If your organization hasn’t been able to secure funding through existing COVID-19 government support programs, you could get financial relief from your local Regional Development Agency to help cover fixed operating costs.

We can help with you strategy & submission: info@thesectorinc.ca


  • Maximum: $1 million interest-free
  • Non-repayable

Funding limits

  • Maximum term: 6 months (between March 15, 2020 and March 31, 2021)
  • You can combine money from this program with money from the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy as long as you aren’t also using the RRRF to cover salaries and wages


  • Are a non-profit that provides support services to businesses
  • Are facing financial pressure due to COVID-19
  • Were a viable business prior to COVID-19

How it works

  1. Read the program website to see if you are eligible and for how much.
  2. Download and complete the Application for Funding. You’ll need to include some supporting documents, like financial statements for the last two years, interim financial statements, and incorporation documents. Make sure you’ve signed the Officer’s Certificate.
  3. Use the submit button in the online form and save a copy of the confirmation message.
  4. If successful, you’ll be asked to enter a Contribution Agreement.
  5. You’ll be paid either through a single advance, or for contributions greater than $100,000, two advances.
  6. Be prepared to submit a Final Report, including how the money was used, how it mitigated the impacts of COVID-19 on your business, the number of jobs created, and confirmation that you are still operational.

We can help with you strategy & submission: info@thesectorinc.ca


The Community Services Block Grant [CSBG] is a federal anti-poverty program administered by the NYS Department of State DCS since 1982. Its purpose in NYS is to provide assistance to a network of Community Action Agencies [CAAs] or Community Action Programs [CAPs] and other neighborhood organizations in the reduction of poverty, revitalization of low-income communities, and to provide economic opportunities for low-income families. CSBG provides funds to 49 Community Action Agencies located throughout the state, including three Indian tribes/tribal organizations. When available, CSBG funding also supports workforce initiatives in selected regions through the NYS.

we can help with your strategy & submission: info@thesectorinc.ca


The CSBG is implemented through a network of Community Action Agencies that provide services such as workforce development, child care and head start, weatherization, emergency food and clothing, domestic violence intervention, afterschool care, and other like services. DCS ensures program and fiscal compliance through routine on site reviews of fiscal and program services. For more information on CSBG, CSBG programming and fiscal monitoring, or the use of CSBG discretionary funding, click on the following link, http://www.dos.ny.gov/dcs/documents.htm, or go to the Reports, Application and Management Plans and Guides page.


Organizations which were officially designated as CAAs or CAPs under the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964 and were specifically designated by the 1981 CSBG Act as eligible entities to receive CSBG funds. An eligible entity may have its designation terminated if it fails to meet standards, goals, or requirements established by New York State, or if it fails to provide contractual services under the CSBG Act. [42 U.S.C. §9915] The State must initiate proceedings to terminate designation of the eligible entity or reduce its funding if a deficiency is not corrected after notice and an opportunity to be heard. [42 U.S.C. §9915(a)(5)] A determination by the State to terminate the designation or reduce the funding of an eligible entity is reviewable by the Secretary of HHS. [42 U.S.C. §9915(b)]


The Secretary of State has been designated to act as official agent of the state in administering, carrying out, and otherwise cooperating with the federal government in connection with CSBG. In addition, the Secretary allocates CSBG funds to recipients in the manner required by 42 USC §9906, assists the Governor in applying to the federal government for the state CSBG allocation, cooperates with the legislature in conducting public hearings on the use and distribution of funds, and monitors and evaluates use of funds received by the state under CSBG. [Executive Law, §159-f]


Programs are administered in accordance with the CSBG statutory purposes and goals, and in compliance with all applicable statutes, rules, regulations, policies and procedures set forth by federal and state government. To that end, all recipients of CSBG funds submit work plans and budgets detailing the programs, services, and activities to be conducted using CSBG funds. In addition, DCS implemented the Triennial Review for Accountability and Compliance with Standards (TRACS) in order to assess each eligible entity for compliance with new federal requirements. Based on review results, DCS makes recommendations to agencies for continued progress and improvement of existing conditions.

