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Services

  • Social Enterprise Development

  • Evaluation and Impact Assessment

  • Sustainability Planning

  • Strategic Planning

  • Social Media and Digital Strategy

  • Community-Based Research and Policy Development

Social Enterprise Development

 

Eco-Ethonomics Inc. offers a full range of services for supporting social entrepreneurs and organizations starting social enterprises along the continuum of social enterprise development from idea generation, to feasibility and business planning, through to business launch and acceleration to their full market potential.

 

We have assisted over 100 organizations and individual entrepreneurs starting social enterprises at various stages of the development process.  We help develop and test innovative business ideas and define social enterprise models that are tailored to the specific social, environmental and economic objectives of each client.  Our specialty in market intelligence and stakeholder engagement make the planning process we facilitate, a way to build and catalyze a supportive community for success.

 

Our services for supporting social enterprises are:

 

Idea Generation

Idea Generation is the initial, brainstorming phase of social enterprise development.  We facilitate social enterprise primer workshops to organizations that are considering starting a social enterprise to give staff, board and volunteers a common language and background knowledge of the field.  Our services also include designing and facilitating design labs for groups to brainstorm ideas that may fit well with their mission related goals and core competencies.  Our workshops are fun and interactive, building on the natural energy and creativity of organizations and their talented, skilled staff. 

 

Pre-Feasibility

Pre-Feasibility is a stage in social enterprise development where an organization or social entrepreneur may have a number of ideas that have been generated and needs to narrow and focus on one business concept.  This is a process of screening for a business concept worth exploring further.

 

Our pre-feasibility workshop offers tools to test and determine which business idea is the best fit with the organization, individual or collaborative with the potential to achieve both social and environmental objectives and exhibiting adequate market potential. 

 

Feasibility Assessment

Feasibility Assessment is a way of testing a social enterprise idea.  We facilitate and conduct feasibility studies on a regular basis and have found that many potential social enterprise ideas, the risks associated with them and their market potential, need to be rigorously assessed before moving into business planning.  Starting a social enterprise poses significant risks to both individuals and organizations and conducting a feasibility study is a great way to flush out and determine whether a business concept merits moving forward or not.  Our feasibility process allows organizations and individuals to successfully weigh the risks, readiness and resource investment necessary for starting their social enterprise against the revenue potential and social/environmental impacts.  The ultimate goal of a feasibility study is to collect and analyze relevant information and make a “Go” or “No-Go” decision.  At the end of this process our team provides a series of recommendations to the social entrepreneur or sponsoring organization. 

 

Business Planning

Business Planning  is a process that assists in clearly thinking through all aspects of operating a social enterprise.  Our business planning service is designed to work collaboratively with organizations and individuals to develop a business case for their social enterprise, define and refine their business model and plan all aspects of their business strategy.  We work with each client to engage them in playing a significant role in building their internal capacity for launching and operating a successful social enterprise.   At every stage of the business planning process, our team provides customized tools, templates, modules and guides decision making, giving expert advice and making insightful recommendations.  Our process is proven and incorporates many years of learning from our senior advisory team.

 

We pride ourselves on empowering leadership within organizations to own the business planning processes, ensuring that plans are not merely nice-to-have written documents!  Our methodology embraces the capacity building approach and creates multiple hands-on, action oriented, learning opportunities for individuals who will help drive the enterprise.

 

Engaging key stakeholders at each point of the planning process results in a galvanized community with energy and passion dedicated to implementation of the enterprise.  This makes the plan and development process truly worth the investment of time, energy and resources.

 

The business planning process includes:

 

      • Defining the management structures

 

      • Setting goals and targets

 

      • Assessing the market in detail (sector, customer and competitor analysis)

 

      • Defining the product/service offering

 

      • Defining the value proposition and competitive advantage of the business

 

      • Setting a price

 

      • Developing a marketing and promotional strategy

 

      • Operational planning

 

      • Defining social and environmental mission and impact

 

      • Detailed financial planning (for three years)

 

Social Purpose Enterprises

 

For social enterprises that are committed to training and employing vulnerable or marginalized people our business planning process helps integrate structures into the business to address the needs of the people they employ.  We call this a human development plan and have assisted many social purpose enterprises in developing and communicating their unique strategy for building human capital and connecting the marginalized to the mainstream economy. 

 

Launch and Implementation

Launch and Implementation  of a social enterprise is the final and most important phase where organizations put their plans into action.  We offer on-going business coaching for social entrepreneurs and organizational leaders, which can assist them in problem solving as they implement their business plans and launch their social enterprise.  Our consultant team members are experienced in leadership coaching and help individuals overcome obstacles to achieving success while maintaining their commitment to values and principles that are important to them.  Most entrepreneurs, at some point experience overwhelm, exhaustion and mental blocks along the way.  Also social entrepreneurs also experience many dilemmas between conflicting social, environmental and economic objectives.  Our senior advisors have a proven track record of providing coaching that empowers individuals in overcoming barriers. 

 

Other Services

Marketing and Sales Strategy Development – Eco-Ethonomics offers special services in marketing and sales strategy development, as well as, sales team coaching and training for organizations that a need it.

