Students, researchers, and entrepreneurs are increasingly looking for opportunities to turn their sustainable solution ideas into action. Many new businesses, including cleantech and climate tech solutions, are challenged to design business models that balance business profitability and purpose. This workshop explores a range of principles and tools to help businesses define their impact, structure their revenue model, and navigate legal structures.


1 Build a foundational understanding of impact businesses principles, concepts, and key terms
2 Understand business structure and model options that align with their idea and purpose
3 Develop familiarity with a range of sustainable business tools and approaches, including defining an impact thesis and completing a sustainable business model canvas


3 x 1-hour workshops, 1 module per workshop including prep/homework, Jan - Feb 2023

Combination of lecture content and facilitated activities, as well as an impact business case study presented by an entrepreneur guest speaker


Module 1: Starting, Building, and Growing an Impact Business

Elements of an impact business

Overview of key terms and concepts

Activity: defining your impact thesis

Guest entrepreneur feature

Module 2: Structuring your Sustainable Business Model

Structuring a sustainable business model

Examples and case studies

Traditional vs sustainable business model canvas

Activity: sustainable business model canvas and core value proposition

Module 3: Exploring Legal Structures for your Impact Business

Overview of legal structures

Social enterprise spectrum

Pros and cons: for-profit, non-profit, charity, co-op

Case study and group discussion

Meet The Workshop Hosts

Heather Crochetiere +

Heather Crochetiere is a passionate environmental professional with over a decade of experience in empowering impact at a variety of scales. She has proven success in stakeholder and rightsholder engagement, strategic planning and project management. She seeks to catalyze solutions to complex problems. In her role as Director of Innovation Challenges at Foresight Canada, she connects government and industry with cleantech solutions to their sustainability challenges, and leads industry consultations to further engagement with municipal programs. Prior to joining Foresight, Heather spent ten years at WWF-Canada, leading a wide variety of initiatives. She holds a BSc from McMaster University and a MES from the University of Waterloo.

Alan Shapiro +

Alan Shapiro is a Vancouver-based water and sustainability consultant and an instructor in BCIT's School of Business + Media. Alan's work, across multiple hats, is focused on addressing complex environmental challenges, advancing clean technology solutions, and supporting the next generation of sustainable businesses. Alan is Principal at sustainability consultancy Shapiro & Company and Director of waterNEXT, Canada's water technology network, an initiative of Foresight Canada. He holds a BSc in Environmental Earth Sciences from the University of Alberta and an MSc in Environmental Engineering from Columbia University.

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