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January to July 2017

The proposed methodology is designed to address the research questions and generate insights that will inform future development of the benefit corporate model in Canada.
The research will include information about recent/relevant legislative and regulatory changes in Canada, and comparative review with the US and UK. Input will be sought from practitioners, social entrepreneurs, subject-matter experts, and clients/customers of social enterprises and social purpose businesses.


Quantitative: Research based on existing legislation and forms.

Develop a comprehensive table comparing approximately 15 venture models currently used by social entrepreneurs in Canada, the US and the UK.
US/UK benefit incorporation
US/UK/CDN (for-profit) incorporation
US/UK/ CDN not-for-profit incorporation
CDN Charitable registration
CDN Cooperatives
CDN Unincorporated entities (partnerships, associations, trusts, public foundations)
B-Corp designation


Quantitative: statistics, aggregated from available information.

Bring together data about hybrid organizations in Canada (e.g.: Province of British Columbia, Province of Nova Scotia, federal level activity), the United States and the United Kingdom. Develop a gap analysis to determine what current Canadian laws provide in comparison with other jurisdictions' hybrid corporate models.


Qualitative: descriptive narrative highlighting the environment and operational situation for social entrepreneurs.

Identify a set of 10 initiatives that reflect important social venture variations in Canada. Interview and describe what is happening and why and social entrepreneurs’ situations and actions.


Qualitative: survey of CDN social entrepreneurs operating ventures across the existing range of corporate models.

Prepare a short anonymous survey and reach out to a mix of 25 social entrepreneurs to complete the survey. Analyze and synthesize legislative and regulatory considerations for a benefit corporate model in Canada.


Qualitative: telephone or in-person interviews.

Interview 12 subject-matter experts, social entrepreneurs, and people who have founded a benefit corporation (US/UK, BC/NS) or would consider founding or converting to a benefit corporation to explore whether the additional features identified in the gap analysis are attractive enough for them to convert or choose this new form for their organization. Informants will contribute to considerations for a benefit corporate model in Canada, and the crossover considerations for existing ventures, i.e.: for-profit to benefit; not-for-profit to benefit.

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