By Mario Toneguzzi
“Buy Good. Feel Good” has developed into Canada’s largest trade show dedicated to social enterprises.
The venture’s aim is to build a community of people and organizations who believe that business should have a positive impact on the world and it aspires to make ethical consumption the norm, inspiring all businesses to operate for the common good.
The Expo is scheduled again for this year from May 11-13 at the Enercare Centre at Toronto’s Exhibition Place. May 11 is set aside for wholesale/trade only where retailers and buyers from shops across Canada and the U.S. are invited to engage with the businesses at the Expo. The last two days are open for the public to shop and buy products.
“We’re a platform for social enterprises and socially-driven businesses. We support their growth by connecting them with retailers and consumers,” says Rafik Riad, founder of “Buy Good. Feel Good”.
“It’s like your traditional trade show but the focus here is not a particular industry. It’s a trade show dedicated to products and services that have a positive impact on the world.”
He says about 120 businesses will be exhibiting this year with products ranging from organic fair trade foods to ethically-sourced fashion apparel and accessories, home decor and consumer experiences such as travel and volunteering. Also offered are investment opportunities like mutual funds that exclusively invest in organizations with a positive impact around the world.
This is the fifth year for the Expo.
Riad is a firm believer in the power of social enterprises to change the world.
He spent 10 years in the field of international development working on policy design and project implementation, including posts with the UK Department for International Development and the Canadian International Development Agency.
He developed expertise and knowledge in sustainable development and poverty alleviation programs.
But one question ate away at him: How do we create both meaningful and stable positive change?
He found the answer in the increasingly popular field of social enterprise.
“I quickly realized that there were already a lot of fantastic social enterprises in Canada, working hard to produce amazing products and have a positive impact on the world. And then I learned that there wasn’t a platform for social enterprises to gain the exposure they needed. They needed a platform that would help them grow, become sustainable, reach their objectives and ultimately achieve a higher level of impact,” he adds.
“The idea of getting all these social enterprises under one roof, showing consumers and retailers the amazing options we have in terms of buying for positive impact both at home and abroad, eventually evolved into “Buy Good. Feel Good.”
Riad founded “Buy Good. Feel Good” in 2014 as an annual trade show in Toronto that makes sourcing products from social enterprises easy for both buyers and consumers.
“We believe that businesses are key to creating sustainable solutions for the world’s most pressing social and environmental problems,” he says.
Each year “Buy Good. Feel Good” holds the Young Social Entrepreneur Contest to shed light on youth-leading innovative businesses that change the world.
It also holds a Speakers Series where experts shed light on the newest trends in ethical and impactful living.
Retail buyers can register here to attend “Buy Good. Feel Good”
Mario Toneguzzi, based in Calgary has 37 years of experience as a daily newspaper writer, columnist and editor. He worked for 35 years at the Calgary Herald covering sports, crime, politics, health, city and breaking news, and business. For 12 years as a business writer, his main beats were commercial and residential real estate, retail, small business and general economic news. He nows works on his own as a freelance writer and consultant in communications and media relations/training. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.