 

Business Development and Coaching – for social enterprises whose business strategy includes establishing partnerships or securing contracts with larger institutional customers, or working on finding sponsors, Eco-Ethonomics offers support in these areas on an as needed basis.

 

Investment and Resource Development – for clients who desire support around securing investment and funding for their enterprise, Eco-Ethonomics can assist in brokering the necessary relationships and partnerships through its established network

 

Multi-Media – through our internal team and trusted partners Eco-Ethonomics is offering video production services, graphic design, website design and development, social media and digital strategy for social enterprises. 

 

Sector Building We complement our services by also working to build supportive infrastructure and investment strategies for seeding new enterprises and cultivating those already in existence.  From incubation to acceleration, our aim is to move social enterprises to achieve their full market potential and generate maximum impact.

 

Social Enterprise is a burgeoning area that is transforming the social sector. More and more, non-profit, charitable organizations are entering the realm of business. Starting an enterprise is a way of improving financial sustainability while simultaneously serving the community and fulfilling the organizations mission. Many also have the added benefit of providing employment for people who are vulnerable and/or marginalized.

 

 

Evaluation and Impact Assessment

 

Evaluation and Impact Assessment is a field in which our team excels.  We specialize in developmental evaluation, outcome-based evaluation, third-party evaluation and overall organizational assessment.  We offer an evaluation process that is customized to our clients needs and based on an inclusive, learning and capacity building approach. Our team collects relevant quantitative and qualitative data through a number of effective methods depending upon the objectives and stakeholders involved in each project.  We excel at identifying outcomes and core indicators for measuring the hard to measure.  The evaluation frameworks that we assist in developing provide the foundation for a unique set of tools and documentation processes to be developed.

 

Evaluations that we have conducted yield the following results:

 

      • Goals and outcomes of their programs services and initiatives are more clearly defined

 

      • More accurate information is collected

 

      • Significant staff learning

 

      • Insightful findings assist in directing work and progressing toward defined goals more effectively

 

      • Accomplishments get acknowledged more improving organizational culture

 

      • Impact is more easily communicated

 

      • Identification of areas for improvement in tracking progress

 

      • Improved follow through in evaluation activities

 

      • Additional investment in both evaluation and evaluation planning

 

      • More resources are allocated or acquired as a result of impacts being better communicated

 

 

Sustainability Planning

 

Our flexible service packages for sustainability planning are defined in collaboration with our clients.

 

We spend considerable time listening to the needs of our clients and refining a process that will maximize value for them and their organizations.  Depending on whether the client is a Municipality, University, Corporation or NGO the process will look different. We also recognize that each one of our clients starts the process from a different place in terms of their understanding, current activity, beliefs and values, predefined goals and objectives, as well as, the engagement level of their employees and current internal culture.

 

Generally, our process includes an exploration or assessment phase, followed by an inclusive planning process to generate sustainability solutions and mobilize action through stakeholder engagement and collaboration.  Our marketing and media experts then assist in defining messages, refining a marketing and communication plan, and utilizing new and digital media to ensure maximum cultural transformation, market impact and brand equity.  Finally, performance and impact is monitored to track the results achieved through the sustainability initiatives that have been implemented by the organization.

 

Sustainability Performance Assessment

Sustainability Performance Assessment – Our assessment process combines over 700 key performance indicators and provides a diagnostic and dialogic analysis of a corporation’s total sustainability performance and ethical climate.  The four quadrants of the framework are economic, environmental, social and governance.  The assessment framework is a transparent process designed to raise awareness, identify needs and build evaluation capacity around sustainability.  Aligned with recognized industry standards (such as, the Global Reporting Initiative and ISO 26000), our assessment framework is one of the most thorough and authentic tools on the market.  Our process has built in quality assurance checkpoints and data is triangulated to ensure inputs and outputs are accurate.

 

Benefits: 

 

      • Get an accurate and trusted assessment of your sustainability performance

 

      • Benchmark performance and compare to sector champions

 

      • Produce highly comprehensive reports with visual data representation

 

      • Engage stakeholders in the process – inclusive and participatory

 

      • Get a better sense for the individual needs of your organization
 

 

Integrated and Customized Sustainability Solutions

Integrated and Customized Sustainability Solutions – As the assessment process comes to a close, our team of experts work with you to map out a “blue-print for change”.  Through developing an integrated plan which incorporates a number of customized and innovative solutions that address your specific sustainability and business objectives. The implementation of this “blue-print” will aim to integrate with your core strategy, transform the culture of your organization, and adopt sustainability into the DNA of your company.

 

Benefits:

 

      • Develop customized and highly innovative solutions based on the assessment report card

 

      • Select from our menu of sustainability solutions/initiatives

 

      • Implementation and work planning

 

      • Build an outcome-based evaluation framework to measure the impact of your initiatives

 

Marketing and Communication

Marketing and Communication – As previously stated, there’s an overwhelming amount of empirical data that suggests a very strong desire in consumers to buy products based on the social responsibility of the companies that make them. Yet surprisingly, there’s an equally overwhelming amount of evidence stating that those same consumers don’t know much at all about the sustainability initiatives of the majority of companies. Eco-Ethonomics’ team understands the importance of communication and demonstrates that by having our marketing experts there from the beginning and throughout the entire consultancy process.

