Mike Labbé Named Social Entrepreneur of the Year

November 9th, 2015 by Brian Iler

We were thrilled that Options for Homes’ founder, Mike Labbe was awarded a special citation as Ontario’s Social Entrepreneur of the Year. Options is a long-time client of ours.

Each year, the accounting firm Ernst & Young celebrates the achievements of entrepreneurs with its Entrepreneur of the Year awards.

In Ernst & Young’s announcement of the award to Mike for social entrepreneurship, Mike was quoted as saying:

I’ve been driven by one thought since I was 16 — doing the most good for the most people. The Options for Homes vision is aligned with this goal. Our business model is based on the idea that any profit should be reinvested into the community where it operates — whether in Canada or across the world. I hope this model will be used for a variety of community initiatives, long after I’m gone.

A number of us from Iler Campbell were pleased to join Mike, many Options staff, and his mom and dad, to celebrate his commitment to that thought at the awards ceremony recently.

Mike’s acceptance of the award included these comments, directed at the many entrepreneurs in attendance:

I’d like to add one more thing to the many different filters that you put on deciding how to solve problems in society.

Because that’s really what entrepreneurs are: people who identify problems in our society and look at the solutions and say “That doesn’t look so hard”.

To those filters to the problems you choose to solve I’d like to encourage you to put two more:

Will this solution that I’m going to work on for the next three or four years improve people’s quality of life?

Secondly, will that solution strengthen or improve the environment of this planet, because without that nothing else matters?

Powerful words.

Bizarrely, social entrepreneurs are not included in Ernst & Young’s competition for Entrepreneur of the Year, where Ontario’s winner competes at the national awards, and the Canadian Entrepreneur of the Year competes for the World title. Mike’s Special Citation was awarded during the appetizer course, with the “real” entrepreneurs’ awards following the meal.

Filed in: Not for Profit Law

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