Category Archives: Change Makers

SVI Hollyhock Alumni Receive Successful You Award

Small Business BC announced the winners of the annual Successful You Awards Contest, awarded to businesses who proved their excellence in six categories over 170 other BC businesses during the course of a rigorous five-month contest.

Winners were shortlisted by votes from the public and then submitted an application explaining to Small Business BC why they deserved to win where they then went on to be judged as to why they should be named BC’s best.

Two of the six winners of the Successful You Awards are previous alumni of Hollyhock’s Social Ventures Institute.

Congratulations goes out to:

Suzanne Siemens & Madeleine Shaw of Lunapads InternationalBest Community Impact
Lunapads International is a women-owned and operated social mission-based business and certified B Corporation. Its goal is to help individuals have healthier, positive experiences of their menstrual cycles, and by extension, their bodies overall.

Thanks to Lunapads customers who have made the switch to Lunapads’ washable cloth menstrual pads, over 1 million disposable pads and tampons are now diverted from landfills monthly. Lunapads also donates washable pads to women in developing nations through our Pads4Girls program.


Annalea Krebs of EthicalDeal – Best Online Marketer
ethicalDeal is a Vancouver-based online promotions company that runs integrated email marketing and social media campaigns for natural and organic brands. Its promotions go viral, with 1 in 4 shoppers sharing the promotion with friends on social media.

ethicalDeal launched two years ago and now has a team of ten and has run over 2,000 promotions that reach over 100,000 eco-minded shoppers. The company received the Better Business Bureau award for Advancing Marketplace Trust and Innovation, and was voted one of the top 25 women-run start-ups to watch by Fast Company.


See a list of all the winners and find out more about Small BC Business awards, here.

Farm Folk can Be City Folk BY REBECCA CUTTLER

Experiencing Vancouver’s urban farms, By Rebecca Cuttler for

Rebecca Cuttler, Executive Assistant to Joel Solomon at Renewal Partners, and an SVI and SCI Alumnae, has written an article for FarmFolk CityFolk Magazine about Vancouver’s urban farming scene.  A print version of the magazine is available for free at specialty grocery and wine shops in British Columbia.

Farm Folk can Be City Folk

If you are paying attention, you might catch it out of the corner of your eye: an almost hidden half-acre where Vancouver’s urban landscape gives way to a lush market garden bursting with flowers, multi-coloured beans and deep red beets. Farmers on 57th is one of a growing number of farms situated within Vancouver’s city limits.

Karen Ageson and Tessa Wetherill are the farmers in ‘Farmers on 57th’. I’m meeting with them in a cluster of lawn chairs next to the market garden stand, and a neighbour and cSA member interrupts us. She has a small plastic bag in her hand, out of which poke some seedlings with leaves that range from green to purple to a near-blue. “Here’s the rainbow kale I was telling you about,” she says, handing it to Karen. We all take a look. Karen and Tessa have never seen this variety before.

Farmers on 57th runs a 30 member cSA program: households sign up at the beginning of each year to receive a weekly share of the farm’s harvest. cSA members come from many walks of life. Some, like the rainbow kale-grower, are gardening enthusiasts. others are busy downtown workers who didn’t know anything about local food production until recently. What they share is the fact that they all pick up a week’s worth of produce at the place where it is grown. As Wetherill explains that, “more and more they stick around, they walk through the garden, they talk to each other.” In many cases, members have had to dramatically changed their diets simply to keep up with the harvest. “I have so much respect for the amount of vegetables they eat,” says Wetherill. “We give them a large box, in the spring they’re getting just greens and greens and greens. They’re like, ‘I have to eat salad every night!’”

Read the full article here, see page 18.

Democracy Now Interviews Matthew Fox about the Pope's Resignation

With the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI and emergence of Pope Francis we turn to a former Catholic priest Matthew Fox.  In this interview with Democracy Now, Matthew Fox chronicles his story and provides sage advice in his most recent book, The Pope’s War.

Matthew Fox is an activist, theologian and Episcopal priest.  His 30 books have been translated into 43 languages and have received numerous awards.
Matthew Fox is Matthew Fox is an activist, theologian and Episcopal priest.  His 30 books have been translated into 43 languages and have received numerous awards. matthewfox.organ activist, theologian and Episcopal priest.  His 30 books have been translated into 43 languages and have received numerous awards. matthewfox
Matthew Fox is an activist, theologian and Episcopal priest.  His 30 books have been translated into 43 languages and have received numerous awards.
Matthew Fox is an activist, theologian and Episcopal priest.  His 30 books have been translated into 43 languages and
Join Matthew April 26 – 27 at his Vancouver Workshop, Hildegard & The Mystics, illuminate your heart-centred path of transformation and awaken your inner mystic

Our People – Joel Solomon

Joel Solomon, Hollyhock Board Chair, was recently featured in Blue & Green Tomorrow, a UK-based news site that focuses on businesses that balance the needs of the planet, its people and prosperity.

‘We need investment that prioritises long-term wellbeing for people and planet’
Wednesday, February 13th, 2013 By Blue & Green Tomorrow

Samuel Johnson once said, “When a man knows he is to be hanged in a fortnight, it concentrates his mind wonderfully.” So how would the threat of death affect your outlook on life? For Joel Solomon, president of Renewal Partners, it spurred him on to use his business and investment nous to help create a better future for generations to come.

A number of family members, including his father, had died of polycystic kidney disease – where cysts form in the kidneys, causing them to become enlarged. And when he himself was diagnosed with the condition in his early 20s, doctors said he could die very soon – or he could live a long life.

Read the full article, here.

Our People: Joel Solomon TedX Talk

Hollyhock Board Chair Joel Solomon recently gave this TedX Talk in Vancouver – A Journey of Mortality, Renewal & Ethical Investment. Joel’s life work is in activating money and business into pragmatic models for long term balance of ecology and society. Renewal Partners, Renewal2, RSF Social Finance, Vancity and Tides Canada are important financial change agents where Joel plays key roles.


Hollyhock has given me clarity of life purpose, my wife Dana, and my new kidney, from co-founder Shivon. What will Hollyhock give you?

Joel is a co-convenor of two Leadership Institute Conferences at Hollyhock- 
Social Change Institute, June 5 – 9
Social Venture Institute, September 18 – 22