Social Enterprising for Tourism Success
Visitors to our culturally rich province are increasingly seeking out more engaging and intimate experiences, preferring authenticity and depth to quick-thrills and the tourist trap. The opportunity is ripe for knowledgeable and passionate tourism entrepreneurs to start small businesses with minimal start-up costs.
One group that knows passion, perseverance and how to operate with minimal costs is the not-for-profit sector. There are various models for not-for-profit funding: government grants, fundraising/donations, membership fees, etcetera. However, forward-thinking groups are engaged in Social Enterprise! Financial independence and greater results are achieved by the organization that embraces an enterprising approach to the provision of goods and/or services.
Some of our premiere tourism experiences are actually the result of Social Enterprise, with organizations generating funds to preserve local culture – the very same culture they then utilize to offer authentic experiences and products.
East Coast Trail Association
Product – East Coast Trail Maps and Guides
Committed to developing and maintaining the East Coast Trail, the Association created products such as trail maps and guides for sale to consumers. By selling these items, they also further promote public access to this breathtaking wilderness hiking experience.
Historic Sites Association of Newfoundland and Labrador
Retail – Heritage Shops
Offering cultural products and local gifts for sale within select National Historic Sites and tourist destinations, the Heritage Shops not only offer tangible reminders of our culture, but help fund heritage outreach projects across the province.
Fishing For Success
Experience – Island Rooms of Petty Harbour
Dedicated to preserving traditional fishing skills and knowledge for future generations, Fishing for Success helps support its programs by offering experiences to tourists, including cod jigging, dory rowing lessons, and scenic walking tours.
Newfoundland and Labrador Folk Arts Council
Event – Newfoundland and Labrador Folk Fest
The annual NL Folk Festival is a highlight of summer in downtown St. John’s, and its line-up of traditional music and celebration of culture generates funds for the NL Folk Arts Council and helps it achieve its mission of preserving traditional folk arts within the province.
Despite the success of others and growing momentum, many not-for-profit organizations are still hesitant to engage in Social Enterprise.
For not-for-profits interested in starting or expanding a Social Enterprise, there is Support available to make it happen. With up to $50,000 in financing, essential business advice, and skills development opportunities, Metro Business Opportunities can ensure your not-for-profit is ideally structured for Social Enterprise success.
Metro Business Opportunities (MBO) is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the development of Business and Social Enterprise in St. John’s and Mount Pearl. Through business advisory, lending, and training offerings, MBO’s knowledgeable team helps potential and existing entrepreneurs of all ages with idea generation, business start-up, and successful growth. For more information visit www.mboc.ca or call 709-738-1626.