In Step into the River: A Framework for Economic Reconciliation, Sxwpilemaát Siyám (Chief Leanne Joe, Squamish Nation) and Lily Raphael draw direct linkages between reconciliation and CED. “The principles of CED and Indigenous worldviews have a lot in common including holism, interconnectivity, systems thinking, grounding initiatives in place, and centering well-being and the environment, and not just production/profit. Reconciliation is an implementation of CED,” they explain. Their framework encourages us to understand economic reconciliation as an ongoing journey, one guided by values such as accountability and truth-telling, recognition and respect for title and rights, and connection to land and place. 

To put these principles into practice, we need a foundation of strong reciprocal relationships. For CCEDNet, our partnership with the National Association of Friendship Centres (NAFC) is one such relationship. For the past several years, we’ve been collaborating with NAFC (as well as SRDC) to run the youth employment program CreateAction. It’s a rich relationship, and our peers at NAFC are gracious teachers. So we asked Francyne Joe, NAFC’s partnership manager, to share her thoughts on economic reconciliation.

Francyne Joe of the National Association of Friendship Centres

CCEDNet: What is the relationship between CED and reconciliation?
Francyne Joe: CED looks to create opportunities through social innovation and economic opportunities that benefit those people facing challenges due to finances, education, employment, etc. By partnering in a reconciliatory manner on entrepreneurial activities, we look to engage collaboratively on endeavors that are mutually beneficial for the community and the environment recognizing that prosperity may be reflected not just in financial gain but helping people to achieve various facets of prosperity while ensuring the land is continually cared for by us for future generations.

CCEDNet: Which Indigenous-run CED initiatives do you find inspiring? What are some of the lessons, challenges, and/or victories that have emerged from these initiatives?
FJ: The project at the Winnipeg Indigenous Friendship Centre is the most inspiring. Being able to hire a youth to provide leadership and energy for a program that had been diminished by COVID-circumstances demonstrated that individuals can lead a change that can benefit a community! Her passion and energy led to a re-energised sports program and grew to support other demographic groups which really embraced the vision of the Friendship Centre movement and their reason for being.

CCEDNet: What is economic reconciliation? How can the CED sector help to advance the pursuit of economic reconciliation?
FJ: I think of economic reconciliation as the merging of commercial prosperity with a holistic approach, a traditional approach. It draws upon partnerships within the community, of mutual goals, and shared prosperity over and above money.
CED can help remind us that as we pursue economic reconciliation, we are looking at the benefits besides just financial – does it harmonize with community goals, support individual growth, share the values of the community and develop capacity that are valuable for long-term goals? Is it inclusive?

CCEDNet: How can the CED sector better integrate the principles of Indigenous sovereignty, reconciliation, and decolonization into the core of its work?
FJ: Application of these principles (sovereignty, reconciliation, and decolonization) when pursuing new activities or reviewing previous activities with these principles in mind, to ensure that such principles are not being violated. If they are being violated, what can we do to remedy the situation?
Collaboration with local Indigenous groups on how to improve policies or activities being sought and actually considered. The process may not be popular, or fast, or cheap, but it should ensure that future generations don’t have to solve the mistakes we make now.

CCEDNet: What does it mean for non-Indigenous CED practitioners to be in good relationship with Indigenous CED practitioners?
FJ: It’s a continual learning process for everyone and the situations may change depending on various factors such as time or geography. Good relationships take time and need to be constantly cared for and when changes occur, communication is integral.

CCEDNet: What roles might young people (such as the youth participants in CreateAction) play in advancing economic reconciliation?
FJ: Just raising the questions and considering the response (or lack of response) is a good start. Young people will benefit as will all youth by ensuring everyone is consistent and harmonious when approaching economic reconciliation. This is a long-term path.
As Chief Dr Robert Joseph said – Our future, and the well-being of all our children rests with the kinds of relationships we build today.


The Canadian CED Network welcomes you to join a community of brave, innovative and determined leaders from across Canada to examine self-leadership, leading and understanding others, and leading within an organization through 6 sessions of supported and embodied learning.

