“When we went out into our social venture community here in Vancouver
we saw a lot of entrepreneurs and venture teams with great impact driven
ideas struggle due to lack of business experience, challenges in finding a
place to work, a lack of flexible resources, investment opportunities and
the lack of a peer network that offered support. We decided to build a
program and space that would provide all those things to social ventures
while growing a strong eco-system of impact focused entrepreneurs right
here in Vancouver” – Joanna Buczkowska-McCumber

Coast Capital Savings Innovation Hub – 2015 Awardee

The Coast Capital Savings Innovation Hub (CCS iHub) aims to build the social entrepreneurship community in British Columbia, Canada and more broadly across Canada. Within this framing, CCS iHub is a one-year accelerator program for high potential social ventures to amplify their social impact at the Sauder School of Business at University of British Columbia. The CCS iHub offers a dynamic space to accelerate social venture growth by bringing together university resources, peer learning, student engagement and community business networks.

The program is defined by its passionate community and collaborative environment. CCS iHub provides ventures with co-working space; a workshop series tailored to the unique needs of social ventures (in collaboration with university faculty and UBC’s entrepreneurship@ubc initiative); business coaching and advisory services; internship program; mentorship and peer networks. The CCS iHub also runs a full time internship program open to students from across faculties and across universities in Canada, a series of innovation jam and revue events in the community to showcase the incredible work of the social ventures and the students are doing through the year. Bringing together all stakeholders, CCS iHub annually hosts ‘Propelling Social Ventures’ conference to both showcase social ventures and tackle the challenges that the impact focused ventures face in our regional and global marketplace.


CCS iHub’s success and growth is closely linked with the growth of the social ventures incubated the CCS iHub, and their ability to amplify the impact they have set out to achieve. CCS iHub, through our social ventures, has had immense social impact. By February 2015 we will have 16 social ventures, whose impact is local, national and global, working through the accelerator program. Some of the measurable impact in the past two years has included:

  • 122,825 meals served to those in need
  • 153 schools funded in developing countries
  • 22,300kg of CO2 diverted
  • 12 individuals with barriers employed
  • 15 local fishermen supported
  • 8 community gardens established on vacant lots.

Above all else it has been able to establish strong partnerships across the university and community. The program has garnered a significant amount of attention, participation and support from our community partners, including the Province of British Columbia, City of Vancouver, Futurepreneurs, BC Innovation Council, and Canada Enterprising Non Profits.

How can people become involved in or replicate your innovation? 

This model represents is the ability to create change by seeding ideas and experiences in students, supporting social ventures, actively and meaningfully interacting with the business, changemaker, and regional communities, and above all else empowering and allowing individuals to create change. If organizations, institutions, and individuals (including students) are interested in getting involved or learning there are many ways to do so. Whether you want to learn more about the program and the ventures, participate in the delivery of our programming, invest in our ventures, or intern at the CCS iHub please visit the website or send an email to Joanna Buczkowska-McCumber (see contact info below).

Contact information

Joanna Buczkowska-McCumber, Director, Social Innovation, Centre for Social Innovation & Impact Investing at the University of British Columbia, joanna.buczkowska@sauder.ubc.ca

Cordes Innovation Awards

In partnership with Cordes Foundation, Ashoka U seeks to recognize globally relevant teaching, learning, and partnership practices that may be adapted and replicated across the field.