 

Benefits:

 

      • Plan and link with corporate strategy

 

      • Develop an integrated brand and sustainability/”Cause” marketing strategy to enhance your brand

 

      • Develop messaging that is well-defined and consistent with sustainability strategy

 

      • Plan and prepare targeted communication documents for both internal and external audiences

 

      • Engage employees in leading your sustainability initiatives 

 

Multi-Platform Media

Multi-Platform Media – The media, both traditional and digital serves as an integral part of your marketing and communication strategy. This means developing a comprehensive, multi-platform media strategy that leverages all available channels in which to funnel your sustainability messaging as well as strategic media buys that ensure that it reaches the biggest possible audience. The media is the most effective way to reach and connect with current customers as well as “net new customers”.

 

Benefits:

 

      • Create engaging video content and distribute through targeted media channels

 

      • “Make the News” by seeding your people as interview subjects

 

      • Leverage social media and Eco-Ethonomics own digital media channels to ensure constant reciprocal flow of information and communication

 

      • Use media to communicate sustainability reporting more clearly and succinctly externally and internally

 

Evaluation, Monitoring and Tracking

Evaluation, Monitoring and Tracking – It is simply not necessary to guess or to assume today; the level of data and information available using sophisticated data analytics tools makes it much easier to track the success of programs and initiatives and use this “customer insight” to continually develop and innovate.

 

Benefits:

 

      • Track program effectiveness

 

      • Refine and improve programs and initiatives

 

      • Track and optimize effectiveness of social media strategies on purchasing behaviour 
 

Strategic Planning

 

Every 3-5 years most non-profit organizations, get their board of directors together to reflect on past successes and areas for improvement, identify new opportunities, revisit their mission and values, and set strategic directions for the future.  We have supported many organizations through this process to produce inspiring, attainable and ambitious plans defining their core strategy and directions for directing their mission-based activities.

 

Our strategic planning process includes the following steps:

 

Stakeholder Consultation – we often conduct an environmental scan, collecting and compiling information from key stakeholders to feed into the organizational planning process.

 

Strategic Planning Sessions – we develop a common agenda for a strategic planning retreat that includes input from organizational leaders, board members and staff. Our consultants facilitate the planning sessions that are designed to ensure maximum participation and capture feedback on each agenda item.  Our approach keeps conversations moving towards clear decision points using a process that builds on group wisdom and promotes consensus.

 

Strategic Plan Writing – our team writes concise and comprehensive strategic plans that can be used as communication documents and made publicly available online or in print to stakeholders.

 

Implementation Planning – our strategic planning process often combines implementation planning to assist organizations in defining tasks, timelines, roles and responsibilities and necessary inputs for putting their plans into action.  At the end of the strategic planning process we want our clients to have plans that are engaging, enacted and alive.  For this reason we believe implementation planning is essential.

 

 

Social Media and Digital Strategy

 

Non-profit organizations have always been the champions of creating community.  To be successful in an increasingly interconnected world today, non-profit organizations stand to greatly benefit by embracing the power of social media. By creating an informed and engaged online community you will be able to mobilize a ‘community of support’ to achieve your mission.

 

Eco-Ethonomics Inc. has developed an affordable, customizable service package for assisting organizations in developing an online presence through the use of social and digital media.

 

Our in-house experts devise a strategy through the analysis of social media sites related to your organization’s mission, vision and values. We strategically design an information database that is relevant to your community to create a growing and sustainable online presence for your organization. Most importantly, we expand your network by connecting you with a community of caring citizens, passionate leaders and partners.

 

Benefits:

 

      • Raise awareness of your organization

      • Increase donations through online fundraising

      • Create a buzz around new and ongoing initiatives

      • Build an information base to educate your audience

      • Attract volunteer involvement in your organization

      • Improve participation in your programs/services

      • Engage community partners

 

For more information please download our brochure:

 

Eco-Ethonomics - Social Media - E-brochure (912.1 KiB, 601 downloads)

Community-Based Research and Policy Development

 

Eco-Ethonomics Inc. offers community-based research services to our clients which is a process that engages and mobilizes a community of stakeholders in a change process.  Unlike other top-down methods, throughout this process the local community is empowered to decide what it needs, desires and will work toward.

 

Often our research combines various primary and secondary sources to create a detailed picture of a community and its context to assist in formulating a shared vision.  Our team collects both quantitative and qualitative data through community consultations, online and offline surveys, focus groups, public forums, town hall meetings, literature reviews, online desk research, available census and industry data and other methods when and where appropriate.

 

Through the process community members and a wide array of stakeholders participate in conversations around a particular topic or set of issues that they have in common with the objective of developing solutions. This community-based research process, combined with effective facilitation often leads to the formation of action-oriented, working groups consisting of community leaders that take ownership of the process and start to drive community initiatives and/or the development of new policy.