For more information on CSBG, CSBG program and fiscal monitoring, or the use of CSBG discretionary funding, click on the following link, or go to the Reports, Application and Management Plans and Guides page.

we can help with your strategy & submission: info@thesectorinc.ca

#funding #fundraising #strategy #government #newyork #unitedstates #thesectorinc #consulting #charity #sdgs #mba #consulting #impactinvesting #socialenterprise #wbs

Central Development Corporation focuses on the delivery of three key services to support community economic development in Prince Edward Island rural communities.

The delivery of project planning, development, and implementation services, to strategic community and economic development initiatives. These services are available to community organizations, municipalities, or private businesses requiring support to see a project through to completion. Fees are tied to project costs similar to professional services focused on the delivery of on-going programs aimed at enhancing business skills, promoting entrepreneurship, or supporting the not for profit sector.

We can help with your strategy & submission: info@thesectorinc.ca

Past Projects

Doucet House

The Doucet House originally built in circa 1764, was preserved and restored because of it’s cultural and historical significance to the early Acadian settlement of the area. The Doucet House is not only an important example of early Acadian vernacular architecture on Prince Edward Island but also a record of early Acadians and their re-establishing themselves following the expulsion. It currently functions as a seasonal operation open for public viewing as an adjunct to the Farmers Bank of Rustico.

Farmers Bank of Rustico

The Farmers Bank of Rustico established in 1864 as one of the first examples of the credit union system in North America. In November of 1999 the final phase of the restoration of the Farmers Bank began. A number of Provincial and Federal Government and funding commitments enabled the Friends of the Farmers Bank of Rustico Inc Committee to begin developing the interpretive exhibit highlighting the history of the Acadians, Father Belcourt and the origination of the first Peoples Bank. The goal of the committee is to restore, preserve and conserve the building and its artifacts.

New Glasgow Streetscape

The New Glasgow Community Streetscape Project was a community driven endeavor sponsored by Central Development Corporation dedicated to improving the general appearance of the community, and to encourage residents and visitors alike to be better informed about the Communities history.

The project entailed the construction of a boardwalk, installation of streetlights, 5 information panels highlighting New Glasgow’s historic achievements, 2 picnic shelters, island stone wishing well, park benches, community landscaping and bicycle parking racks. The Community committee is responsible for the upkeep and maintenance of the project. People can now walk in safety on a thoughtful well designed boardwalk that links many of the communities main tourism establishments.

North Rustico Marina and Interpretive Centre

Fearing the removal of the wharf, know to locals as the “bullpen”, would cause adverse effects to an already problematic harbour, the North Rustico Harbour Authority spearheaded a development plan for the area which would save the harbour by incorporating tourism activities and a Marina.

The North Rustico Harbour Authority worked closely with the Gulf Shore Community Development Committee and Central Development Corporation in the planning and preparation of a proposal. Partners were sought out with hopes of beginning construction in the spring of 2002.

Stanhope Promenade

The Municipality of Stanhope, in discussions with community groups, local residents and Central Development Corporation have been researching a 3 kilometre promenade to be constructed along the Bay Shore Road.

We can help with your strategy & submission: info@thesectorinc.ca

#socialimpact #socialenterprise #funding #government #consulting #impactinvesting # strategy #mba #wbs #canada #toronto #thesectorinc #bradfordturner #charity #fundraising

The funding will allow for short-term, interest-free loans and non-repayable contributions through Aboriginal Financial Institutions, which offer financing and business support services to First Nations, Inuit, and Métis businesses – from Indigenous Services Canada

We can help with your strategy & submission: info@thesectorinc.ca

Indigenous Services Canada

Indigenous Services Canada (ISC) works collaboratively with partners to improve access to high quality services for First Nations, Inuit and Métis. Our vision is to support and empower Indigenous peoples to independently deliver services and address the socio-economic conditions in their communities.

How it works

Financial support for Indigenous businesses will be provided through Aboriginal Financial Institutions, and administered by the National Aboriginal Capital Corporations Association and the Métis capital corporations in partnership with Indigenous Services Canada.

About the measures

The Government of Canada will provide up to $306.8 million in interest-free loans and non-repayable contributions for First Nations, Inuit, and Métis businesses.

This measure is part of the Government of Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan. Financial support will be provided through Aboriginal Financial Institutions and administered by the National Aboriginal Capital Corporations Association, as well as the Métis Capital Corporations in partnership with Indigenous Services Canada.

