Prime Minister Stephen Harper presents Shafin Diamond Tejani, accepting on behalf of Victoria Square Labs, with the Prime Minister’s Volunteer Award for Business Leader (BC & the North) on March 18, 2015 at a ceremony in Toronto. (PMO photo by Jason Ransom)
Victory Square Labs (VSL) is fostering innovation in the business and social community in British Columbia and abroad. Founded by Shafin Diamond Tejani in 2007, the company provides funding, mentorship and resources to entrepreneurs in the Web, mobile, gaming and film sectors, with a special focus on funding socially responsible companies and minority entrepreneurs.
Through their model of venture philanthropy, VSL contributes 12.5 percent of company proceeds and encourages employees to invest 40 hours per month of their time and professional expertise in local non-profits to strengthen these organizations and scale their impact. They have actively recruited a network of entrepreneurs, professionals, volunteers and community leaders to create a local network of partners uniting passion and purpose. In B.C., their mission is focused on strengthening the organizational capacity of non-profits serving children in need and youth at risk. The VSL vision is to ensure more children and youth reach their full potential.
Since its inception, Mr. Tejani and his team have donated 7 500 volunteer hours, helped raise over $75 million for school programs and community organizations, and awarded over $250,000 in scholarships.
Specifically, VSL donates time, knowledge and financial resources to non-profit organizations such as: Social Venture Partners, BC Children’s Hospital, The KidSafe Project, Athletics4Kids, Children’s Wish, Growing Chefs, Futurpreneur, Young Entrepreneur Leadership Launchpad, Forum for Women Entrepreneurs, Project Somos, Pratham, World Partnership Walk and Focus Humanitarian Assistance.
In the past year alone, these partnerships have provided support, safety, programming and nutritious meals for over 450 vulnerable children, granted the favourite wish of 10 children diagnosed with a life-threatening illness, given 800 disadvantaged youth access to organized amateur sports, and taught children, parents and community members about healthy foods and healthy food systems in over 34 different schools across the province.
VSL is currently working with KidSafe on their very important Annual Summer Break Program. This free program will be offered to children from six inner-city Vancouver elementary schools, giving some of the most economically and emotionally vulnerable students a safe place when school is closed.