United Church embraces startups

Categories: News
Published on: July 4, 2017

Globe and Mail / Mark Rendell / 03 July 2017

The Markham Community Innovation Hub, which can host up to 20 entrepreneurs, is only a small part of a broader shift in the United Church. In an attempt to engage millennials and reimagine its role in communities across the country, the church is turning to the language and techniques of startup culture.

Two years ago, EDGE ran its first Social Innovation Challenge in Toronto, inviting entrepreneurs and social activists, both church and non-church members, to pitch ideas that would be considered for small amounts of seed funding, ranging from $500 to $1,500. Successful applicants had to show that their ideas were not only financially viable, but also beneficial to the community.

They’ve since run challenges in cities across the country and established an online network to connect over 170 initiatives with business mentors.

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