Meet the folks who found their path and became social entrepreneurs at Groundswell.

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Irina McKenzie

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Irina came to Canada with a background in law and retail, and a love of fashion and the environment. She was also done with a regular career. She turned a lay off at work into the springboard she needed to jump into a new life as an entrepreneur. Read how she made the leap and is now leading the conversation and taking action in textile recycling and reuse in Metro Vancouver with her three ventures, Frameworq Education Society, FABCYCLE, and Vancouver Sustainable Fashion Designers. Read more about Irina.

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Tong Guan

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Tong found his way through his tough youth as an immigrant kid with extracurricular activities and art.  He knows kids need more than what many schools offer during regular class time, so now he's bringing these creative outlets to dozens of schools across Metro Vancouver.  Do What U Luv organizes after school programs such as art, dance, martial-art and yoga with the goal to make creative programs more available, accessible and affordable for youth of all ages and backgrounds. Read more about Tong

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Conlan Mansfield

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I had always dreamed of creating a community organization to build solidarity, self reliance, and youth leadership. With a liberal arts degree, I had to follow the advice to "create my own job".  I found Groundswell and they helped me do that.

Feral offers training for the body and mind and youth leadership to mentor the next generations in building a more just world.  We train a variety of teams, athletes, and organizations.  For us, it's less about creating a "gym" than trying to create an alternative that's grounded in justice and practical social impact.  Read more about Conlan.

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Daphne Woo

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Daphne left the world of fast fashion garment production -depending on multinational and highly polluting production lines - to go back to her roots and the original motivations that she uncovered in her years in fashion school. She revived an old project and turned it into her new livelihood, working with natural dyes and textiles that use ancient craft and knowledge to bring beauty and resilience into our lives.  This is slow fashion, and she'd like to invite you to experience a deeper connection to the clothes you wear.  Read more about Daphne.


Check out more social small businesses, organizations and projects created by students at Groundswell: