Selling Social: Procurement, Purchasing, and Social Enterprises

Author +
Jennifer Sumner, Andrea Chan, Annie Luk, and Jack Quarter, editors

Year: 2023

Since the 2010s, all levels of governments in Canada have gradually initiated social procurement as a policy tool to further their social values and political agendas. Social enterprises of various shapes and sizes across the country have served as partners in the execution of those agendas. Selling Social examines the experiences of these enterprises in social procurement and social purchasing. Selling Social presents the findings of a three-year Canadian research project detailing experiences of work integration social enterprises (WISEs) selling their goods and services to organizational purchasers, including governments, businesses, and non-profit organizations. Drawing on survey findings and interviews, the book explores a diverse group of social enterprises from across Canada, showcasing their successes and their challenges based on real-life examples to aid social enterprises that are considering this path. The book emphasizes the importance of including social and environmental considerations in procurement and purchasing decisions, particularly at larger scales and through public policy. In doing so, Selling Social extends the understanding of social enterprises beyond their social and economic outcomes and into the broader movement towards responsible procurement and purchasing.

Table of contents

Part 1: Overview of Non-profit Social Enterprises, Social Procurement, and Social Purchasing

  1. Literature Review – Andrea Chan, Shelley lepp, Annie Luk,
    Jack Quarter, and Jennifer Sumner
  2. Procurement and Purchasing Policies for Social Value by Governments in Canada – Rachel Laforest and Annie Luk
  3. A Pan-Canadian Survey of Social Enterprises – Andrea Chan, Annie Luk, Shelley Lepp, Laurie Mook, Marty Donkervoort,
    Rachel Laforest, Gordon M. Djong, Arielle Vetro, and Jack Quarter

Part 2: Securing Large Contracts through Relationship Building

  1. BUILD Inc. – Marty Donkervoort and Art Ladd
  2. SARCAN Recycling: A Division of SARC – Andrea Chan
  3. Ever Green Recycling – Yasmin Hariri
  4. EMBERS Staffing Solutions – Marty Donkervoort and Marcia Nozick

Part 3: The Importance of Parent Organizations

  1. Social Crust Cafe & Catering – Yasmin Hariri
  2. ImagineAbility Inc. – Marty Donkervoort and Audra Penner
  3. Wachiay Studio – Yasmin Hariri
  4. Diversity Food Services – Marty Donkervoort and Kirsten Godbout
  5. Rainbow’s End Community Development Corporation – Annie Luk and David Williams

Part 4: The Dilemma of Selling Social Value

  1. Let’s Work Atlantic and Market Wizards – Annie Luk
  2. Ethnicity Catering – Anika Roberts-Stahlbrand
  3. Horizon Achievement Centre – Annie Luk and Carol Pendergast
  4. Calgary Progressive Lifestyles Foundation – Jennifer Sumner
  5. Stone Hearth Bakery – Anika Roberts-Stahlbrand

Part 5: Balancing Multiple Bottom Lines

  1. The Groupe PART (Programmes d’Apprentissage au Retour au Travail) – Rachel Laforest
  2. Harbourview Training Centre – Anika Roberts-Stahlbrand
  3. Challenge Disability Resource Group – Annie Luk and Jillian Hardie
  4. Services and Housing In the Province – Andrea Chan and Shirley Hannigan
  5. LOFT Kitchen – Jennifer Sumner

Conclusion: Selling Social: Future Directions – Laurie Mook