Ben Scholl, Ian Stecher, Bruna Gjini Ben Scholl, Ian Stecher, and Bruna Gjini are the founders of the social enterprise the Good Exchange.

Social enterprise plans to harness entrepreneurial energies

The bottom line doesn’t have to be a flat line, say the founders of a social enterprise which hopes to harness entrepreneurship to alleviate poverty in Windsor-Essex.

Business students Bruna Gjini and Ian Stecher teamed up with new graduate Ben Scholl to form the Good Exchange, and are working with the Summer Founders Program of the Entrepreneurship Practice and Innovation Centre (EPICentre) to launch their company.

They plan to issue a currency for recyclable materials and volunteer labour.

“We’ve recognized that individuals in our community who collect and include the consignment of alcoholic beverage containers in their income are often underappreciated for the public service they perform,” Stecher says. “Our goal is to legitimize, destigmatize, and expand our members’ ability to perform the service they provide.”

Scholl, who will begin studies this fall towards a master’s degree in communications and social justice, says he is excited to create a social enterprise.

“Over the last couple of years of my undergrad, I became increasingly drawn towards social entrepreneurship as a means of conducting business,” he says. “It has the potential to provide more holistic benefits to communities.”

And Gjini says the RBC Summer Founders Program can help the team make connections necessary to success.

“A large portion of our business will rely on building a network in the community,” she says. “Working with EPICentre will allow us to tap into a wealth of pre-existing local business networks and lend us immediate legitimacy.”

This is the seventh in a series of articles introducing participants in the RBC Summer Founders Program, leading up to a showcase of their prototypes on August 1 at EPICentre. Learn more on the centre’s website.

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