Our Structure

Social Enterprise for Canada (SEC) is a not-for-profit Ontario corporation with charitable status, it owns and holds a single share of Social Enterprise Canada Inc., a Canadian for-profit corporation. Under SECC we operate Bridge Translations and Bridge Solutions.

We started as the Vaughan Neighbourhood Support Centre Inc. in 1991. The founding objectives of the organization included the ability to generate revenues so that the organization would not be dependent upon donated funds or government support and would be able to continue to invest in areas of high need. The founders were community leaders and second-generation newcomers who recognized the barriers to service, the lack of service, and the absence of diverse populations at planning and decision tables.  VNSC worked to address those issues.

Early Ventures included space rental to other agencies so a service hub could be provided to the community and the launch of an interpretation and translation service that remains active today.

As the agency expanded the local identifier of a neighbourhood centre was no longer fully descriptive of its unique business approach to public service and charitable work or its scope of operations.   The agency then became York Region Neighbourhood Services Inc.

Social Enterprise was a new term and captured well the intent and ethos of the organization, in 2002 the agency was the first charitable agency in Canada to incorporate and own a for-profit corporation. We did this for transparency, and to ensure any enterprise operated on a fair and equal playing field with other business ventures.  Separating enterprise from charity, separate books, clear service agreements, and separation of costs and funds were maintained.

We decided to rebrand the agency in 2006 as our identity was muddy. Many funders including UW did not support social enterprise. Most traditional funders of charitable services believed that any ethical charity did not engage in any business. We felt by adopting the name, we could promote and bring clarity to the intent and purpose of Social Enterprise.

Resources created by SECC have sustained underfunded charitable programs. This includes a shortfall in administrative costs such as insurance, audit and bookkeeping, Human resource management, and general administrative functions. Revenues have also allowed us to provide needed vulnerable programs such as Boys and Girls Clubs service to needed schools in York when funds were not available or adequate.

SEC has benefited each year from SECC resources and reinvestment.

Our motto of building business, and enriching lives speaks to how we approach the use and expense of public tax dollars entrusted to us to provide important public services and our overarching goal as an organization to enrich and improve the lives of individuals.