These federal support measures should complement support offered by the provinces and territories.

Who this supports

Small and medium-sized Indigenous businesses that are current or former clients of an Aboriginal Financial Institution.

How it works

Up to $40,000 will be available to small and medium-sized Indigenous businesses:

  • an interest-free loan up to $30,000
  • a non-repayable contribution up to $10,000

Contact your Aboriginal Financial Institution to apply for support – we can help!

If your business has an established relationship with a major bank, you may choose to get support from the Canada Emergency Business Account instead.

Contact your Aboriginal Financial Institution or the National Aboriginal Capital Corporations Association for help determining the best options for relief for your business.

We can help with your strategy & submission: info@thesectorinc.ca

The National Arts Service Organizations component of Supporting Artistic Practice funds Canadian arts service organizations with mandates to promote and support the arts on a national level. Grants assist service organizations committed to developing and sustaining the vitality of the Canadian professional arts sector through representation, promotion and exchange.

Activities – what you can apply for

You can apply for a contribution towards member services and other activities that strengthen the vitality of the professional arts sector on a national basis. In particular, to:

  • encourage dialogue, networking and shared learning
  • initiate research and analysis
  • represent and promote the arts to the public
  • provide ongoing services and opportunities for artists and/or arts organizations

Who can apply

Types of potential applicants to this component:

    • national arts service organizations

Your eligibility to apply to this component is determined by the validated profile created in the portal.

To be eligible, your organization must:

      • presently receive core support from this component. If your organization is presently receiving core support from another component, you must contact your Program Officer to confirm your eligibility before you apply.


        • have received 1 composite grant or 3 Canada Council project grants in the last 5 years. This excludes grants from the following components and programs: Travel, Representation and Promotion, Translation, Small-Scale Activities, Digital Strategy Fund, Leadership for Change: Grants for Organizational Development, Flying Squad, and Visiting Foreign Artists.
        • be an incorporated not-for-profit arts organization
        • work with a professional staff
        • have at least 5 years of continuous activities and services that support the professional arts sector
        • have had total revenues exceeding $75 000 in each of the last 3 years (some exceptions may be considered)

We can help with your strategy & submission: info@thesectorinc.ca

#funding#strategy #consulting #impactinvesting #fundraising #sdgs #toronto #canada #fundraising #socialenterprise #arts #government #wbs #mba #bradfordturner #thesectorinc

Funding under this program stream helps create, grow and develop strong and inclusive regional networks that support business growth and innovation. This will foster the entrepreneurial environment necessary for more innovative regional economies and increase the competitiveness of small and medium-sized enterprises (SME). In part, this stream will seek to further enhance business support networks for under-represented groups—including women, Indigenous peoples and young entrepreneurs—promoting their entrepreneurial talent.

We can help with your strategy & submission: info@thesectorinc.ca

Scope & Objectives

The Regional innovation ecosystems (RIE) Stream aims to create, grow and develop strong and inclusive regional ecosystems that support business growth and innovation, as well as the entrepreneurial environment necessary to foster more innovative regional economies and increase the competitiveness of small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

Through this program, FedNor seeks to:

  • Grow and sustain strategic clusters and consortia to leverage regional strengths and support businesses to scale up and commercialize innovative products, technologies and services.
  • Enhance the development and reach of business accelerators and incubators, and other organizations, which support entrepreneurs, start-ups and innovative companies with high-growth potential.
  • Support projects led by innovation-oriented organizations to increase and promote business productivity and global competiveness, and investment and talent attraction.

FedNor will make targeted investments in not-for-profit organizations that provide support to businesses at each stage of development in areas where Northern Ontario has the potential to have a leadership position and opportunities for growth. Investments made through FedNor’s Regional innovation ecosystems Stream will further enhance the capacity of ecosystems to support underrepresented groups, including women, Indigenous peoples and young

entrepreneurs, promoting their entrepreneurial talent.

Expected Results

Projects supported through FedNor’s programs work towards achieving one or more of the following departmental results:

  • Businesses in Northern Ontario invest in the development and commercialization of innovative technologies, products, services and processes.
  • Businesses in Northern Ontario are innovative and growing.
  • Communities in Northern Ontario are economically diversified.