This unique learning environment is intentionally designed to respond to your experience. You can expect to refine and build your leadership skills and apply what you’ve learned in new, meaningful and purposeful ways. You’ll gain tools to help strengthen your teams and encourage problem solving and creativity, so that you can collectively navigate and effectively respond to change, innovation and the current priorities of your work environment.

You’ll emerge from the course energized, aligned, and equipped to harness your leadership to best effect moving forward.

Learning Objectives:

Module 1 (14 hours): Leading and Understanding Myself
Becoming a more self-aware and confident leader, build on current skills and experience to gain greater clarity and insight into your leadership style and strengths so you can serve yourself, others and your organizations even better.
Module 2 (14 hours): Leading and Understanding Others
Enhance and build key senior leadership skills to engage and lead people so you can all contribute and thrive professionally, meet the challenge of navigating an organization and increase your impact.
Module 3 (14 hours): Leading within my Organization
Be more prepared for the opportunities and challenges that being a leader presents, build essential skills of a change leader, learn to develop teams and build team resilience, learn to lead through change and expertly communicate through courageous conversations.

  • For whom: The course is carefully designed to be impactful for leaders at all stages.
  • When: 9am – 4pm ET on Thursdays (biweekly) from October 6 – Dec 15, 2022 (6 days in total)
  • Limited Capacity: Please note that the course will be capped at 20 learners to ensure each participant has a high quality, engaging and impactful experience.
  • Accreditation: This program offers the opportunity to achieve the ILM Award in Leadership accreditation. A certificate will be awarded upon completion of the program.

Course Registration:

$1250 for CCEDNet members ($250 savings)
$1500 for Non-members

Accessibility: Closed Captioning will be available at the workshop. Additional accessibility accommodations are available by advanced request.


The impact of this program has been championed by the organizations that have gone through this Leadership Program every year since 2016!

Impact to date:

  • 94% of learners indicated the training was very effective in helping them to apply the learning in their day-to-day leadership role
  • 98% of learners would recommend the training to a friend or colleague
  • 100% of the learners who moved through the program said they used the learning in their roles (90% of whom felt they would use it often or every day!)
  • Time to reflect on your experience and potential is a precious thing. We encourage and invite you to invest in your leadership practice and experience this unique and intentional learning environment dedicated to supporting the exceptional people and unique demands leadership presents.

Your Facilitator: Suzanne Gibson

Suzanne Gibson

Our Leadership programs, facilitated by Suzanne Gibson, will offer anyone who leads a team the chance to take a well-supported deep dive into leadership practices, skills, and tools.

Suzanne Gibson “awakens the potential” of your organization to achieve its mandate and vision. Over the past 25 years, Suzanne has:

  • inspired new and established organizations to “dream big,” unite around an idea and turn those dreams into reality
  • uncovered creative solutions to complex social and organization problems
  • mobilized diverse groups into strong teams
  • facilitated and supported leaders, staff and volunteers to achieve their personal and collective potential
  • applied her entrepreneurial flair to start up innovative new ventures
  • equipped organizations to secure much-needed knowledge, skills and resources.

Suzanne will help you draw out the very best from your staff and stakeholders as you help create a better world.

Not a CCEDNet member? Join CCEDNet or contact Adriana at

Register now!


Good Jobs + Good Business = Better Community

On March 23, 2017 the Victoria City Council adopted the “Good Jobs + Good Business = Better Community” Action Plan developed by the Mayor’s Task Force on Social Enterprise and Social Procurement. The adoption comes with the amendment that the plan include “recent immigrants” as a strategic group of focus.

Using an ecosystem-based approach to community economic development, the action plan focuses to a large degree on efforts to get the unemployed, underemployed and marginalized into employment. The plan identifies three sets of recommendations that will strengthen the City’s procurement practices to maximize community benefit as well as support small business and social enterprise sectors.

