The University of Winnipeg



UWinnipeg is home to one of the world’s most talented social innovators

Marty Donkervoort

Marty Donkervoort

UWinnipeg’s Marty Donkervoort has just been named one of the “50 most Talented Social Innovators” by the The World Corporate Social Responsibility Congress (CSR). This award acknowledges leaders who are passionate about innovation and whose ideas contribute to social change. Donkervoort will be traveling to Taj Lands End, Mumbai, India to receive the award at the World CSR Congress conference in February 2015.

This international award is intensely researched by professionals from all over the world who have been tracking good work for over a period of time. The shortlist is then reviewed by a jury comprising of senior professionals from across the globe.

Donkervoort has been teaching business courses (Faculty of Business and Economics) and in the Urban and Inner-City Studies program (Faculty of Arts) at UWinnipeg.

“I am delighted and honoured that our Winnipeg success story is being heard around the word,” expressed Donkervoort. “This award is a tremendous affirmation of the innovative work that Winnipegers are doing to create a more just economy.”

“Professor Donkervoort inspires his students to view the intersection of business and community in a new way,” articulated former student Sarah Huminicki. “He strives to involve students and to nurture their creative ideas and perspectives. It is evident he cares deeply about teaching.  He lays the groundwork for students to have a continued interest in the subject in an engaging and personable manner.”

“Marty has been a guest speaker in several of my courses,” said John Melnyk, Faculty of Business and Economics. “Students are always impressed by his belief in business as a means for helping others, and his passion for what he does.  And despite everything he has accomplished, he’s a very humble, down-to-earth guy who really cares about students.”

Donkervoort has been a frequent guest speaker in business classes at The University of Winnipeg explained Melnyk. This led to Donkervoort’s development of a course on Social Enterprise, which he has taught for the Bachelor of Business Administration program for the past three years.

Donkervoort also teaches a management and financial administration for community leadership course in the innovative, off-campus Department of Urban and Inner-City Studies on Selkirk Avenue in Winnipeg’s North End.

“In this course Marty brings together his business acumen with his passion for and experience with community economic development in Winnipeg’s inner city,” said Dr. Jim Silver, Chair of Urban and Inner-City Studies. “Enrollment in this course has grown steadily and students  really love it.”

Donkervoort credit’s his recent book Inner City Renovation”How a Social Enterprise Changes Lives and Communities (2013, Fernwood Publishing) for this award. At the 2013 World Social Enterprise Forum it was distributed to all 1200 attendees including several hundred people from across the globe.

Donkervoort has also co-authored a case study about Inner City Renovation, an innovative social enterprise he helped to found here in Winnipeg (forthcoming through Ivey Publishing). As the Globe and Mail has recently noted, Donkervoort business career leads from Bay St to Main Street.

Donkervoort’s contributions have been celebrated by the CBC, who named him “A Canadian making a Difference” in 2009 and by a special recognition award in 2010 from Ernst and Young in their Entrepreneur of the Year Competition. Donkervoort is a leader in community economic development being a past or current director of the Canadian Worker Co -op Federation, the Worker Owner Development Foundation, and the Social Enterprise Council of Canada.


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