Laurier alumni wins social entrepreneurship award

On Friday, May 8, Wilfrid Laurier alumni Mike Morrice, along with team members Micaela Buchnea-Chew and Kyle Pinto, took home first place honours in the social entrepreneurship stream for the 2009 LaunchPad $50k Venture Creation Competition.

Morrice won for his new venture creation, Sustainable Waterloo, a not-for-profit organization that services all of the Waterloo Region, working with local companies to guide them towards a more ecologically sustainable future.

“What was interesting and exciting for us was that this was the first year [LaunchPad] had a social entrepreneurship stream.”

Founded in 2004, the competition has traditionally featured general industry and technology streams.

Morrice and his teammates first submitted their business proposal to LaunchPad back in early April.

Following this, they moved on to the semi-finals and then to the finals at the University of Guelph on May 1.

Sustainable Waterloo works through a collaboration between industry, government, academic and local non-profit groups.

“[The organization] was founded while Chris, a friend of mine, and myself were studying at Laurier,” said Morrice, executive director of Sustainable Waterloo.

The current work of Morrice’s company is centred on the Regional Carbon Initiative, which supports voluntary target-setting and the reduction of carbon emissions in local organizations.

“We function through helping organizations first commit to reducing carbon emissions, then provide them with services that will help them implement these reductions,” said Morrice.

The company also provides public information by showing which companies have committed to the program and how much money they have saved as a result in order to draw in more businesses.

Morrice says that this award speaks to the quality of business graduates coming out of Laurier.

“[WLU] produces graduates who are innovative and also have an understanding that business presents opportunities not only to increase profit and drive business growth, but to really work towards a social gain in our community.

“Laurier is producing graduates who have a keen social awareness and a passion to drive social change.”

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