiring that, even after eight years of integrating IT into our projects, we feel like we’re just scratching the surface of the possibilities it offers. In the next few years, we will begin major work aimed at designing and creating new, positive tools for social engagement.