We can help with your strategy & submission: info@thesectorinc.ca

#socialinnovation #funding #ontario #impactinvesting # charity #consulting # strategy #mba #wbs #sdgs #bradfordtunrer #thesector #toronto #fundraising # socialenterprise

FedNor Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF) – Regional economy stream (Not-for-profit) – we can support your strategy & submission.

If your organization isn’t eligible for current COVID-19 government support programs, you could get non-repayable financial support from your local Regional Development Agency.


  • Maximum: $500,000
  • Non-repayable

Funding limits

  • Maximum duration: 12 months
  • This program will cover a maximum of 100% of eligible costs


  • Are a non-profit in Northern Ontario
  • Carry out commercial activities that are positioned to support SMEs regarding COVID-19

Scope & Objectives

The Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF) will support vulnerable businesses and eligible not-for-profit organizations that are impacted by the economic disruption associated with the COVID-19 pandemic across the regions of Canada. Applicants are eligible to receive up to 100 percent of total eligible bridge support costs, covering up to a twelve (12) month period.

The RRRF will provide unconditionally repayable and conditionally repayable contributions to eligible small and medium-sized enterprises, of normally up to a maximum of $500,000 for a period of up to twelve months (12). Support to eligible not-for-profit organizations and First Nation band-owned businesses whose articles of incorporation do not permit dividends to be paid or distributed to shareholders will be non-repayable.

It is highly recommended that you read this Applicant Guide before submitting an application form. Please pay particular attention to the eligibility criteria to determine if you can apply. Applicants are encouraged to address all submission requirements and ensure that the application submitted contains sufficient detail to enable a thorough review and assessment. Submitting an incomplete application may result in the delay of assessment and/or rejection of an application.

Funding decisions will take into account the minimum amount required to carry out the project, proof that applicants were profitable prior to the COVID-19 outbreak and the severity of impacts.

How it works

  1. Read the program website to see if you are eligible and for how much.
  2. Download and complete the Application for Funding. You’ll need to include some supporting documents, like financial statements for the last two years, interim financial statements, and incorporation documents. Make sure you’ve signed the Certification section at the end.
  3. Submit the form online and save a copy of the confirmation message and Project Reference Number.
  4. If successful, you’ll be asked to enter a Contribution Agreement and complete a few additional forms.
  5. You will receive advance payments based on your cost forecast.
  6. Be prepared to submit a final report.

#funding #nonprofit #ontario #wbs #socialinnovation #impactinvesting #sdgs #ESG #CSR #thesectorinc #bradfordturner #toronto #canada #fundraising #grants

The financial crisis of 2008 deeply damaged the credibility of financial innovation in the general public’s mind. As the collapse of markets dried up credit across the system, the notion that securities such as collateralized debt obligations and credit default swaps are enablers of growth suddenly seemed implausible, if not deluded. Indeed, those instruments are often described today as weapons of mass destruction.

It’s easy to forget that the same instruments have had a positive and transformative effect on society. Even as the dust from the real estate implosion lingers, we can see that homeownership would be impossible for millions of people if banks could not pool mortgages and sell collateralized bonds against those pools. It isn’t only the middle classes in developed nations that have benefited from debt pooling. Microfinance is now a $65 billion market, serving more than 90 million borrowers in some of the world’s poorest countries. Its growth was accelerated by the ability of investment banks to pool the microloans of many lenders and issue collateralized debt obligations against them in the international financial markets, freeing up the capital of those lenders and allowing them to make additional microloans.

Financial engineering, then, can be a powerful force for change. It can permit the mobilization of more capital for investment than would otherwise be available. It can generate rich opportunities to fund projects that fuel economic growth and improve people’s lives.

In the following pages we’ll explain how financial engineering can make it possible to channel investment from the financial markets to organizations devoted to social ends—organizations known as social enterprises, which have traditionally looked to charity for much of their funding. With the right financial innovations, these enterprises can access a much deeper pool of capital than was previously available to them, allowing them to greatly extend their social reach.

The Businesses of Blended Returns

Social enterprises are entrepreneurial organizations that innovate to solve problems. They include nonprofit and for-profit ventures, and their returns blend social benefit and financial revenues. They come in many flavors, but they all face the same fundamental question: Can they generate enough revenue and attract enough investment to cover their costs and grow their activities?

