Akcelos is a tool Canadian social enterprises can use to promote their products and services online.
Enterprises and organizations that post their products and services on Akcelos have been accredited for their social values.
Akcelos provides buyers with the assurance that all enterprise listed are indeed social enterprises.
This project is part of a pan-Canadian support scheme for social enterprises called the Social Enterprise Ecosystem Project (S4ES). The aim is to expand market opportunities for social enterprises, increase entrepreneurial skills, and promote and demonstrate the value of social enterprises.
Akcelos is a website operated by a not-for-profit group called Commerce Solidaire. An initiative of the Chantier de l’économie sociale, Commerce Solidaire has its own board of directors made up of representatives of user enterprises and representatives of the Chantier de l’économie sociale. Its main mission is to boost the buying power of social economy enterprises, support the marketing of products and services to social economy enterprises, and promote local development and responsible consumption.
Commerce Solidaire has run a buying group for social economy enterprises in Québec since 2012, enabling them to enhance their buying power while supporting their local economy. The buying group is growing steadily and now exceeds $4 million in annual purchases.
In Canada, the social enterprise does not have a recognized general definition neither recognized criteria. For the needs of Akcelos, we have taken Industry Canada's definition: "A social enterprise seeks to achieve social, cultural or environmental aims through the sale of goods and services. The social enterprise can be for-profit or not-for-profit but the majority of net profits must be directed to a social objective with limited distribution to shareholders and owners." All the organizations present on Akcelos have been accredited.
All Akcelos merchants must be officially recognized. The merchants must answer to a series of criteria that allow us to determine whether they are social or collective enterprises. Akcelos criteria revolve around the merchant’s mission and social purpose and must be the heart of their operations. Before displaying products and services on Akcelos, the organizations get accredited. Akcelos garantees that a puchase made from one of our accredited organizations is social and responsible.
Three major categories of enterprises can qualify as accredited suppliers: collective enterprises (or social economy enterprises, including community organizations with a commercial component), social enterprises, and hybrid enterprises. Enterprises in each of these categories are clearly identified on the site.
Criteria for all accredited merchants cover the following:
Mission and social purpose.
Legal status and ownership.
Independence from government
Management of profits, surplus, or surplus earnings.
To be accredited as a collective enterprise (or social economy enterprise), the merchant must meet criteria based on Québec's Social Economy Act.
To be accredited as a social enterprise, the merchant must meet Industry Canada criteria.
To be accredited as a hybrid enterprise, the merchant must be incorporated under the Community Contribution Company Regulation (C3) of British Columbia or the Community Interest Company Act (CIC) of Nova Scotia.
Certain hybrid enterprises may also be accredited as a merchant, for example, a private enterprise that is owned by a social economy enterprise.
Your purchases on Akcelos are secured by Monetico which was created after the alliance of 2 large cooperatives, namely Desjardins and Credit Mutuel. All sales and delivery terms will vary from one merchant to the other. You have access to each merchant's policy on his product or service sheet.