The City of Burnaby, the Burnaby Board of Trade, and the Social Purpose Institute Form Partnership to Accelerate a Purpose Led Economy

The Social Purpose Institute (SPI), the Burnaby Board of Trade, and the City of Burnaby have entered a unique and strategic tripartite partnership to make Burnaby a hub for the growth and acceleration of social purpose-led organizations.

The Social Purpose Institute, located in Burnaby, and the Burnaby Board of Trade, the city’s chamber of commerce, signed a Memorandum of Understanding in January 2020 creating a first-ever partnership between SPI and a board of trade/chamber of commerce. With the addition of the City of Burnaby to this partnership, there is an even greater opportunity to incubate and grow the concept of social purpose, where companies define why the business exists beyond its sales or products, identify what it stands for, and determine the role the business can play in contributing to society and the greater good overall through its operations.

With Burnaby Board of Trade members already representing the largest cohort of participating businesses, including Hemlock Printers, Return-It, Traction on Demand, ABC Recycling, Chandos Construction, and Royal Printers, this collaboration offers Burnaby the opportunity to grow the social purpose-led economy in Canada and beyond.

“We are thrilled that Burnaby is emerging as a centre of excellence in social purpose; this level of leadership is the kind that will truly accelerate change for the good,” says Mary Ellen Schaafsma, Director of the Social Purpose Institute at United Way.

“We know that businesses can be powerful drivers of change in our society,” said Mike Hurley, Mayor of Burnaby. “By working with our partners at the Burnaby Board of Trade and United Way on this project, more Burnaby businesses will be equipped with the tools to make a difference in our community.”

Paul Holden, President & CEO of the Burnaby Board of Trade, a long-time leader of social, economic, and environmental sustainability says, “The pandemic has revealed an opportunity to embed real purpose in our business community, which will, in turn, help us to build a more resilient economy. I am delighted to partner with the City of Burnaby and the Social Purpose Institute in growing a purpose-led business recovery here in Burnaby and beyond.”

• For more on the Burnaby Board of Trade, please visit their website.
• For more information about the city of Burnaby, click here.
• For more information about Social Purpose, your journey starts here!

Interested in learning more about how this partnership can benefit you, as a Burnaby company? Contact the Social Purpose Institute at and spend some time exploring our website!

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