Calling all Okanagan businesses with a social purpose

Local social entrepreneurs to pitch their innovative solutions to social and environmental challenges at this year’s ChangeUP.

  • Oct. 14, 2015 6:00 p.m.

Okanagan Changemakers is inviting the public to watch as  local social entrepreneurs pitch their innovative solutions to social and environmental challenges at this year’s ChangeUP.

Held at the Kelowna Community Theatre Dec. 3, the Changemakers’ second pitch competition will see inspired leaders share how their organization, which can be for-profit, non-profit, charity or youth led, is tackling some of society’s most difficult challenges. Through live voting, the audience will pick the best social impact initiatives to win cash and in-kind services to further their cause.

ChangeUP was first held in 2013 and the sold-out event featured 12 finalists making a difference in areas as diverse as financial literacy for low-income individuals to helping businesses decrease their carbon emissions. Past winners of ChangeUp say the event was instrumental in furthering their work.

“[ChangeUP] was a great way for us to get exposure… We managed to get some great partnerships with the city and other organizations,” says Christian Brandt, executive director of OGO Car Share Co-op.

This year’s event will also feature a keynote from Canadian social entrepreneur Mickey McLeod, CEO and cofounder of Salt Spring Coffee . Under Mickey’s leadership, Salt Spring Coffee has grown to nearly $10 million in revenue while being recognized as one of Vancouver’s Top 10 Corporate Climate Leaders and for pioneering a direct trade model with coffee farmers.

Individuals and organizations interested in pitching at ChangeUP can fill out an online application at until Nov. 1

ChangeUP tickets are $35, with part of the proceeds supporting Okanagan Changemakers, the non-profit that aims to foster and support innovative, sustainable solutions to social and environmental challenges in the Valley.

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