Venture for Canada didn’t invest in staff professional development in its early days — here’s why you should.

Social impact organizations are cash-strapped right now, but failing to provide learning and development opportunities to staff could be more costly in the long term, argues Venture for Canada CEO Scott Stirrett

Why It Matters

Rapid changes to all work and workforces — including in the social impact world — are underway. To adapt and thrive, organizations need to foster an employee culture that encourages constant learning.

In the early days of Venture for Canada, we invested very little in staff learning and development — most of our focus was on simply surviving. 

Starting a social impact organization is not for the faint of heart and for much of the organization’s first two years of operations, we struggled to regularly make payroll. Consequently, Venture for Canada (VFC) had a minimal budget to invest in learning and development. In these early years, we were a small team of less than five people, who often did not have the time to devote significant time to learning amidst many other pressing priorities. 

Flash forward four years and our priorities have shifted, with investing in learning and development much closer to the top. VFC has close to 25 employees. As part of our staff performance review process, all employees and their managers agree on annual learning goals.

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