Inspiring a Region


Introducing Karina LeBlanc and the Pond-Deshpande Centre

We here at the Boiling Point Podcast spend a lot of time discussing triple bottom line businesses, but the question becomes where can I find out how to get involved in this emerging sector of socially minded businesses? This week’s guest has just the organization for you to check out.

Karina LeBlanc is the executive director of the Pond-Deshpande Centre based out of the University of New Brunswick. Entrepreneurs Gerry Pond, Jaishree Deshpande, and Gururaj Deshpande founded the centre with a mission to act as a catalyst to grow and support a stronger culture of innovation and entrepreneurship in Atlantic Canada. Beyond this, the Pond-Deshpande Centre seeks to simulate young people (and young-minded people) to become active and engaged change makers and leaders in the emerging business-for-good ecosystem. When Karina came on board as the executive director, she already had experience in the Fortune 500, start-up, and non-profit space. She decided to take a 90-day “listening” tour to understand how the centre could assist the province and the region. From that tour, she learned that too often young people were disconnected from the concept of becoming an entrepreneur and there was little to no conversation about being a social entrepreneur. Since then, the centre has produced over 100 alumni and has been the catalyst in New Brunswick recent business boom.

Check out this week’s episode to learn how you could take the same practices to your region.


In this episode

  • Greg tells us about his recent trip to the B Corp Champions retreat in Philadelphia.
  • We hear how Greg and Karina met and how it spun off into the “Millennial Dream”.
  • Karina tells us about the mission and goals of the Pond-Deshpande Centre.
  • We hear about the great work the centre does with students all around New Brunswick and Atlantic Canada.
  • Karina speaks about the misconceptions that some have toward becoming and entrepreneur and what it truly means.
  • We hear how starting the centre was similar to many other start-ups.
  • Greg mentions that he hears all over North America about how the centre does things right.
  • We discuss what makes the centre and New Brunswick different then many other areas.
  • Karina tells us about their accelerator programs.
  • She also lets us in on some authors you should check out if you want to get involved with social entrepreneurship.
  • Greg is truly inspired by Karina and the centre and how it has created a legacy of giving back.
  • Dave agrees that there is so much to learn about the space and thinks it was great that the centre got it start by doing a “listening tour”.