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RSA helps entrepreneurs get social

Unique program helps students develop business strategies

RSA Canada and the School for Social Entrepreneurs in Ontario are extending their collaboration for another year, which in the ol’ fashioned lingo of tweedy English schoolmasters and Martha Stewart is a Good Thing. What, may you ask, is a social entrepreneur? Well, in this context, we’re talking about clever minds that spot “social and environmental problems in their communities and use sustainable business strategies to achieve tangible and meaningful solutions.”

The program has helped one mother start a bakery in a Toronto neighbourhood with high youth unemployment and a human rights activist try to alter the business world’s view of disabilities like cerebral palsy.

RSA Canada won’t tell us how much green they’ve earmarked for the initiative (who knows, we like to think maybe they’re also funding Batman), but Mark Edgar, senior veep for human resources, says the insurer enjoys working with them as “a smaller kind of niche organization, one that we can get involved in—in kind of a more fulsome, partnership-type way. So beyond just kind of financial support, we’re able to [help] them through all sorts of other ways, including mentoring and providing subject matter expertise…”

Marjorie Brans, the managing director of the school, says RSA helped with a course called “Insurance 101” that was opened up “not only to our current students, but also the SSE community broadly. So we had 50 social entrepreneurs from the sector attend that workshop. And it’s for people to just learn about insurance, and how you use it to manage risk in your business.”

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Copyright © 2016 Transcontinental Media G.P. This article first appeared in the April 2016 edition of Canadian Insurance Top Broker magazine