When the Little Voice team set out to create Little Voice Books they knew they wanted to create a business that would publish unique children’s books and serve as a platform to give back.

And so, they decided to create a social enterprise.

A Social Enterprise is defined as “an organization that advances or fulfills a social purpose through a business model or revenue-generating component of their operations”. This dual purpose supports not only the growth of the organization but also the growth of the communities it serves.

Little Voice’s mission and vision was founded in this very definition: to create awareness for causes and initiatives through the power of literature and illustration and to support the programs and services that serve to make a difference in our communities through the sale of our books.

How does Little Voice Books give back?

Little Voice Books business model is not restricted to any one purpose. Instead, it links its philanthropic efforts with each book it sets out to publish – creating room for more opportunities to raise awareness and give back with each new text. In addition, while each new book creates awareness, a fundraising platform is created to also give back.

To date, Little Voice Books has published two books and in turn has created two fundraising platforms.

  • Little Voice/La petite voix: promotes the concept of a growth mindset by teaching children to find their inner voice; to believe in themselves; and to be confident, creative, ambitious and proud of who they are. This very idea helped author Amanda Bernardo and illustrator Samantha Clusiau-Lawlor find their own little voice, the one that taught them to dream big and create their self-titled company: Little Voice Books. It also inspired them to support those that could no longer find their inner voice, those living with Alzheimer’s disease. And so, with every sale of a Little Voice or La petite voix book, Little Voice Books donates a portion to the Alzheimer Society of Canada under their fundraising platform: The Forget Me Not Project.
  • The Lighthouse: aims to educate, support and remind all those affected by mental illness that they are not alone. The Lighthouse serves as a tool to not only start the conversation on mental illness by illustrating situations we can all relate to but also by ending the stigma associated with them. With every sale of The Lighthouse, Little Voice Books donates a portion to the National Canadian Mental Health Association under their fundraising platform: The Be the Light Campaign.

After seeing the impact their social enterprise could have on their community, the Little Voice team wanted to empower others to do the same. And so, they created the Little Voice Movement, a platform that encourages others to raise awareness and give back in their own communities.

By becoming a Little Voice Ambassador, children, adults, teachers, parents and entire communities have the opportunity to drive their own social change. Whether you choose to give back to your school, a community or charitable cause, or even support a child’s future education, Little Voice Books enables its readers to leverage its platform to succeed in their fundraising efforts.

With every book sold under the Little Voice Movement, Little Voice Books donates five dollars (all while still giving back under its own fundraising platforms) – a double win!

“To be able to create a company that gives back in more ways than one is something I am truly proud of. I know we have created a platform where not only our little voice but the little voice of others can be heard. Little Voice Books is about not only sharing our stories but the stories of all those looking to give back and make a difference.” – Amanda Bernardo

Little Voice Books was recognized for the second year in a row as one of Ottawa’s social enterprises in the Social Impact Awards.

The 2018 Social Impact Awards seek to highlight Ottawa-based community initiatives, student-led projects, and social enterprises that have significant potential for growth and lasting impact; emphasize the power of the collective rather than the individual; and recognize social innovation in the Ottawa community that is turning the status quo upside down. Voting is open until February 9, 2018.

Learn more about the awards and the other amazing nominees by visiting: https://ottawa.impacthub.net/ottawa-social-impact-awards/.

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