The three recommendations include:

  • Social Procurement: purchases should be leveraged to improve the economic, social and environmental well-being of the community
  • Social Enterprise Development: strengthen and grow businesses already doing business with community benefit in mind and grow the social enterprise sector
  • Leading Economic Change: make the mainstream economy more inclusive to ensure there is always an opportunity for everyone to prosper

Each recommendation has a set of actions and tasks to be implemented over the next five years to achieve prescribed outcomes. Leads and supports in the community to help achieve these outcomes are noted and include the City of Victoria, local organizations, agencies and business. Next steps will include City staff developing a Social Procurement Framework and work plan for Council’s consideration.

About the Task Force

The Task Force on Social Enterprise and Social Procurement was a recommendation of the Mayor’s Task Force on Economic Development and Prosperity, which with input from the community, developed the City’s economic action plan, Making Victoria: Unleashing Potential in 2015. The economic action plan identifies six engines to drive economic prosperity, generate jobs and raise household incomes. One engine that encompasses the rest is entrepreneurship and social enterprise.

Source: The City of Victoria


Originally published June 25, 2014

This is Part 2 of a 2-part series. Click here to read the first in this series. 

Tackling the Fundamental Issue: Ownership 

My suggestion is that the ownership of capital itself needs to change. We need to democratize ownership.

We need to look outside the dichotomy we have seen so far of either:

  1. taxing income or wealth for redistribution via mechanisms like the welfare state; or
  2. nationalizing all wealth for state-run economies.

We need to look at a third approach, of democratic ownership by people and communities. There are many possibilities, which can certainly be combined:

  • Land needs to be considered a common good, for the benefit of humanity and future generations, and not just something to exploit. Speculation on land is nonsense.  By making land part of the commons, instead of it being privately owned, people could pay for the right to use the land for farming, housing (or other purposes) through long-term leases or annual dues.  Community Land Trusts are a good example of this approach.
  • Worker ownership of businesses, the most famous example of which is Mondragon, the world’s largest co-operative group with 80,000 worker owners.
  • Co-ownership of the means of production such as factories and technology. People in communities could be co-owners with private capital.
  • Multi-stakeholder organizations, on the model of social or solidarity co-operatives, could manage local stores, food distribution, and other activities. Consumers and producers, working together, can bridge the gap that has been put in place by capitalist production and distribution systems where large corporations control all aspects, both the prices paid to producers and the prices consumers pay. The Seikatsu Club Cooperative Union in Japan, with 350,000 members, buys food and other household items directly from producers, and with annual sales of $1 billion, it shows that a market can exist outside the capitalist system.
  • Capital needed for investment in alternatives already exists. Huge pension funds, many of which are currently invested in large private corporations or managed by private funds, could be invested in local and community economies. Another huge amount of capital exists in credit unions. Instead of lending to buy consumer goods, sold by corporations, part of this capital could be lent to co-operatives or other community-owned businesses.
  • We have to take inspiration from the notion of Mother Earth. In Canada, aboriginal peoples considered land as a common good, belonging to the people.  Human beings must respect the planet on which we live. An example of this is community forestry in Nepal. As stipulated in Nepal’s constitution, Community Forestry Groups (CFG) manage the forest. Altogether, about one third of total population (8 million people), are organised in about 13,500 CFGs.
  • Saving locally owned business from predatory buyouts by larger corporations or funds of all types prevents more concentration of capital and wealth. Any successful business is seen as prey by investors of all kinds.  Sometimes they close the local businesses or delocalise factories, or sometimes they will continue operating, if they can siphon away profits.  This is not a question of being bad or good, it is just the way our current system works. But there are alternatives.  A good example is the Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (BALLE) in the USA, an association of 30,000 small businesses that advocate for strong local economies. Another American example is referendums in some US cities to prevent Walmart from taking over local economies. The multinational corporation, one of the largest in the world, destroys locally-owned small businesses in cities where they operate. In some US cities, citizens have been able to prevent Walmart from invading.

Many other examples could be given of organizing the economy in a very different manner. The key idea is that the concentration of most wealth in the top 10% is not inevitable. 

