The 2022 Women of the Year Awards: Nonprofit Leader – Runner-up

The runner-up for the entrepreneurial leader category of The 2022 Women of the Year Awards is Scale Collaborative's co-founder Kristi Rivait.

Kristi Rivait

Kristi Rivait
Co-founder, Scale Collaborative

When Kristi Rivait was a high-school student in her hometown of Trail in the mid-1980s, her father and other employees of the Cominco smelter went on strike. Rather than keep negotiating, the company started selling power to the U.S. That decision to choose profit over the community had a profound effect on Rivait. “A seed was planted inside me that there’s a different way to run our economy,” she recalls.

Rivait went on to become director of fund development for Vision Vancouver during its first successful mayoral campaign in 2008. Moving to Victoria, she served as executive director of the Oaklands Community Centre before launching Scale Collaborative in 2014 with Kristi Fairholm Mader. The Victoria-based outfit, which has 12 full-time staff, helps nonprofits and social enterprises make more impact for the greater good by adopting businesslike strategies.

As lead for the seCatalyst partnership, Rivait brought together about 30 organizations and community leaders annually from 2014 to 2019 for networking and professional development events to build a stronger social enterprise sector on Vancouver Island. seCatalyst evolved into Connect Money Impact, a one-day gathering for impact entrepreneurs and investors whose next edition takes place on June 29.

Scale’s flagship program, Thriving Non Profits, has helped some 100 participants diversify their funding. “They come out of that program with a much larger sense of what is possible,” Rivait says of the five-month offering, which she’s taking nationwide after it expanded throughout B.C. and Alberta.

Last year, Scale launched the B.C.-focused Thrive Impact Fund, for which board president Rivait raised $2 million in initial investment. “It’s one of the few impact funds across our country that invests in nonprofits, charities and social enterprises.”