Some social enterprises can earn a profit that is sufficient to get the business funded by investors. They might provide goods and services to customers willing to pay a premium for a socially beneficial product—green energy, say, or organic food. They might sell an essential service to poor customers at a decent profit while still providing that service more affordably than other suppliers do. But many, if not most, social enterprises cannot fund themselves entirely through sales or investment.

They are not profitable enough to access traditional financial markets, resulting in a financial-social return gap. The social value of providing poor people with affordable health care, basic foodstuffs, or safe cleaning products is enormous, but the cost of private funding often outweighs the monetary return. Many social enterprises survive only through the largesse of government subsidies, charitable foundations, and a handful of high-net-worth individuals who will make donations or accept lower financial returns on their investments in social projects. The ability of those enterprises to provide their products and services rises or falls with the availability of capital from these sources, and their fundraising efforts consume time and energy that could be spent on their social missions.

The lack of funding opportunities is one of the major disadvantages social enterprises face. A conventional business can use its balance sheet and business plan to offer different combinations of risk and return to many different types of investors: equity investors, banks, bond funds, venture capitalists, and so on. Not so for many social enterprises—but that is changing. An increasing number of social entrepreneurs and investors are coming to realize that social enterprises of all sorts can also generate financial returns that will make them attractive to the right investors. This realization will dramatically increase the amount of capital available to these organizations.

Essentially, the insight is that you can treat the funding of a social enterprise as a problem of financial structuring: The enterprise can offer different risks and returns to different kinds of investors instead of delivering a blended return that holds for all investors but is acceptable to very few. This new approach to structuring can close the financial-social return gap.

References Sources: Harvard Business Review: https://hbr.org/2012/01/a-new-approach-to-funding-social-enterprises

#impactinvesting #ESG #socialenterprise #sustainablefinance #mba #wbs #sdgs #socialcapital #consulting

Before starting a social enterprise a feasibility study is a test to see if your business idea will work. It is not a guarantee of success but you can reduce the risks you take through research and planning before you commit yourself.

Feasibility studies are just as important for social enterprises as any other form of business. In fact, a good feasibility study will be very useful when looking for funding for an idea.

What is a Feasibility Study?

A feasibility study will look at the product or services you plan to sell and will indicate whether the business will be viable or not. It will look at the choices in production or delivery, the choices in location, the market for the services and outline the preferences from a social, economic and environmental point of view.

How do you do it?

Carrying out a feasibility study is not as daunting as it might sound. Often most of the answers are already known and it is just a case of writing them down in a sensible order.

Desk or secondary research can be useful however to find out what has happened in the past and learn from it. It is possible to undertake a lot of research using the internet. (see the list of web-sites at the end) which will help

you find government statistics to back up your claims, or reports from newspapers or trade bodies to show there is a market, or organisations elsewhere who have tried something similar.

It is often a good idea to undertake some new research to prove that people want what you are offering. Surveys can be either qualitative or quantitative – this means they can either ask open-ended questions to gain a general understanding of how people feel or ask multiple choice style questions to gain a factual / statistical answer.

There are two main techniques for gathering new information:

 Questionnaires delivered door –to –door, via telephone, with focus groups or as street surveys

 Face-to-face interviews either with individuals or focus groups

There are pros and cons of each type of method to be considered when choosing which ones to use.

Briefly a feasibility study looks at:

 Goods or service you want to deliver

 Costs to produce the goods or deliver the service

 What demand there is for the goods or service

 What the Unique Selling Point (USP) is that will attract customers

 How you will distribute the goods or service

 What competition you are up against

 What you will charge your customers

 Whether there are enough customers that will pay for your goods or service

Feasibility Study Sections

Some of the basic questions you should be asking yourself are listed below but you will no doubt come up with others as well. It doesn’t matter how simple the question may appear, you should still make a note of it and search for an answer.

1) Customers

People often assume that know their customers but it is a good idea to research them and not make assumptions.

 Who are my potential customers?

 Where are they?

 How many of them are there?

 How much and how often do they buy my type of goods / services?

 What is the best way of reaching them?

 Who else is /will compete for their custom?

