August 20th, 2018

MHC biz student promoting inclusive society

By Tim Kalinowski on January 16, 2018.

MHC fourth-year business student Jack Du says businesses using the "social enterprise" path can do good both for their bottom line and society at the same time.--SUBMITTED PHOTO

Medicine Hat College fourth-year business student Jack Du is putting his marketing smarts to work to help spread a message of tolerance and inclusion in society.

Originally from China, Du says his experience of Medicine Hat College and Canada has inspired him to try to give back as much as he can.

“The thing I am doing is called ‘Active Citizens Social Enterprise Program,'” says Du. “It is a Canada-wide campaign to try to (teach) people how to promote intercultural dialogue, community leadership and social investment … It is using a business model to benefit social impact.”

Du hopes to eventually start a T-shirt business which features different messages that challenge stereotypes and give a hopeful view of inclusion. This type of business is an example of “social enterprise” at work, says Du.

“In Canada there is no exact definition of social enterprise,” he says. “There is only two paths currently: For profit and non-profit. Social enterprise is a path in between these two.”

Du says using a social enterprise model to help charities market themselves better is one aspect of the path, but also taking a business and helping it discover social licence elements it can use to be more profitable and relevant to its customers.

“Nowadays customers want to purchase products from a company who show they care about their local community,” says Du. “If you start a business, you just can’t take away the benefits from a community without giving anything back. On the positive, people are more willing to support these kinds of (social enterprise aware) businesses over others.”

Du says the more entrepreneurs can do to be socially positive and socially relevant for all Canadians, the more profitable those entrepreneurs will be. They will also be doing even more to make Canadian society better and more inclusive at the same time.

“We are all Canadians, and we are all apart of the community,” he says. “We shouldn’t be focusing on how we are different. I believe there is more similarities than differences.”

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