The Centre for Social Impact currently leads and supports research in the areas of social innovation, social enterprise, Indigenous entrepreneurship, and community resilience, particularly in remote and rural contexts.

The Centre collaborates and engages with a network of partners in the Kingston community and across Canada for the purpose of research. In addition, the Centre strives to educate and inform diverse audiences about social impact topics, including students, staff and faculty at Smith School of Business and the broader community, through the translation of research, convening of scholars and curation of engaging learning opportunities.

Contact Information

For more information about the Centre for Social Impact’s research, please email us at or submit an inquiry.

Current Research Projects

Resilient Communities

Social Entrepreneurship and Resilient Communities: Examining Aboriginal, Rural and Remote Contexts

Canadians face a number of social issues including poverty, healthcare, civic engagement, education and the environment. The effects of these concerns are particularly felt by Aboriginal populations and communities in remote and rural contexts, who have failing systems and lack the resources provided to more urban centres.

This research projects builds on current research exploring community resilience on Fogo Island, Newfoundland to extend to other rural and remote contexts in order to better understand the use of social innovation approaches in building resilience and to explore the bricolage of resources and community in these settings.

Indigenous Entrepreneurs

Social Entrepreneurship: Increasing Access to Opportunities for Indigenous Entrepreneurs

While an increasing number of Indigenous people enter the Canadian labour force, more individuals are choosing entrepreneurship, but there are a number of barriers that limit their success. We see similarities between social entrepreneurship and Indigenous entrepreneurial practice that suggest social entrepreneurship may be a valuable vehicle to foster opportunities within Indigenous communities.

This project with The Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business and Ishkonigan Inc. aims to explore challenges and opportunities facing Indigenous entrepreneurs and identify whether there is a role for social entrepreneurship in facilitating opportunities. Our team looks to build on current Indigenous entrepreneurship literature and to develop comprehensive training materials to foster success for Indigenous entrepreneurs across the country.

Community of Social Innovation

The Community of Social Innovation (COSI) is a network of academic scholars from North American and international institutions, led by Dr. Tina Dacin (Stephen J.R. Smith School of Business, Queen’s University) and Dr. Jerry Davis (Stephen M. Ross School of Business, University of Michigan). COSI’s mission is to foster and advance the sharing of insights around teaching, data, theory and methods in the social innovation space, and to provide focused opportunities to mentor junior scholars in the domain. An annual COSI gathering provides members with the opportunity to share cutting-edge research and provide feedback to develop the scholarly efforts of others.

Learn more about COSI
COSI team

“Our community is purposefully small, not dominated by any one school or perspective, and our objectives remain quite simple. Our goal is to build a community of scholars who teach and conduct research in this area.”

Tina Dacin
Centre for Social Impact

Indigenous Business Research Network

The Indigenous Business Research Network is a community that fosters collaboration between Indigenous and ally researchers across Canada to advance research in Indigenous business topics for the purpose of reconciliation. Members of the Network are faculty, graduate students and affiliate researchers from academic institutions and organizations across the country who engage in Indigenous business topics, including indigenous leadership, social innovation and Indigenous entrepreneurship, strategy and organizations, accountability and natural resource extraction. The Network platform allows for interactive knowledge exchange, mobilization and dissemination between members, and between the research community and key stakeholders.

Research Network