In a nod to the evolving values of capitalism and the future of business, the University of Calgary announced the creation of a social entrepreneurship centre.

The initiative will be based at the Haskayne School of Business and provide students with tailored experiences as well as hands-on learning opportunities to increase their skills in social entrepreneurship.

"How far can we go in solving social problems by tapping into the power of markets?" says Dan Overall, executive director of the Trico Charitable Foundation. "We wanted to see if working with Haskayne, we can leverage that role in addressing that very important issue."

Social entrepreneurship is often regarded as the next evolution of capitalism. It utilizes business models to solve social problems through selling products or services while remaining financially viable.

For students such as Sanya Chaudhry, it's a pivotal resource for the entire business community.

"I think there can be a stigma around social entrepreneurship. People don’t always know exactly what it is," explained Chaudry. "This is a space where two worlds are coming together, and people are able to create businesses that are both profitable and sustainable."

"There is so much of a network for this type of community to grow," stated Houston Peschl, an instructor of entrepreneurship and innovation at the Haskayne School. "We are going to be teaching the next generation of leaders to think beyond the profit motive, and recognize that business can be a force for good."

"It’s about recognizing that value goes beyond just a profit, and that can be a very strategic advantage in any industry."

As part of the announcement, the University of Calgary outlined the 'What’s Next YYC?' program. This competition will recognize Calgary-based social enterprises with four $25,000 prizes awarded to the most deserving companies.

The Trico Foundation Social Entrepreneurship Centre is now open and offering services to both students and social enterprises.

The creation of the facility was aided by a $5 million donation from Trico.