RADIUS Co-Director Shawn Smith and Teresa Edge recently produced a social enterprise case study on Potluck Cafe Society, commissioned by Trico Charitable Foundation to follow up on the story the 2011 Social Enterprize winner. One of Canada’s best known social enterprises, the case study uses interviews with a number of key staff and stakeholders to dive into the journey of Potluck through its 2001 founding, several significant business model shifts, changes in leadership, and major strategic questions along the way.

Beyond what is a truly fascinating story, RADIUS was drawn to this project to help address a dearth of good Canadian social entrepreneurship content and examples, and plans to use the case study in a variety of social entrepreneurship and innovation courses taught at Simon Fraser University. Potluck provides strong examples of a number of the challenges and opportunities facing many social entrepreneurs and enterprises, including the tensions in a hybrid venture striving to maximize social impact while delivering a high quality business offering, governance and management structures, the evolution of their supported employment model, and more recently balancing their direct impact and broader opportunities (and demands on their time) to support systems change as a more mature enterprise.

You can read the whole case study here, and we’d love to hear any feedback!

Want to read more? Potluck case study also features prominently in a very thoughtful recent report produced by Trico Charitable Foundation, “Building on Getting Beyond Better”.

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