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Social Enterprise – Bringing Thinkers, Disrupters and Doers Together

“A social enterprise operates like a business, produces goods and services for the market, but manages its operations and redirects its surpluses in pursuit of social and environmental goals.” – Western Economic Diversification

Are you new to social enterprise, or an existing organization looking to connect with those within the sector? Join us on October 17th for our one day interactive workshop where you will be educated by speakers Elly Green and Kathy Willis, informed during round table discussions and inspired during the screening of The Social Shift, a documentary on business for the common good.


2 pm Registration/Welcome

2:30 pm Social Enterprise 101 Elly Green – Social Enterprise Network of Central Ontario

3 pm Creating a Sustainable Social Enterprise Kathy Willis – Operation Grow

3:30 pm Break

4 pm Round Table Discussions

Barry Randall – Grey Bruce Sustainability Network

5:30 pm Networking

6 pm Dinner

7 pm Screening of The Social Shift – A Documentary on Business for the Common Good (50% of proceeds will go towards the SENCO Traction Grants Program.


Elly Green

Elly has worked over 15-years within the nonprofit sector and is currently working as the Program Manager for Georgian College’s Centre for Changemaking and Social Innovation leading senco (social enterprise network of central ontario). Elly is focused on growing senco, an initiative specialized in building capacity of social enterprise across the “footprint” of Georgian’s campuses in Central Ontario. senco now has a team of experts and established partners to support activity, impact and growth in this sector.

May 2014 through to May 2017, Elly was hired on as an “intrapreneur” by SKETCH Working Arts and held the position of Social Enterprise Developer. She lead the development and launch of their social enterprise initiative called “SpaceShare”, bringing eight specialty art studios into operation within a 7,500 square-foot facility at Artscape Youngplace downtown Toronto. Her passion and commitment to this project shone through in 2016 when SpaceShare surpassed its high target of $100k in annual earned revenue.

Elly has a knack for creative problem solving, exceptional interpersonal skills, a hard working attitude, and is known by the dedication and zest in her work.

Kathy Willis

Kathy Willis has always been a strong feminist advocate in the anti-violence movement. At only 27 years old she opened a women’s shelter in Collingwood, which is still operating today. Currently, Kathy is the Executive Director of Huronia Transition Homes (HTH), a charitable organization in Simcoe County working to end all violence against all women. Under Kathy’s leadership, HTH has grown from a single program woman’s shelter to multi-program county-wide organization offering a women’s shelter with specialized services for women who have been sex trafficked, a sexual assault counselling and advocacy centre, a children’s program for children exposed to abuse against their mothers, and most recently a social enterprise Operation Grow (OG).

Through countless years of providing services to women, Kathy realized that HTH’s core programming was not impacting intergenerational poverty and abuse. Her vision for OG was to build a program that went beyond conventional programs for women who have experienced violence and provides opportunities to mitigate the impacts of trauma, isolation and poverty.

At the heart of OG is a vertical farm which uses cutting-edge and accessible technology where women are trained to grow lettuces, herbs and produce in a climate-controlled indoor environment. Knowing that the project had to be sustainable, Kathy ensured that revenue from the sale of herbs and vegetables would provide sustainability to OG and help fund the programs and services of HTH. For her innovation and commitment to supporting women with a fresh approach, Kathy was a recipient of the Ministry of the Attorney General Victims Services Award of Distinction in 2018.

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