You may be able to answer these questions yourself, but it is likely you will need to undertake a survey to prove your assumptions.

2) Goods and services

Define what exactly you are trying to produce / provide.

 How much will it cost to produce / provide my goods or services?

 Can I afford it? Are they what my customers want?

 Are they what my customers want?

 What do my products / services have which makes them different enough to give me the edge over my competitors? (This is often called the Unique Selling Point).

 How will I distribute my goods? Who will do it? How much will it cost?

3) Competitor analysis

It is important to know who your competitors are, assuming you have any.

 Who are they?

 Where are they?

 What do they charge?

 Is there any potential to collaborate with them?

 How will they react to competition?

4) Income and pricing

You will need to work out what level of income you can expect from providing the goods / services. Again, the end users of your activities may not necessarily be the paying customer. However, you will need paying customers to cover the costs of the activities you propose to deliver.

 What should I be charging my customers?

 What are my terms and conditions of sale?

 What are my competitors charging?

 Will my customers pay what I’m asking?

 Can I produce / provide as much as they want and when they want it?

 What ‘mark-up’ will I have? i.e. how much will I charge above the costs of production).

5) Location

The location of a social enterprise is often linked to an organisation, but it is important to think about the effect of location on the viability of the business.

 Where should I be located?

 What are the advantages / disadvantages of being in that location?

 What will I need for the premises (machinery, equipment, fixtures and fittings, etc)?

 Will I need any vehicles?

 How much will it all cost me?

 What are the costs of refurbishing a building, if necessary?

6) Suppliers

You will need to understand what goods or services you will need to purchase.

 Will I need any suppliers?

 Do I know where they are?

 Di I know how much they charge and what there payment terms are?

 Are they reliable?

 Do I know anyone who uses them?

7) Staff

You need to be clear what people you will need to run the business.

 Will I need to employ anybody?

 Do I know what that involves?

 Do I know how much it costs?

 What skills will they need?

 Do I know anyone with the right skills?

 Where will I find the right people? Will I need to use an employment agency or advertise myself?

 What qualifications will my staff need, and what training will I need to provide for them?

8) Regulations

A license is required for many businesses, not just the obvious ones like casinos or public houses. For example, you need a license to run a hotel, a guesthouse, a mobile shop or to a hairdresser. You should always check whether your business requires a license to trade.

 Do you need to comply with any regulations? For example, building uses regulations, health and safety regulations, gambling regulations, etc.

 Do you need any licenses?

 Will they cost me anything (in terms of time and/or money)?

 How long will it take to get the necessary licenses?

9) Patenting / copyright / trade marking

 Do you need to protect your idea?

 How much will it cost?

10) Legal

Deciding on the constitution of your business can have an important impact on how it is managed and its relationship to any ‘parent’ organisation.

 What type of business should I be setting up (limited company, LLP, charity, co-operative)?

 What are the advantages and disadvantages of each option for me?

 What are the costs?

11) Profit

Profit is often seen as a dirty word in the voluntary / community sector, but for a social enterprise to be viable it will need to make a profit. What it then does with that profit is another issue!

#socialenterprise #mba #consulting #wbs #toronto #canada #sustainability #sdgs #love #peace #bradfordturner #impactinvesting

9 March 2017

MBA students set up consultancy to streamline public services

  • Aiming to save taxpayers thousands of pounds
  • The Sector involves students from five different countries
  • Company set-up over a pub meeting on Warwick Week

When Canadian Bradford Turner started moving the pepper and salt around the table at the Dirty Duck he had little idea that it would lead to a start-up operation whose founders span three continents.

Explaining to Elena Dimova the intricacies of the business idea Turner had been carrying around for nearly a decade – essentially a consultancy that would save taxpayers money – involved several napkins and the re-arranging of the condiments.

Explaining to Elena Dimova the intricacies of the business idea Turner had been carrying around for nearly a decade – essentially a consultancy that would save taxpayers money – involved several napkins and the re-arranging of the condiments.

