Social Business Angst Gives Rise to New Company

Social Business Angst Gives Rise to New Company

Venture Deli’s secret sauce: passion and experience

It was born from a desire to do more.

The three founders of newly-formed Venture Deli left established careers to lend their talent to what they say is an imminent priority — the creation of more socially-responsible businesses.

The trio is comprised of Assaf Weisz, co-founder of Young Social Entrepreneurs Canada; Karim Harji, a former senior manager at Social Capital Partners and co-founder of SocialFinance.ca; and Norm Tasevski, who teaches social entrepreneurship at the Schulich School of Business and is formerly a social entrepreneur in residence at Social Innovation Generation.

While all three were already involved in advancing social business, their work wasn’t reaching the people who needed it most — entrepreneurs launching new companies that could change the world.

Venture Deli is their response, providing what could be the secret sauce for socially and environmentally responsible businesses: hands-on support and consulting from people who are passionate, experienced and connected in the sector.

“One of the reasons we started Venture Deli was because everyone is talking about social entrepreneurship and the rise of social-purpose business models but it’s been a lot of conversation, there’s been too few successes,” says Weisz.

“We wanted to start a company that would work with a few promising entrepreneurs and help to turn them into successes.”

He says Venture Deli started off providing fairly simple management consulting to companies and found firms were asking for deeper involvement, a signal from the marketplace this type of service was what young socially-responsible companies needed most.

Venture Deli moved from consulting from afar to a unified team, now offering embedded management, core business infrastructure and capitalization strategies.
 
Weisz says turning “a nice concept” into reality is incredibly inspiring. He points to one social entrepreneur who was frustrated at a lack of  business growth, and through working with Venture Deli is now generating substantially more revenue and secured investment from an angel investor.

“In about a year’s time she went from ‘Should I quit, is this worth it?’ to now we have investment in place, now we have a good amount of revenue coming in, and we have a lot of interest in growing the company,” says Weisz.
 
It’s these types of outcomes Venture Deli is hoping to produce writ large to fulfill its vision of what’s possible for social purpose businesses.

“We really want to create a social economy. We want to create an economy that is sustainable and equitable, and we would love to do that by working with companies that matter to the world,” says Weisz.
 
To learn more about Venture Deli, click here or follow @VentureDeli.

— More to Come

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Writer Bio

Camille Jensen's picture
Camille Jensen

Camille Jensen is an employee share ownership consultant with ESOP Builders, Canada’s largest provider of employee share ownership plans (ESOPs) for small- and medium-sized enterprises.

Prior to joining ESOP Builders, Camille was a generative journalist and team member at Axiom News. She credits her time at Axiom as fundamental to her understanding that business is one of the best opportunities to make a difference in the world.

Camille is a B.C. Partner for Social Impact and volunteer with Okanagan Changemakers.

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