If we organize differently, in a deliberate and conscious manner, we could turn things around surprisingly quickly.

Of course, to achieve this, people need to be conscious citizens instead of just consumers. Even if the 1% (and the 10%) are very strong with their control of the economy, media, and influence in politics, they are still in fact a very small minority. As long as citizens think there is no alternative, they will continue exercising control over our society. But, as the examples show, the possibilities are enormous when people become conscious. After all, it people stop buying at Walmart, or stop going to McDonald’s, those corporations will change or shrink and disappear.  People are not forced to buy from them. We have just been persuaded to do so.

At the same time, we need to work on all fronts. For example, Foundations were started as an inheritance tax evasion. I remember well a book I read in 1968 by Ferdinand Lundberg The Rich and the Super-Rich. A Study in the Power of Money Today (New York: Lyle Stuart, 1968). This book explained how foundations were invented in the US by the billionaires such as Carnegie, Mellon, Ford, Rockefeller and others in order to avoid inheritance tax.  They were able to get the US Congress to vote these laws, giving them control over the foundations and the power to name people to the Boards. In more recent times, we have Melinda and Bill Gates, Warren Buffet and the Walton (Walmart) family.

What would be an optimum situation?  We can easily imagine much more equal societies, where those with upper incomes and those who have accumulated wealth might have 5-10 times more income than average, instead or 250 or 500 times more. There is absolutely no justification for the appropriation of most wealth by a tiny minority. The super-rich have so much money that they cannot use it all, while at the same time people are undernourished and live in inhuman conditions. This is both indecent and immoral.

A Final Thought

Unquestionably, Piketty has rendered an important service to humanity. More or less like the scientific proof that the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has established for global warming.

In both cases, we have proof that the two problems – inequality and global warming – are results of human activity. They are not “acts of God,” a result of natural disasters, or even a question of human nature or a natural order or things. These justifications are pure ideology to defend inequality and the devastation of the planet, which are deeply linked since the increase in profits is very closely tied to the syndrome of increasing production that is destroying oceans, rainforests and using most natural resources in such a way that they will last for only a few generations.


Originaly published June 25, 2014

This book by French economist Thomas Piketty, published in France last September, has become known worldwide, especially since its English publication by Harvard University Press in April. The book has been one of the top selling books in the USA since its publication and is the Harvard University Press most sold book in its 100-year history.

A Brief Description

Piketty shows that modern economic growth and the diffusion of knowledge have allowed us to avoid inequalities on the apocalyptic scale predicted by Karl Marx. But we have not modified the deep structures of capital and inequality as much as we thought in the optimistic decades following World War II. The main driver of inequality—the tendency of returns on capital to exceed the rate of economic growth—today threatens to generate extreme inequalities that stir discontent and undermine democratic values. But economic trends are not acts of God. Political action has curbed dangerous inequalities in the past, Piketty says, and may do so again.

~ Excerpt from the Harvard University Press.

Since its publication, the numerous articles which have appeared in influential outlets such as the New York Times, the Economist and the Wall Street Journal testify to its impact.  The book was rather unnoticed in French language media until it became a buzz in English speaking media. Now the French speaking media is also talking about it.

The explanation of why inequality is a product of the capitalist system is unequivocal. Four centuries of data about wealth in France and in the United Kingdom and about 100 years of data about GDP and wealth in key OECD countries speak for themselves.  The author explains quite well how income from capital is higher than income from work (wages).

In particular, the book clearly identifies how wealth has become so concentrated in the top 10% and even more in the top 1% over the last 40 years, bringing the concentration of wealth back to where is was in the 1880s and 1890s.  The total wealth in some countries (UK, France, Spain, Italy and others) is about 6-7 times annual GDP.  From 1914 to 1945, this went down to 2-3 times GDP because both World Wars caused massive destruction of wealth and the great depression also had devastating effects.  Wealth as a ratio of GDP stayed quite low for some time after the Second World War because of very progressive taxation on income during that period.  Since nobody expects (or wants) wars causing so much destruction and misery, and nobody wants economic crises like the 1930s, this period is more an exception that lasted for some time, but this era is now past.

