Advocacy and leadership:
A bold discussion with B-Corporations and Better Way Alliance members from across Canada

On March 30, 2023, purpose-led business owners from across Canada dug into their leadership and success stories about advocacy and worker support.

Attendees shared one thing in common: they all make an impact through their work. Whether they were seasoned advocates, or just starting their advocacy journey, attendees shared their stories about their motivations, challenges, and skills for change-making.

We welcomed four panelists who engage in in public advocacy, political lobbying, and media relations, who shared their personal journeys and perspectives.

Click here to watch the replay!

Helmi Ansari, CEO & Chief Sustainability Officer of GROSCHE International, a B-Corporation, told us about the life-changing trip he took with his family that catapulted his entry to entrepreneurship. Helmi’s aim is for ethically-driven sustainable businesses to be so successful that traditional corporates need to take note and jump on board the bandwagon.

Ryan Noble, Executive Director, North York Harvest Food Bank, shared his trick to maximizing his ability to make impact: the re-frame. Change the way you view the problem, and you change the solutions you can make happen. For example, when Ryan’s team replaced their old perspective that “lack of food availability drives food poverty” to “political and social decisions drive food poverty”, they saw they could drive solutions through advocacy for higher minimum wages. It also opened up an organizational overhaul, eliminating unpaid internships and moving towards living wages for all staff.

Anita Agrawal, CEO & Designer of Jewels 4 Ever, Best Bargains, and Professor at Centennial College’s School of Business, is driven to speak up on behalf of her fellow business owners who feel like they can’t. Anita’s self-awareness of her own skills, like public speaking and the energy with which she infuses her projects, has let her see where she can play a valuable advocacy role in the policy issues she cares about.

Jess Carpinone, Co-Founder & Co-Owner, Bread By Us, gave us a reminder that we don’t always have to be in “on mode”. Sometimes engaging in public speaking or high-profile media work can be tiring, and it’s OK to not be doing it all the time. Engaging in influence-building when she feels energized, and stepping back when she doesn’t, enables Jess to engage in advocacy for the long run (and it’s been 10 years and counting for her!).

Missed the event? View the recording here!

This event was co-hosted by B-Lab Vancouver and the Better Way Alliance – thank you to everyone that joined.

Join the BWA & B-Corp Vancouver for an exclusive event for Canadian Business Owners.