Social Enterprise Development Dialogue Press Release

April 15, 2014 | by: Heather Boyd-Kinnie

2nd Social Enterprise Development Dialogue attracts talent from Toronto to Boston

April 14, 2014

Fredericton, NB – The Pond-Deshpande Centre for Entrepreneurship and Innovation and the Saint John Community Loan Fund are proud to present ecosystem2enterprise; ideas for a new economy, the 2nd Annual Social Enterprise Development Dialogue, April 24 and 25, 2014, Saint John, New Brunswick.

The Dialogue is for community-minded citizens from all sectors, the general public, business, technology, science, education, government, NGOs, co-ops, social enterprises, and for everyone who is passionate about making a difference. It is for those with an innovative and collaborative spirit to discover and develop new ways to address social, economic, environmental challenges through high-impact enterprises that “do well and do good.”

The Keynote lineup includes Desh Deshpande, a UNB graduate, co-founder of the Pond-Deshpande Centre, Chairman of several international companies, including A123Systems, Sycamore Networks, Tejas Networks, HiveFire, and Sandstone Capital. He is also the founder of four entrepreneurship centres: MIT Deshpande Centre, Boston, MA; Merrimack Valley Sandbox, Lowell MA; Deshpande Foundation, Hubli, India: and the Pond-Deshpande Centre in Fredericton, which was co-founded with Gerry Pond. We are also pleased to welcome Keynote Speakers Ilse Treurnicht, the Executive Director of the MaRS Discovery District, based in Toronto, and a leading Canadian serial social entrepreneur Andreas Souvaliotis, Founder of Green Rewards, the world’s first eco-points program.

“The Social Enterprise Development Dialogue is the premiere platform in Atlantic Canada for driving cutting-edge social innovation to build a truly enterprising culture that can change the world” says Karina LeBlanc.

“We’re excited to have local change leaders mix it up with innovators from the rest of the region as well as the Boston and Toronto areas. Whether you’re an ecosystem builder or social entrepreneur, we want people to come away inspired, with a bigger network, with new partners, new investors, and plans to make an even greater impact,” says Seth Asimakos, GM at the Saint John Community Loan Fund.

The Program for SEDD 2014:
Thursday, April 24, Begins with 20 Mentor Minutes, a pre-conference event where 16 early-stage social entrepreneurs will pitch their ideas and receive valuable feedback from mentors in a series of 20-minute intervals. The mentors will then choose 8 of these mentees to share their innovative ideas in an exciting Pitch Competition with $5000 in prizes to be awarded during the Social Enterprise Development Dialogue Day One Kickoff. (4:30-9:30 pm).

Friday, April 25, 8:15AM – 4:30PM: the program for this day features keynote plenaries together with a series of workshops in two optional streams, one focusing on building social enterprises, and a second stream focused on building the social enterprise ecosystem. There will also be special announcement about New Brunswick’s first BCorp.

The Pond-Deshpande Centre at the University of New Brunswick acts as a catalyst to grow and support a stronger culture of innovation and entrepreneurship in the province of New Brunswick. It was founded through the support of Gururaj “Desh” Deshpande, President and Chairman of Sparta Group LLC, Jaishree Deshpande, Treasurer of Sparta Group LLC, and a founder of the Deshpande Foundation, and Gerry Pond, Chairman of Mariner Partners and CEO of East Valley Ventures. For more information, visit

Contact for all media inquiries:
Karina Leblanc, Executive Director, Pond-Deshpande Centre 506.451.6923,
Seth Asimakos, Executive Director, Saint John Community Loan Fund, 506.652.5600

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