Many other summaries of the book can be found online. Here are just two.

The Economist
New York Times

Pikkety’s “Solutions”

Pikkety proposes to reduce inequality with measures that are not new.

  • Reinvigorate fully progressive income taxes with much higher rates on very high incomes. He reminds us that rates were up to 90% in the USA after the Second World War.
  • A higher inheritance tax than exists now, especially since they have been lowered – and even abolished – in many countries.
  • His main proposal is a tax on wealth. This has been done before. He gives the example of France after the Second World War when a high tax on wealth (about 10%) was implemented to rebuild the country after the war. This was a one-time tax. Piketty proposes instead a yearly tax on all wealth held by individuals, with different rates. For example, 1% for wealth of 1 to 5 million Euros, 3% for 5 to 50 million, 5% for over 50 million, etc.

He explains in length that besides the resistance that can be expected from the wealthy to such proposals, there is a huge problem with international financial flows to tax havens. However, he notes that this is strictly a problem of international agreements. It would be easy to set up a system to track all transactions, since they are all electronic. (Maybe the NSA could be put to better use!)

The proposals, if applied, would certainly reduce inequality. This is much needed and would help a large part of the population in many countries. If the income generated by these measures were well spent, mainly for the 50% of population with lesser income, we would live in countries where all benefit from economic activity.  This “solidarity”, even if forced upon the wealthy, would certainly improve our societies.

Are These Solutions Sufficient?

Some people propose that another way of reducing inequality would be to increase income from work and reduce income from capital. Again, this would help, and as in the 1950s and 1960s, an increase in real wages (in constant dollars – above inflation) would greatly improve family income for most sectors of the population. This would mean that the wealthy would not increase their wealth as much. The most optimum situation, higher work income (and a very progressive tax system) could give us societies similar to Scandinavian countries in the 1960-1975 era. Unfortunately, few people believe that we can go back to this, or even less extend it to the whole planet.

The fundamental problem is that none of Piketty’s proposed solutions tackle the fundamental question, which is the the ownership and concentration of wealth.

Some people propose a State model of ownership, like the Soviet Union where everything was owned by the State.  This involves nationalizing by force all private property.  This is not the place to explain in detail why this is not a solution, except to say that the Soviet experience was an utter failure.  One reason is certainly the fact that in reality, this produced another type of elite 1%, Communist Party leadership, which concentrated power and control for itself.

Another reason for tackling the issue of ownership and concentration wealth is linked to our democratic societies.  Citizens do not need a degree in Political Science to see that the wealthy also influence, or even control, political power in modern societies. The billions spent by the wealthy to influence elections (the case of the USA is exemplary), and the fact that they also own most media, means much more than the number of ballots that they can cast.

Read Part II

Yvon Poirier is President of CCEDNet’s International Committee and Secretary of the Board. He has a long history of involvement in the labour and social movements in Québec and Canada and has been very active in the Intercontinental Network for the Promotion of the Social Solidarity Economy (RIPESS


This Thursday, July 21, the We Want to Work coalition including CCEDNet members and social enterprises in Winnipeg are celebrating long-awaited public policy success!

After many months of deliberation, conversation, and discussion, the coalition and CCEDNet are thrilled to see the Sustainable Procurement Action Plan (SPAP) unanimously approved for implementation by Winnipeg’s City Council. This means the City of Winnipeg will now work to integrate social, economic, and environmental value for the community while achieving its purchasing needs.

Members involved can recall many steps along this journey, with a briefing note explaining the concept of social procurement going to Mayor Brian Bowman’s office in 2015. And, even before that, CCEDNet staff and members were meeting with staff at the city’s Materials Management office, where they started to learn about the procurement process. The public service has been a helpful partner, working together with the community to understand our recommendations and move forward.

A lot of different people have contributed energy and organizing during the nearly 10 years of advocacy and sector building leading up to this action plan – demonstrating both the persistence needed for policy change and how certain the Network has been that this is the right choice.

