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"Entrepreneurship is a very rewarding journey, but part of it is you have to take risk...you will fail...learn from it...keep fighting and try again... some people say it's having GRIT" Amit Vermani, Founder & CEO, Naveco Power Inc. Ethan and Hojun are two doers, makers and thinkers who have done an excellent job unpacking this form of entrepreneurship. The Social Entrepreneurs in SocialPreneur 1.0 --In SocialPreneur 1.0, business leaders from five New Brunswick social entrepreneurial companies joined the conversation to help unpack the social entrepreneur concept: Community Forests International, PLATO Testing, Porpoise, Naveco Power and Stone Soup. Amit Vermani is the perfect example of a provincial repatriate who studied at Queens University and operated his own business in Ontario for several years. He is the Founder and CEO of Naveco Power Incorporated, which maximizes financial returns and social progress by developing clean, affordable and renewable energy-related projects that benefit the environment and communities within New Brunswick. Gabriel asks what Amit thinks about so many youth exiting the province early on – "We often don't realize what we have until we leave. Home is where the heart is and the heart is New Brunswick. So when you come home social entrepreneurship allows a lot of opportunity for New Brunswick kids to mix passion with doing good in the community as well as working on a project here in NB that supports businesses as well." Keith McIntosh, Founder of PLATO Testing, explains "I don't think it’s a new thing, probably a new name, but people have been helping themselves for hundreds and hundreds of years."

He doesn't think social entrepreneurism is the only solution, but people looking out for their neighbours and asking "how do I make my environment and ecosystem better helps people feel like they are owning some of the solutions rather than just doing it for a salary. It changes the way people look at things." Professional Aboriginal Testing Organization Inc. or PLATO is making a social impact and changing lives by training and employing Aboriginal people across Canada in or near their communities to provide outsourced software testing services to clients throughout North America. Gabriel's narration and interviewing feels genuine. We get the sense he cares about the project and is authentically looking for answers. He asks Jeff Schnurr, Chairperson of Community Forests International, about an off camera comment regarding the abundance of opportunities and resources we have in the province. "We often focus on what we don’t have... we need to start celebrating on what we have, which is amazing land, really smart people who can do literally anything and combine that with some of the cutting- edge things happening globally, and really make something

that’s unique to who we are as New Brunswickers... but New Brunswick isn't for everybody... If you go, you're still from here, even if you don't move back here you're still contributing ideas back to this place... and I think that's invaluable." Today, Community Forests International fosters environmental stewardship internationally by establishing community forests, promoting sustainable forestry techniques and initiating environmental education. All the while, building supply chains by connecting people to other communities and the world through transformative partnerships. With 17.1 percent youth unemployment rate it's hard for youth to picture this province as being a place for growth. Claire Ashton, Social Enterprise Developer at the Saint John Learning Exchange is more optimistic. Claire sees a different picture: "Millennials or people who don’t want to work for big corporations... but who see the value in their work having a social impact are attracted to social entrepreneurship... I can see it growing for that reason. It’s a different set of values that people who are just getting into the workforce have and so it’s a good opportunity to do business, but to do it in a way that aligns with our values." Saint John Learning Exchange is a nonprofit organization offering adult education, training and career development. To help fund their programs, they have created two

"The truly great entrepreneurs aren't the ones who have taken the standard path everyone has been on. They're the ones that have seen things around the world, tried things that didn't work out - justJeff had an unique experience." Schnurr, Chairperson Community Forests -20-

Jeff Schnurr, International Chairperson, https://forestsinternational.org Community Forests International

Profile for BrilliantLabs

Brilliant Labs Magazine: The Entrepreneurial Spirit  

In this issue we will explore what it means to be an entrepreneur through the stories of youth, educators and established entrepreneurs alik...

Brilliant Labs Magazine: The Entrepreneurial Spirit  

In this issue we will explore what it means to be an entrepreneur through the stories of youth, educators and established entrepreneurs alik...