Innovation: Unlocking Society's Potential.Read Mission Statement

In late September 2007, CSEF interviewed Omar Yaqub who had just returned from Africa. [Read Interview here.]

Omar has been very busy since the Fall of 2007. Omar is currently Director of Operations for the newly created based out of Edomonton, Alberta, Canada.

"Eight years in the making, the Social Enterprise Fund recently got off the ground in February. A joint initiative of the Edmonton Community Foundation, the City of Edmonton, and the United Way of Alberta, SEF aims to become an $11 million fund with $21 million in loans in the next five years.

What’s a social enterprise? SEF defines it as “a hybrid that combines social intent & the for-profit business model.” Just as a traditional enterprise is concerned with return on investment (ROI), the social enterprise is concerned with social return on investment (SROI). What’s the difference? SROI aims to capture the social and environmental benefits of projects, whereas ROI typically does not. You can learn more about social enterprises at Wikipedia.

There are three main criteria that potential SEF clients must meet:

SEF will sit down and talk with potential clients to ensure they meet these criteria. In fact, there are no application forms or deadlines - SEF takes a much more intimate approach, working with clients directly.

They key thing SEF can provide is a loan. The goal is to help non-profit organizations move away from grants. Examples of financial packages include:

While the terms can be very flexible, the loans are not forgivable. In addition to loans, SEF offers business expertise, educational seminars, and more. Organizations that SEF has worked with already include Flavour Budzzz and E4C’s Kids in the Hall Bistro. Other examples of social enterprises include Habitat for Humanity’s ReStores, and Earth Water."


Here is a Video created by



CSEF will be looking to do a follow up interview with Omar (if he has time!) [Read September 2007 original Interview here.]

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