On Monday 29 August 2016, at the MaRS Discovery District in Toronto, the Students for Social Impact participants presented the social ventures they developed over the summer, and pitched for $10,000 in funding.

Five excellent pitches were made, the judging panel had a tough decision on their hands, and in the end awarded Hope Akello with the $10,000 to further develop her venture, The Craft Cart Project. Congratulations Hope!

Hope Akello winner of SSIM 2016
Hope Akello winner of SSIM 2016 ©

British Council Canada 2016

SSIM Summit 2016
Students for Social Impact Summit 2016 ©

British Council Canada

Students for Social Impact Videos!

The students produced videos showcasing their ventures. Watch the videos here. 

More than 3,000 votes were cast in an online vote competition, Congratulations to Babur Jahid, You See Clear, named the People’s Choice Winner.

Meet the Judging Panel

Narinder Dhami| Managing Director, LEAP: The Centre for Social Impact

Narinder is the Managing Director of LEAP, Canada's leading venture philanthropy firm.  LEAP (incubated by the Pecaut Centre) mobilizes the private sector (BCG, EY, McCarthy Tetrault, Cossette, Offord Group and H+K Strategies) to partner with game changing interventions in the non-profit sector, scaling their impact across Canada.

Narinder is the founding Executive Director of Rise Asset Development - a Rotman/CAMH financial initiative, providing an entrepreneurial path to employment for those with a history of mental health and addiction challenges. She led the growth of Rise from the pilot phase to its expansion across Ontario. Narinder has also has spent multiple years working across West Africa, both as program manager at the Première Agence de Microfinance (PAMF) across Burkina Faso, Mali and Cote d'Ivoire and as a member of the portfolio team with Acumen Fund (West Africa office focused on social enterprises across Ghana and Nigeria). As a lecturer at the University of Toronto, she co-created the first course in microfinance and impact investing at the University.

She holds a Master of Business Administration from the Rotman School of Management at University of Toronto, and a Bachelor's degree from the University of Toronto in Electrical Engineering.

Julia Gallo | Manager, Social Finance, Social Enterprise Branch, Ontario Ministry of Economic Development & Growth

Julia is currently the Team Lead of the Social Enterprise Branch in the Ministry of Economic Development and Growth (MEDG). Julia is a career public servant, with over 15 year experience developing and implementing various innovative programs as part of the Ontario Public Service.  During her time in the Social Enterprise Branch, Julia has worked with her colleagues to launch two Social Enterprise Strategies in Ontario – one in 2013 followed by a five-year strategy, released in June 2016.

Before her time at the Branch, Julia provided leadership on a number of policy initiatives relating to health, housing & community and social services at the Cabinet Office and at the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care.

She holds a Master of Arts from the University of Toronto and a Master of Public Policy, Administration and Law from York University.

Trishala Pillai | Co-Founder, The Dialogue Xchange

Trishala Pillai is a graduate of the University of Waterloo, where she majored in Economics and minored in Management and Communications. Beyond her academic background, she is a third culture millennial of Indian origin; her personal background and experiences make up a huge part of her identity and serve as the foundation for her burning passion for social change, community-building and entrepreneurship. She is a tri-sector leader who has worked across various industries; from curating a world-class TEDx conference, being a Fellow at the prestigious Venture for Canada program’s 2016 cohort, to working in Marketing and Management Consulting at multinational companies.

Today, she is the Co-Founder of The Dialogue Xchange, which combines research, community, engaged, conversation & digital technology, to host a new age virtual library of dialogue events happening across the globe powered by community members and social tools.

She brought a student social entrepreneur perspective to the SSIM judging panel. 

Thanks to our partners

The Students for Social Impact programme was made possible through funding provided by the J.W. McConnell Family Foundation in association with its RECODE programme, the Trico Charitable Foundation, and the British Council. We are grateful to the MaRS Discovery District for hosting Students for Social Impact Showcase and Pitch Competition.

MaRS Discovery District (@MaRSDD) in Toronto is the one of the world’s largest urban innovation hubs. MaRS supports promising young ventures tackling key societal challenges in the health, cleantech and ICT sectors. In addition to helping startups launch, grow and scale, the MaRS community is dedicated to cross-disciplinary collaboration, commercialization of discoveries and driving ideas to impact. To learn more, see links to the right.

See also