Venture for Canada Announces Inaugural Recipients of RBC Social Enterprise Fellowships

March 6, 2017

Venture for Canada, a non-profit charity that fosters entrepreneurial leadership through recruiting, training, and supporting recent graduates to work at Canadian startups, announced today the inaugural recipients of the Venture for Canada RBC Social Enterprise Fellowships.

These Fellows were selected as part of a three year partnership between RBC and Venture for Canada, aimed at catalyzing social entrepreneurship across the country.

These Fellowship recipients were selected based on their passion for social entrepreneurship, and desire to leverage commercial activities for social good. Selected Fellows work at a wide variety of ventures spanning the software, education, and video production industries.

Canada’s future prosperity depends on a highly engaged and skilled workforce, driven by today’s young people who are facing challenges with being prepared for the future of work and having equitable access to opportunities in the changing world. As part of Venture for Canada’s program, these Fellows will be connected with representatives from RBC to enhance their skill sets and professional networks, as they look to pursue entrepreneurial careers driven by a passion for social impact.

To learn more about the selected Fellows, you can read their biographies below.

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Cathryne Milburn (L-SPARK):

Cathryne is the Event & Community Lead at L-SPARK, which brings together the Canadian software as a service community through an accelerator program. In her role, she organizes educational programming for Canadian software entrepreneurs looking to scale.

She graduated with a degree in marketing from the University of Ottawa’s Telfer School of Management. Upon completing university, Cathryne worked as the director of social enterprise at the Canadian Association of the Deaf, where she laid the foundation for three different social enterprises that support the Deaf community.

When Cathryne is not exploring social entrepreneurship, she is watching anything related to Disney.

Jamie Arron (Students Offering Support)

Jamie is the executive director of Students Offering Support (SOS), a nationally registered charity formed in 2004. SOS is a community of over 7000 volunteers and alumni, driven by the love for learning. With presence at over 25 campus-based social enterprises, SOS has supported more than 100,000 students and raised more than $2.5 million to support access to education projects, all through a self-sustaining revenue model. James was previously a social enterprise-focused consultant and project manager, working with organizations such as the Ontario Trillium Foundation, MaRS Discovery District, Tides Canada, the City of Halifax, and the School for Social Entrepreneurs.

As a student, Jamie studied international development at Dalhousie University where he was also president of the Student Union. He’s passionate about creating environments for humans to thrive, and supporting a more equitable world. He loves creative writing, playing music, is a Toronto raptors fanatic, and is an avid backpacker having visited 25 countries across four continents.

You can learn more about his work at www.JamesArron.com or by reaching out on Twitter @JamzArron

Jeanette Stock (Pressly and Venture Out)

Jeanette Stock grew up in Toronto, Ontario and attended Queen’s University, where she majored in English Language & Literature, and completed the Global Development Studies program at Fudan University in Shanghai, China.

Jeanette currently works for Pressly, a SaaS platform that allows enterprise teams to collaborate around any type of content, and then distribute it across any digital channel.

She is passionate about harnessing innovation for social impact. Currently, she is leading the team launching Venture Out, Canada’s first ever conference for LGBTQ+ inclusion in tech and entrepreneurship. By connecting students and early career professionals with startups and tech companies where they can bring their whole selves to work, she hopes Venture Out can accelerate the career growth of Canada’s next generation of LGBTQ tech leaders.

Previously, Jeanette led the Jack Summit program at the Canadian charity Jack.org, and interned at the Centre for Social Innovation. While at Queen’s, Jeanette spent two summers in Kenya co-founding a health education initiative that is now running in 15 schools. She also volunteered as a medical first responder, managed Prep 101 at Queen’s, and conducted independent research on the experiences of LGB residents of Shanghai.

Marie Wright (Common Good Solutions and Mirror Image Media)

Marie Wright is a videographer at Common Good Solutions (CGS) who graduated with a degree in business from Saint Francis Xavier University. Common Good Solutions helps to start, grow, and connect social enterprises.

At CGS, Marie helps to promote social entrepreneurship through a video series called, “Stories for the Common Good,” which features social enterprises in Atlantic Canada. In addition, she creates CGS’ online training videos for the organization’s Social Enterprise Institute.

Aside from working at CGS, Marie is the co-founder and videographer at Mirror Image Media, a full-service video production company. She officially launched the company with her sister in 2014 and has worked with businesses, nonprofits, and events throughout Nova Scotia.

At Saint Francis Xavier University she ran the chapter of non-profit known as the Get REAL Movement, which strives to eliminate homophobia through presentations to high schools, as well as events and campaigns on campus. Marie was named Atlantic Canada’s Student Entrepreneur for 2016.

After her mom lost her battle to cancer, Marie became actively involved in Relay for Life, where she volunteered and emceed Saint Francis Xavier University’s annual event for three consecutive years. In Marie’s free time, she can be found planning her cross Canada documentary on social enterprise!

Meaghan Wright (Common Good Solutions and Mirror Image Media)

A Saint Francis Xavier University business graduate, Meaghan works as a videographer for Common Good Solutions, an incubator for social enterprises in Atlantic Canada. Her role includes creating online courses relevant to social entrepreneurs, while also highlighting social enterprises throughout Nova Scotia. Meaghan is passionate about creating economic, cultural, environmental, and social value in her community.

On the Saint Francis Xavier University campus, Meaghan was the senior class vice president, a director of Get Real, and an emcee for Relay for Life.

She is also co-founder of Mirror Image Media, a video production company, where she enjoys showcasing stories that have community impact, like those about urban farms, community inclusion, and mental health awareness.

In her free time, Meaghan can be found planning her next backpacking trip, spending time with her dad hiking, or doing hot yoga.

Trishala Pillai (Shopify Plus and The Dialogue Exchange)

Trishala is a University of Waterloo Economics Alumna. Currently, she works at Shopify Plus as an Enterprise Ecommerce Consultant. Shopify Plus is making enterprise ecommerce better for high-growth merchants, powering the dreams of companies like Nestle, Goldieblox & BuzzFeed.

Outside of Shopify Plus, she is the co-founder of a social enterprise and growing social movement, The Dialogue Xchange. The Dialogue Xchange is the product of connecting her lived/shared experiences as a third culture millennial of Indian origin and co-creation with her community.

In its simplest form, The Dialogue Xchange is a community-powered forum for engaged dialogue. Their mission is to shape the world, one community and countless dialogues at a time — dialogue that makes everyone a part of the solution.

While at university, Trishala curated a world-class TEDx conference, was an active member of and current ambassador for Canada’s first live-in incubator for social innovation (St. Paul’s Greenhouse), gathered tri-sector work experience (where she developed her passion for cross-sector collaboration and leadership) and was the recipient of several community development and innovation awards.

In her free time, Trishala can be found at a local coffee shop or community event, planning her next trip/professional adventure, learning the Ukulele or at home watching her favourite tv show(s).