GAME CHANGERS: Common Good Solutions wins Best Youth Employer Award, Small Business Category

January 7, 2019

Common Good Solutions (CGS) was the recipient of the Best Youth Employer Award in the Small Business Category at the 2018 Game Changers Awards Gala

CGS is part consultancy, part educator, and part social impact incubator that helps entrepreneurs, non-profits and cooperatives start and grow social enterprises. CGS has taken the recommendations of the One Nova Scotia Commission to heart when it comes to investing in young Nova Scotians: 74% of their employees are aged 20-29.

Maria Wamboldt, Manager, Communications & Culture at CGS,
shares how hiring youth has benefitted the company.

What has been the biggest benefit of hiring young professionals for your business?


Hiring talented, driven youth is what has given us the capacity to go above and beyond. It has allowed us to:

  • Launch the world’s leading online social enterprise education platform, the Social Enterprise Institute, led and managed by Stephanie Pronk (age 29)
  • Shoot a cross-Canada documentary sharing the stories of social enterprises from coast to coast, led by Joseph Huyer (age 25), Meaghan Wright (age 24), and Marie Wright (age 24)
  • Lead sector-changing projects like the Scaling Up project, which formed the Ability Wood Products Cooperative and Sobeys big red chair #ChairShare campaign, led by Robert Nichols, age 27,
  • Lead the Cape Breton Transportation Innovation Lab led again by Robert Nichols, (age 27) and Chloe Donatelli (age 29).

Our goal is to reach net zero loss of youth aged 20-29 (retaining all youth), what would that mean for Halifax? What does that mean to you?

If the Halifax Partnership can achieve their goal of net zero loss of individuals aged 20-29, our city would see more positive change taking root at a community level. If youth who have grown up here feel they can stay here, that creates a wealth of knowledge and hopefully motivation to engage, innovate, and make opportunities right here at home.  

What advice do you have for businesses who are considering hiring youth?

  1. Have a clear vision of their vision. Where do they see themselves in five or ten years, what’s meaningful to them? How can your organization support that, and how does it support your organization?
  2. Professional development support and opportunities are key, whether that’s a PD allowance or work-time permitted to be spent outside the organization volunteering or working with mentors in their field.
  3. Understand that it is a mutually beneficial arrangement. Sometimes youth need more support or facilitated opportunities, but they always bring new and valuable perspectives and skillsets.

23_NATIONAL PR_GC Awards_2018

The Game Changers Awards recognize exceptional Halifax businesses and Connectors that hire youth, provide meaningful experiential learning opportunities and connect young professionals to opportunities in their field. The 2018 Game Changers Awards Gala took place on October 17. Nine awards were presented.

CLICK HERE to learn more about the Game Changers Youth Retention Action Plan.