In May, 2021, Zita Cobb became the first social entrepreneur inducted into the Canadian Business Hall of Fame. As a social activist, she was made a Member of the Order of Canada in 2016, for her hand in revitalizing the community of Fogo Island. Not too bad for someone living out their second career.
Above all these accolades, Zita Cobb is a community builder. After a fast-paced career in the technology space, Cobb, retired in her early 40s before founding the Shorefast Foundation in 2013, based in her hometown Fogo Island, in Joe Batt's Arm Newfoundland. Shorefast has a mission to create a diverse economy on Fogo Island through a variety of social businesses, including the Fogo Island Inn, a luxury hotel, outfitted by local craftspeople, and featured in international media outlets like National Geographic, GQ, and CNN.
In this episode, Eric Janssen speaks to Zita Cobb about entrepreneurship for the purpose of more than just profit, asset-based community development, why community is important and how one can build it - All of which seem incredibly relevant in an age when almost two thirds of millennials feel disconnected from community (a sixth not knowing their neighbors names), and almost 70% want to be more active participants.