Most recently, the We Want to Work coalition of social enterprises supported by CCEDNet-Manitoba, found a wonderful partner and ally in Manitoba Building Trades. Together they’ve worked hard to engage with City Council and the public service, industry stakeholders, and others to make sure this was on the right track. Along the way, Buy Social Canada has also been an instrumental advisor and contractor to the city, bringing expertise and examples from other jurisdictions to strengthen the plan.

We Want to Work has noted they appreciate the phased-in and iterative nature of the SPAP, which they believe will allow for innovation, partnership development, and refinement of policy over the next three years. In particular, they support the inclusion of a dedicated staff person to serve as a Sustainable Procurement liaison and the integrated thinking across all four pillars of Sustainable Procurement: environmental, ethical, social, and Indigenous.

With this important policy change, it is exciting to watch as the City of Winnipeg becomes a stronger partner in CCEDNet’s collective vision of a world where sustainable and inclusive communities are directing their own futures!

Find media coverage on this initiative leading up to the council vote at CBC, the Winnipeg Free Press, and the Winnipeg Sun.


News releaseMinister Karina Gould stands with Investment Readiness Program partners, all smiling at the launch of the program.

July 18, 2022 

Toronto, Ontario             

Employment and Social Development Canada

Social purpose organizations (SPOs), such as social enterprises, non-profits, charities and co‑operatives, are at the forefront of tackling Canada’s persistent social challenges and climate crisis. They are key contributors to the Canadian economy. However, many SPOs need support to expand their capacity and secure new funding. That is why the Government of Canada is investing in them—to overcome these barriers, so that they can have a greater impact in communities across Canada.

Today, the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, Honourable Karina Gould, announced 26 partner organizations who will collectively deliver the $50 million renewed Investment Readiness Program, building on the successes accomplished during its pilot phase. These partners will work together to build the skills and capacity of SPOs to innovate and access flexible financing opportunities, strengthening the social innovation and social finance ecosystem and amplifying the reach of these organizations.

The Government selected these 26 organizations from two rounds of selection processes that took place in 2021–2022. The selected organizations have met all parameters set for their respective streams.

Four of the twenty-six organizations are readiness support partners. These organizations will select proposals and distribute funding to eligible SPOs across Canada. This enables SPOs to build capacity and get ready to access social finance opportunities. SPOs can use the funding to conduct market analyses, build business plans, develop new services and products and acquire technical expertise, thereby strengthening their operational capabilities.

Twenty-two organizations are ecosystem builders. Funding from this stream will be invested in projects that grow and strengthen Canada’s social innovation and social finance ecosystem and ensure its inclusivity of all Canadians. By growing the ecosystem, we are building stronger communities and the economy of tomorrow, founded on principles of social responsibility.

Through the selected organizations, the Investment Readiness Program aims to benefit diverse and underserved SPOs in Canada, including those led by or serving Indigenous peoples, Black Canadians and other racialized communities, women, official language minority communities, people living with disabilities, and other equity deserving groups. The Government of Canada recognizes the important work social purpose organizations do, and will continue working with them to help expand their reach and services to even more Canadians.


“Our Government sees great potential in growing social innovation in our communities. More Canadian organizations and businesses are offering smart solutions to reduce poverty, reach social equality and fight climate change. The Investment Readiness Program will help them scale up and become investment-ready, so that they can create impacts for Canadians for years to come.”

– Karina Gould, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development

“This renewed investment is welcome news, especially at this critical time. Social purpose organizations led by diverse women and Two-Spirit, trans and non-binary people are doing impactful work. They’re innovating to address major social and environmental concerns in Canada today, and these funds will help them keep moving forward. When the return on an investment is greater equity, well-being, justice, and economic prosperity for all, it’s always a smart investment to make.”

