DC announces new business incubator for social entrepreneurs

Durham College (DC) is pleased to share that its FastStartDC program has launched SHIFT, a new business start-up accelerator service designed to support social enterprises and entrepreneurs, as they work towards making a positive social, environmental or economic impact on the world.

The unique service was announced in front of more than 100 DC students, employees, community partners and local business leaders at a launch party co-hosted by the Business Advisory Centre Durham as part of Do It in Durham’s Entrepreneurship Week, held on November 22 in DC’s Global Classroom.

During the event, attendees heard from the member of parliament for Whitby, Ryan Turnbull, , who spoke briefly about the benefits of social entrepreneurship, as well as a panel of social entrepreneurs, including Janet Nezon, founder, Rainbow Plate; Shaun Frankson, co-founder and chief technology officer, Plastic Bank; Elisa Birnbaum, journalist, author and editor, SEE Change Magazine; and Dan Kershaw, executive director, Furniture Bank. Hosted by DC professor Lon Appleby, the panel discussion focused on shifting entrepreneurial mindsets to create businesses that will make a positive impact.

“Great things happen when entrepreneurship and social thinking go hand-in-hand,” said Dr. Elaine Popp, vice president, Academic. “We have seen so many incredible student entrepreneurs working with the FastStartDC team to develop products, brands and businesses. Now the next generation of students will be able to take advantage of all that FastStartDC has to offer but can do so while building a culture of social change through entrepreneurial thinking and action all thanks to SHIFT.”

SHIFT is the first FastStartDC service to support both students and social entrepreneurs from across Durham Region. FastStartDC is an extra-curricular entrepreneurship program housed within DC’s 360insights Entrepreneurship Centre in the Centre for Collaborative Education that offers DC students access to entrepreneurial services and training programs.