“Where does my passion lead me? What can make my degree more meaningful? How can I do good for the world?”
I found my answers to these questions when I attended the UBC Social Enterprise Conference of 2018. I met people driven by positive change, whether for sustainability, empowerment, or peace—and I learned that I can be a part of that change.
The Social Enterprise Club (SEC) bridges the gap between students and social enterprises—businesses dedicated to social and environmental wellbeing (for example, selling ethically-sourced products or providing education to marginalized populations).
SEC is a passionate team…
The team’s passions add colour to their shared purpose of making the world a better place. Maybe it’s through an interdisciplinary lens, or mentorship, or a focus on mental health. No matter the form, this team brings impact to life.
This year’s Conference Director, Olivia, is a bundle of joy and ideas. Here’s her philosophy:
“It’s easy to get caught in the rat race. But really, stop and think about what matters to you. In 20 years, what will still matter to you? Make that your focus instead of what everyone else is doing.”
The Events Director, Jenally, is dedicated to change-making through youth and the city. “My passion is ensuring that others know that they are powerful—I feel satisfied when I’m able to make someone feel empowered,” she said with a glimmer in her eyes.
“Once they feel empowered, I trust that they will be able to go after whatever aspirations they have. Working with youth has given me the opportunity to put this into practice as a leader. I want to continue going through this in the future.”
SEC is dedicated to helping others find their passion. Their events delve into the roots of your goals by continuously asking “why”.
“Everything that is going to be impactful and novel will include many aspects of disciplines,” expressed Co-VP of Events, Amanda. “SEC brings people together from these different disciplines to create impact and spark conversations.”
The team itself reflects this disciplinary diversity—Amanda’s Events team consists of 4 students from Science, Commerce, Arts, and LFS respectively! They plan the 1 to 2 events that SEC hosts monthly, which are open and accessible to anybody and everybody, regardless of interests, age, skills, or experience.
...providing connections and resources for ideation…
A hub of entrepreneurship, SEC connects students with professionals in their field of interest. This includes local businesspeople, such as Felix Bock from ChopValue, or international change-makers, such as Tareq Hadhad from Peace by Chocolate!
At the annual conference, SEC invites 90+ social enterprise delegates to host workshops, speak in panels, and build relationships with students through networking. SEC also provides students with the Innovation Mentorship Program, where they’re connected directly with a social enterprise professional to build skills and incubate ideas. At SEC’s annual Innovation Jam event, students can work hands-on with early-stage ventures to find solutions for real business problems. These are a few of many ways for students to get empowered through SEC.
The VP External, Susie, joined SEC to gain business experience to make an impact on the world. “You get to work for yourself, and make whatever you’re doing your own. That’s what I enjoy.” This year, she’s in charge of the club’s external relationships, grants, and sponsorships. “When I was in first year, I got involved in SEC through attending Innovation Jam, the conference, doing the Mentorship program, and chatting with the execs.”
...supporting each other like family…
Beyond working together, the SEC family supports each other in all aspects of life! Presenting passion projects and competing in sock wars are just a few ways they maintain their strong bond.
“At the end of the day, it’s not about the work that you do or the things that you produce, it’s more about who you are and caring about each other. This is reflective in the way we work, talk, and think about things…people always come first,” Olivia expressed.
“My favourite thing is getting to meet new people who remind me so much of myself,” said Jenally—who's already excited to meet you at SEC’s next event!
So what are you waiting for?
Here’s how you can get involved!
- Buy a membership for $10! This gives you free or discounted entry to all events and the conference, and access to a members-only community! You’ll also receive member benefits like discounts to Fresh Prep, TMix, and Hot Box Yoga.
- Go to events! Like the SEC Facebook Page to stay connected. Events are open to everybody so bring your friends!
- Talk to the SEC executives about anything and everything—they’re always open.
Mark your calendars: The annual UBC Social Enterprise Conference, SEC's signature event, is happening on Saturday, March 9!