– Paulette Senior, President and CEO, Canadian Women’s Foundation

“The Chantier applauds the renewal of the Investment Readiness Program, an essential lever for the emergence and acceleration of numerous entrepreneurial projects that respond to needs in their communities, and bear witness to the commitment of actors that support these projects to work together to ensure its deployment in Quebec.”

– Béatrice Alain, Director General, Chantier de l’économie sociale

“Social purpose organizations from coast to coast to coast continue to uplift and support their communities following the pandemic. The Investment Readiness Program supports their purposeful ventures while growing Canada’s social finance market. At CFC, we are thrilled to once again be part of this program through this new funding opportunity. We look forward to working alongside community foundations to support the incredible efforts of social purpose organizations.”

– Andrea Dicks, President, Community Foundations of Canada (CFC)

“The NAFC is excited to continue its role as a readiness support partner for this iteration of the Investment Readiness Program. Having supported Friendship Centres in developing, starting and growing their social enterprises in the first years of the Investment Readiness Program, we are eager to continue this work as well as to expand the Program’s impact to other urban Indigenous social purpose organizations from coast to coast to coast. Urban Indigenous community organizations are leaders in the social economy, and we hope to facilitate the growth of these institutions and the collective intergenerational wealth of urban Indigenous communities.”

– Jocelyn Formsma, Executive Director, National Association of Friendship Centres (NAFC)

Quick facts

  • The Investment Readiness Program, a $50 million program over two years (2021–2023), is a core initiative under the Social Innovation and Social Finance Strategy, which was announced in 2019. 
  • The Investment Readiness Program concluded a successful pilot program that took place between 2019 and 2021. The pilot benefited 680 social purpose organizations across Canada. 
  • Based on the success of the pilot, the Government of Canada renewed the Investment Readiness Program in Budget 2021.
  • There are an estimated 170,000 charitable and public benefit non-profit organizations and 25,000 social enterprises across Canada, according to Statistics Canada. They are all part of the Social Innovation and Social Finance Strategy ecosystem.
  • The non-profit sector plays a significant role in supporting women, who represent about 77% of this sector’s workforce. 

Interested in learning more? Connect with Sarah Leeson-Klym, Dir. of Regional & Strategic Initiatives (sleesonklym (at) and watch the site for updates coming soon. 


The Stronger Together Award celebrates individual and organizational members who have made exceptional contributions to Community Economic Development and/or who have provided outstanding leadership to CCEDNet in achieving our vision of sustainable, equitable and inclusive communities directing their own futures. 

The next Stronger Together Award nomination period will take place in Spring 2023.  But you don’t have to wait until then to nominate a fellow CCEDNet member for this recognition.  Please reach out to Adriana Zylinski at for more information.  



Ryan O’Neil Knight

Spence Neighborhood Association


    Rosalind Lockyer

    Momentum began operations in 1991 as an employment program of the Mennonite Central Committee of Alberta with an initial focus on providing trades training to new Canadians. In 2002, Momentum became an independent community-based, charitable organization grounded in a community economic development approach and today not only provides trades training to new Canadians, but has supported thousands of Calgarians to build wealth and economic resilience through small business training, micro business loans, personal money management courses and financial coaching. Momentum works with individuals, businesses, communities and systems to increase each individuals’ income and assets and create a thriving local economy for all.  

    Momentum’s impact has been felt across Alberta and through the history of the CCEDNet Network.  They have contributed to advocacy at various levels of government including leading the way for the City of Calgary to undertake social procurement.  They have organized collective action through initiatives like Calgary’s anti-poverty strategy Enough for All, as well as supported ecosystem and capacity building of other organizations through Be Local, a Calgary network of community-focused businesses that have integrated social and environmental impacts, while prioritizing relationships in the community.   In partnership with Mount Royal University, Momentum has also advanced CED learning locally through the Economics for Social Change Program.

    The contributions extend to the development of CCEDNet in important ways.  A founding member of CCEDNet, today, Momentum participates in the National Policy Council and partners on AB Seed, an ecosystem building initiative in Alberta that enhances collaboration, communication, and strategization of leaders and contributors working in the social economy.  Momentum was also lead host of EconoUs2017.

