As part of the School of Business, and serving all faculties and schools at MacEwan University, the Maria T. Schneider Social Innovation Institute is an entity that fosters and nurtures scholars engaging in community-based, impact-focused research addressing societal issues.

While we have expertise in the transformation of entrepreneurial ecosystems, the institute supports knowledge creation and developments that improve one’s well-being and/or enable communities to thrive.

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  • Inclusive entrepreneurship: All people, regardless of their personal characteristics and background, have an opportunity to start and run their own businesses (OECD definition)
  • Impactful entrepreneurship (also referred to as social entrepreneurship): Recognizing and resourcefully pursuing opportunities to create social value. Crafting innovative approaches to addressing critical social needs (DUKE University definition)
  • Social innovation: The process of developing and deploying effective solutions to challenging and often systemic social and environmental issues in support of social progress (Stanford University definition).


We are committed to the growth and prosperity of the social economy ecosystem through are continued partnerships:

The Alberta Social Economy Ecosystem Development (AB SEED)

AB SEED is a collaborative of social enterprise and social finance leaders, working to build a stronger ecosystem for Alberta’s social economy. The Social Innovation Institute is a steering committee member of AB SEED and partners with AB SEED to convene Edmonton’s social economy ecosystem.


Edmonton Unlimited

Edmonton Unlimited provides free programming and resources that Edmonton’s innovators, big thinkers and problem solvers need to turn their ideas into solutions. They are working closely with the Institute to help transform Edmonton's entrepreneurial ecosystem to be more inclusive and impactful.

Edmonton Unlimited