learn more about the niagara falls ryerson innovation hub
February 10, 2021
Beyond CSR: How Businesses Give Back

This is the first in a series of three on social enterprises.

A 2018 Forbes report informs that one of the biggest business trends for the next few years is the ‘rise of the social enterprise’. Business owners ranging from start-up founders to Fortune 500 CEOs are now thinking about their companies’ social impact, the role of their organizations in the world, and how their activities will impact future generations. In prior years, these considerations were the stuff of CSR consultants and were considered afterthoughts to the primary business motivations of profit realization. In recent years, however,  the rise of ‘stakeholder capitalism’ and the impending climate crisis have prompted existing start-ups and large corporations alike to make their social impact a standard part of their business plans, shareholder reporting, and brand strategies. 

Across the world, businesses are incorporating social impact into their business operations in a number of innovative ways and instead of viewing social responsibility as a burdensome yet necessary regulatory task, businesses are now seeing it as an opportunity to connect their product/service with larger social issues. In simpler terms, making the world a better place is good for business and provides organizations with new and exciting ways to connect with consumers, grow their brand, and innovate their products.  Whether it’s having a company philanthropic cause, donating a portion of proceeds to charity, or pivoting their business to provide solutions to social problems, businesses are realizing they need to have a social impact to scale in this new economic and social landscape. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has also prompted businesses to examine how they contribute to provision of social goods. For example, the Ontario Together Fund has allowed businesses in other sectors to translate their technology, products, services and expertise into innovative solutions to aid in pandemic response including medical equipment, PPE production, vaccine distribution, and workplace public health and safety measures. 

Are you a business owner looking to incorporate a social cause into your operations? Are you interested in giving back to the community? Do you want to be the best corporate citizen you can be? Connect with the business coaches at Spark Niagara and we can help!

Frequently asked questions
What does my membership get me?

Our memberships are all-inclusive pricing which means W.I.F.I, Utilities, Janitorial service, coffee and many other amenities are included. They start at 3 months! Memberships also offer business services including business coaching, perks and discounts, access to Spark’s Member Portal, events and workshops, and much more!

How long can I have a membership for?

Unlike many other incubators, Spark is here for you in the long run. You're welcome to participate in our entrepreneurial community as long as you'd like.

How is Spark connected to Ryerson University?

We work with Ryerson University and the City of Niagara Falls on the Niagara Falls Ryerson Innovation Hub. This initiative is for tech-based startups in or looking to move to Niagara Falls, Canada to grow and scale their business.

Will Spark invest in my company?

We are happy to help provide guidance on the necessary steps towards receiving external investments. That being said, we will not invest in your business nor are we affiliated as partners in your business.

I am a part of another incubator, can I still join Spark?

Spark stands by the mission of building our future with collective impact. We accept entrepreneurs whether they are affiliated with another incubator or not. We aspire to bring together the best talent in Niagara regardless of background.

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We offer a free 7 day trial for serious applicants only.

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