We are developing the next generation of social entrepreneurs, impact fund managers, and non-profit leaders.

The Social Innovation Academy (SIA) is a national initiative for youth who want to solve pressing environmental, social, and cultural challenges through careers in social innovation or social finance.


2007: Our team founded the UBC Sauder Centre for Social Innovation & Impact Investing (SauderS3i) with a focus on social venture incubation and cultivating student talent through a summer internship program.

2012: In partnership with entrepreneurship@UBC, we launched the Coast Capital Savings Innovation Hub, an incubator focused on growing social enterprises in BC.

2016: With the support of McConnell Foundation, we helped launch the RECODE Initiative at UBC as well as the UBC Impact Fund.

2019: With initial support from HSBC Bank Canada, we launched the Social Innovation Academy with the mission to expand training and internship opportunities for youth across Canada.

Today: We have worked with nearly 170 youth through our Social Innovation Fellowship and SIA Analyst Programs, and have provided project support to over 100 impact organizations.



Co-Founder & Executive Director (he/him)
James is the Executive Director of the HSBC Social Innovation Academy. As a serial entrepreneur, James founded Offsetters, NatureBank Asset Management, and the Pacific Impact Investor Network (PIIN), through which he has helped mentor and accelerate over 30 Canadian impact companies in the last decade. He has served as an advisor to the federal and provincial governments on social innovation and impact investing and was awarded the Queens Diamond Jubilee Award for service to the environment in 2014.


Co-Founder & Program Director (she/her)
As Program Director at SIA, Cheralyn leads program design, development, and engagement for the Social Innovation Fellowship and Summer Analyst Programs. She has a particular interest in equity, diversity, and inclusion and has loved initiating SIA's EDI efforts. Prior to joining the SIA team, she worked for social enterprises with various focuses, from tech for mental health to advancing the circular economy. Cheralyn is also a board member with the National Social Value Fund.


Program Director (he/him)
Steve is the Program Director of the Social Value Fund Associate Program and the Executive Director of the National Social Value Fund, a Canadian endeavor to support high-impact, under-served social enterprises in communities across the nation. NSVF takes a blended capital approach to provide impact-adjusted financing to social purpose organizations. Prior to starting the National Social Value Fund, Steve worked at Helder Ventures, an impact investing and social venture advisory firm based in Vancouver, B.C.

Tyson Bilton

Program Manager (he/him)
As Program Manager, Tyson supports both the Social Innovation Fellowship and Social Value Fund Associate Programs. Tyson is a recent graduate from the University of Calgary with a BComm. (Hons.) in Finance & Sustainability. He served as the Co-Chair for the Sustainable Development Goals Alliance and co-founded the Calgary Social Value Fund and Reimagine 17, which both have missions to engage, inspire, and spark action in students who want to pursue careers in impact.