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Fellowship fuels passion for social side of business

Oct 10, 2018

Charlie Wall-Andrews - Windsor Castle photo collage

Clockwise: Charlie Wall-Andrews, Windsor Castle, a Changing of the Guards ceremony, Wall-Andrews with her learning team

François du Chatenet

Touring Windsor Castle, taking in England’s arts and culture, and meeting budding social entrepreneurs from around the world.

It was all part of the prestigious Ariane de Rothschild Fellowship.

Charlie Wall-Andrews, EMBA ’17, was one of 20 fellows selected from North America and Europe for the intense program that teaches business skills, while also enhancing social and cross-cultural leadership. The program ran July 29 to August 6 and is offered to entrepreneurs who demonstrate both a commitment to inclusion and to strengthening their organizations’ sustainability and social impact.

“While the fellowship has a strong basis for entrepreneurship and advancing a business mindset, it also creates a space and an opportunity for all of us to come together to learn, and to really understand how to have a social mindset when discussing business,” said Wall-Andrews. “That is a very different pedagogical approach when teaching business, and it made the program really special.”

Wall-Andrews, who is Executive Director of the Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada (SOCAN) Foundation, a non-profit organization that fosters Canadian music creation, said Ivey’s EMBA Program sparked her interest in both global business, sustainability, and entrepreneurship. She is also on the Board of Directors for WorkInCulture, and TELUS Community Investment Board.

Since graduating from the program, she created the TD CREATIVE Entrepreneur Incubator at SOCAN Foundation, a new program that provides emerging music creators with seed funding, mentorship, and an educational series to hone their entrepreneurial skills. In 2017, she was named one of the Top 30 Under 30 Sustainability Leaders by Corporate Knights.

Cross-cultural inspiration

While that made her a great fit for the Fellowship, she said she was inspired by the other social entrepreneurs whose business ventures included:

  • All-inclusive fashion designs (Gita Omri);
  • Tea company that provides high-quality tea while employing refugees (Nemi Teas); and,
  • Food items that meet both halal and kosher standards so Muslims and Jews can eat together (Interfaith Ventures).

“It was really amazing to see how some of these social entrepreneurs and innovators are building businesses that are having an incredible impact. Everybody there was doing something inspiring,” she said. “We engaged in a cross-cultural dialogue. Many of the participants were either Muslim or Jewish and this fostered an interfaced dialogue when discussing cross-cultural leadership and social innovation.”

The program’s setting was equally inspiring and the program participants had special access to Windsor Castle and were able to experience marching bands and Changing of the Guard ceremonies.

“It made it special to be learning in such a place of history” she said.

Overall, the Fellowship enhanced her focus and passion on social responsibility and cross-cultural leadership.

“The key takeaway for me was, regardless of what you do, you have to always find a way to be socially responsible… And that is more than just being philanthropic, it means doing good and having integrity in everything that you do and in the values of your company,” she said. “It’s a competitive advantage now, but I’m also a firm believer it shouldn’t be. In this day and age, being socially responsible is simply vital for being sustainable and successful as a business.”

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