New Opportunities for Social Entrepreneurs

September 9, 2019

We are excited to announce a new partnership with Groundswell, a Vancouver-based alternative business school for emerging social entrepreneurs.


The partnership will support artists and designers in initiating major projects and self-sustaining practices and includes a range of opportunities for Emily Carr students and alumni. A public talk by Groundswell Co-Founder Gilad Babchuk will kick off the fall; Groundswell program discounts are available to Emily Carr students and alumni. Groundswell also offers bursary opportunities for eligible applicants.

Public Talk

Mapping Yourself: Values, Skills and Identity
Gilad Babchuk, Co-Founder and Executive Director, Groundswell
September 17, 4:00, D3370, Emily Carr University

This session will focus on the mindset, tools and behaviours that can help you take ownership of your own path in the initiation of a major project. The talk is open to all students, faculty, staff and alumni.

Groundswell Program Discounts for Emily Carr Students and Alumni

We are pleased to announce 10-20% discounts for Emily Carr students and alumni enrolled in Groundswell’s Explore, Build and Test Market Programs.

Bursary Opportunity

Social Entrepreneurship Bursaries for Newcomers to Canada

This Bursary is for the 3-week part-time Explore course, which introduces entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial mindset to newcomers, helps them discover their own unique gifts that can be turned into a business or applied in their career, and helps them decide whether entrepreneurship is the right path for them.

Participants will meet several established entrepreneurs, including indigenous, LGBTQ and women of colour; receive mentorship, and build relationships with other diverse Canadian-born students.

Bursary Information

  • Link to Bursary Application is here; for more information book a call with Elena Yugai, Explore Program facilitator
  • 25-50% of tuition, limited spots available
  • Applications are approved on a rolling basis
  • Payment plans and additional Vancity micro-financing loans are available [Must be Canadian Citizen or Permanent Resident]


  • Immigrant or Refugee, less than 10 years in Canada
  • Have a desire to start a business with a social or environmental benefit
  • You can have a business idea or early stage business, but it is not necessary
  • Intermediate-Advanced English
  • No prior business experience is required

Important dates

  • Deadline to apply: September 20, 2019
  • Program dates: October 4: 5:30-8:30 pm and October 5-23: Saturdays, 10am-4pm, Wednesdays, 6-8 PM

Since January 2019, Groundswell has provided bursaries and scholarships to 15 women from 11 countries, including 3 refugees, 4 who are LGBTQ2+, ages 20-54. Six of these women launched their social businesses, with more continuing in the Build incubator program starting in the fall.

Information on Groundswell Programs 


October 4: 5:30-8:30 pm
October 5-23: Saturdays, 10am-4pm, Wednesdays, 6-8pm

A three-week crash course in personal leadership to help you navigate transitions and put your values to work.

During this 3-week intensive course, you’ll learn the mindset, tools and behaviours that can help you take ownership of your own path. You’ll be surrounded by experienced, patient facilitators and diverse, collaborative peers who work with you each step of the way. Think of this course as building a solid internal foundation before you begin your next chapter. Whether you’re launching a social enterprise or pursuing a values-led career, you need to know who you are, where you want to go and how to lead yourself to get there. EXPLORE will help you in:

  • Discovering your strengths and passions with powerful reflective exercises.
  • Mastering your behaviours and habits with practical tools and techniques.
  • Navigating change and transitions with purpose and clarity.

Participants have often referred to EXPLORE as a ‘life-transforming positive experience’ so we are offering it as a standalone course for anyone who wants to start putting their values to work. 


October 4, 2019 – March 7, 2020

A 5-month business design program to go from idea to impact within a supportive cohort community.

Weave your ideas and skills with the change you want to make in the world and build a socially and environmentally conscious small business. Through Groundswell’s Build, you’ll join an ecosystem of social entrepreneurs, small business owners and self-employed people who have found their way to make a positive impact.

For further information, please contact

Shumka Centre for Creative Entrepreneurship |  604 630 4573