In this episode of the Impact Podcast, we travel to Canada and speak to Danielle Carruthers, who is the founder and CEO of “theSedge.org”. She is also working with Solene on building new resources and tools to engage social entrepreneurs.
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Meet Danielle Carruthers
Danielle is based out of Calgary, Alberta in Canada enjoying rocky mountains. She has done quite a bit of work in South America for theSedge.org, surveying global social entrepreneurs. Danielle graduated in biology in high school, but she found her interest, in the entrepreneurial space, and switched programs through university. She always applied her love for knowledge and learning, in the work she did. She was involved in school club called, Enactus. It is a community of student, academic and business leaders, committed to using the power of entrepreneurial action to transform lives and build a sustainable world. This was her crash course in social entrepreneurship.
Danielle always loved to facilitate things, teach people, as part of extracurricular activity in the university. She wanted to pick up topics that are not exciting & snazzy, but are very practical and important for life success. As a part of the program, she spoke about budgeting, credit cards, interest rates to a group of women who were earlier involved in sex trade. She found that it helped them, to get their lives back on track, so she wanted to keep doing these activities which brings in impact or social good.
She worked in banking industry for a couple of years after graduation. But she always wanted to build an ecosystem for social entrepreneurs to collaborate, as there wasn’t a proper place for these like minded folks to share their passion. She used to reach them in pockets through blogs on the internet. She liked the fact that theSedge platform, helped to connect like minded social entrepreneurs from different backgrounds. But what started as a platform, eventually transformed itself into a space where it can help, educate ways about running a social enterprise business.
Danielle is currently running a workshop called “Idea Finder”, this helps people who are really interested in making a change in community through a new idea. It helps the participants to go through phases and set of activities which helps to validate if the idea is worth investing your time and feasible as well. It really helps social entrepreneurs to have a good shot at their goal.
Collaboration with Solène
Danielle collaborated with Solene, founder of Creators for Good and like minded social entrepreneurship enabler. They both co-host quarterly calls for communities, arrange Q&A sessions with network members. Their first topic of discussion was ironically about collaboration itself, it was core value that they were drawn into. They were able to accomplish so much more than, they could do it alone. So they decided to write a book about “Meeting of the Minds, the Social Entrepreneur’s Roadmap for Collaborations That Work”. They have managed to do everything within a year of their collaboration. They have also recently launched “Change Makers Association” which is a membership learning platform for social entrepreneurs.
There is a “Global Social Entrepreneurs Lab” on facebook, where you can connect with Solene and Danielle about their work. There are close to 900 members. They also have website called SocentLab.com, where they have hosted some of the past Q&A’s.
Danielle’s biggest advice for anyone who is starting a social enterprise is to start small, even though their dreams could be bigger. This could potentially avoid a tripping point. And the other factor, is patience. To learn more about Danielle and her work, please visit the site in the show notes.