Social innovation and entrepreneurship can help address longstanding social problems by improving the welfare and well-being of individuals and communities. Non-profit organizations and social investors can support social innovation by engaging in for-profit activities, such as social enterprises. As Canada Research Chair in Social Innovation and Social Entrepreneurship in the Human Services, Dr. Michael Shier is identifying the factors needed to enable Canadian non-profit human service organizations (HSOs) and social investors to engage in these activities.
To do this, Shier and his research team are conducting qualitative, quantitative and participatory research and collecting primary data on HSOs, for-profit firms and other actors engaged in activities that have social purposes. They are also developing tools to collect survey data from a random sampling of HSOs and social investors across Canada. They will use these data to support the development and implementation of social-purpose-driven, for-profit activities. Ultimately, their research will support social innovation.