Russian Elena, who works as a client specialists team leader in Thomson Reuters’s C&E and capital markets division, said: “Bradford was so passionate about this business idea, so I interrogated him about it over a drink and made him go through the business model properly – the salt and pepper were moved around a lot! ”

After seven years working for non-profit organisations and in the public sector, and seeing budgets slashed in Canada since the financial crisis, Bradford, a Distance learning MBA student, felt an opportunity had opened up for an organisation that specialised in delivering better public services in the most cost efficient way.

While working with NGO Save the Children, non-profit education organisation Junior Achievement Canada, and on various Canadian healthcare infrastructure projects, Bradford had seen how Government departments in Canada – so removed from the ground – had wasted their money on layers of inefficient bureaucracy when delivering social projects.

A niche opening was available for a consultancy that could provide Government departments a strategy to deliver more with less money, or as Bradford puts it “optimizing socioeconomic outcomes in government services by implementing integrated planning and client-focused service delivery models”.

Frederick Peters, a Research Fellow at Canada’s City Institute at York University, with a PhD in Political Science and a consulting focus on social infrastructure, partnered Bradford to grow the concept and look into building it into a business.

Dreaming in the Dirty Duck

“I had been looking at starting this firm for 10 years,” says 35-year-old Bradford. “I have the experience and the niche idea but I didn’t want to go into it without the 360 degree understanding of how to run a business, that’s why I decided to do an MBA before taking the plunge.”

Bradford signed up for Warwick Business School’s Distance learning MBA but he soon discovered he had everything he needed in the course to start his business straight away and The Sector Inc was born.

“It was a huge realisation,” says Bradford. “On the MBA I have met like-minded people from all over the world, all the advice I need is there from fellow students and academics. Also, the course has the flexibility to allow me to build a business from scratch and continue with my studies.”

At the first of six Warwick Weeks – where distance learning MBAs fly to the school from all over the world for a week of lectures – Turner got chatting at the Dirty Duck pub on the university campus with some of his classmates. And over a pint and the condiments he pitched his idea.

As well as Elena, Belgium-based Londoner Remon Fahim, Mark-Andre Casper, of Cologne, and Chafic Filfili, of Lebanon, were also recruited from his MBA class. Dimova is exploring opportunities in Russia, while Fahim is focusing on the UK operation.

Remon is also familiar with government cuts as a commercial manager with Serco, a FTSE 250 company that specialises in running outsourced public services from prisons to London’s Boris bikes.

“While on a drive down to London after a long weekend at Warwick, I was discussing my experiences in public services and community development with Bradford,” says Remon. “It became apparent that I could compliment Bradford’s NGO background with my private sector knowledge. I have spent seven years working with government departments and I immediately understood Bradford’s vision.”

With colleagues in Russia, Canada, Germany, the UK and Lebanon it can be a challenge having a management meeting, but modern technology certainly helps.

“It is hard sometimes finding a good time for conference calls,” says Bradford. “But we have to collaborate in teams on the MBA so you quickly get used to communicating via the internet, it has not been a problem.

“Thanks to the MBA I have got to know them and seen how clever they are by working on assignments together, it has allowed us to demonstrate our knowledge and skills. We are learning from each other and being from different countries means we have new markets to target, while leveraging our business networks.”

For now The Sector is concentrating on Canada and its first job saw them research and put together a feasibility study on a proposed community hub for the York Region in Southern Ontario.

“It took eight months and we produced a 150-page report assessing the viability of the community hub,” says Bradford. “Instead of having these social and community groups working separately we looked at how they could be integrated under one roof, the savings that would produce and if it would improve delivery.

“We provided a series of recommendations on how it would go ahead as we found it would produce efficiencies and improve services. Hopefully it will go ahead and that could become a blueprint for other cities.”

Turner and Peters are full-time on The Sector, while the rest of the team carry on with their jobs. They all bring different skills, Remon does the quantitative modelling and financial analysis; Chafic is the big data analyst; Mark-Andre looks after risk and governance thanks to his insurance background, while Elena has financial expertise.

“I am involved in investigating what markets there are in Russia for The Sector,” says Elena. “At the moment it is really tough fitting it in around a job and the MBA – I’m not getting much sleep. But this is an exciting opportunity and not something I dreamed of embarking on when I signed up for the MBA.”

See this story featured in the Financial Times.

Original Story: https://www.wbs.ac.uk/news/the-mba-spawns-a-start-up-spanning-three-continents/

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