    Their success is an example of the power of shared work and relationships being held over a long time.  Consistently, thinking bigger than their own mandate, their pragmatic and strong systems approach has been invaluable to building a sustainable and locally-controlled economy in Alberta.

    Ryan O’Neil Knight

    Wendy Keats

    Ryan O’Neil Knight has surely demonstrated his inestimable influence as an ecosystem animator.  Ryan is a co-founding partner and President of the Afro-Caribbean Business Network (ACBN), a network for the Black community that bridges the economic gap for Black entrepreneurs providing Black businesses with the resources they need to start, grow and scale up.  As one of Canada’s leading organizations for mentoring and developing Black businesses, it also created the first Black-led micro loan program in Ontario!

    Ryan’s commitment to black and youth entrepreneurship, compassion for others, ability to build consensus among partners, strong capacity for leadership and his dedication to community economic development initiatives and co-operative principles has led to multiplied impact within the community.  

    Recently, Ryan championed the planning of the Federal Black Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Conference 2022, a strategy developed in partnership with the government of Canada and the Ecosystem Strategy.  The event focused on building capacity within the Black entrepreneurship ecosystem and was an important step towards rebuilding community since the onset of the pandemic.

    Ryan’s energetic commitment to community economic development and personal mantra There is No Progress without Collaboration continues to create impact through  CCEDNet’s CreateAction program, his contributions as CCEDNet’s Parliamentarian and Elections Officer, ACBN’s role in the Investment Readiness Program and his participation as part of the CCEDNet delegation to meet with Minister Hussen in March 2020 in Ottawa.

    Spence Neighbourhood Association

    William Ninacs

    The Spence Neighbourhood Association was incorporated in 1997 as a non-profit housing group formed by five volunteers who wanted to work together to improve the living conditions within the Spence neighborhood in Winnipeg.  The Association has grown into a community anchor for the people of Spence and focuses on revitalizing and renewing the community in the areas of holistic housing, community connecting, community economic development, environment and open spaces, and youth & families.  It additionally provides the Community Incentives Program that contributes to a thriving neighbourhood, the Fix-up Incentives Program that provides financial assistance to fix up property exteriors and the Homebuyer Assistance Program that offers financial contribution towards a downpayment to qualifying families looking to buy their first home.  

    The organization’s motto, When the going gets tough, the tough get creative, has served well in SNA’s steadfast efforts to impact the Spence community and the greater CED network.  SNA staff are active in many advocacy coalitions and activism work in Winnipeg, combining their strong approach to community development with a push for broader systemic change towards more equitable and sustainable communities and economies.

    Recently, SNA has opened a community greenhouse that serves as a social hub and a community beautification project that will grow produce for the SNA’s youth employment social enterprise.  Additionally, members of SNA’s West End 24 Hour Safe Space for Youth (or WE24) led a workshop at the CCEDNet Gathering called Community-Led Safety & Alternatives to the Police focusing on immediate and long term strategies, inspiring member organizations to collectively imagine safer & more equitable communities.

    Led by incredible staff, board and community members, SNA exemplifies a community-led, community-owned, and place-based community economic development approach that places


    Image of candles with Text: In May of this year, a white supremacist attacked a grocery store in Buffalo, New York, murdering 13 people, 11 of whom were Black. This massacre is yet another fatal manifestation of anti-Black hatred, which is woven into the daily experiences of Black people and communities across the United States, Canada, and indeed, around the world. 

    In the wake of the Buffalo mass shooting, a coalition of 21 community organizations and foundations from across the Greater Toronto Area issued a statement entitled “We Can No Longer Wait to Address Anti-Black Hate.” The statement describes how anti-Black racism operates simultaneously at the systemic and individual levels, and how it is connected to other forms of hatred, such as Islamophobia. 

    The statement maps out a clear set of demands aimed at federal, provincial, territorial, and municipal governments:

    1. Work with Black communities to ensure that concrete measures such as tackling hate speech and radicalization online to address anti-Black hate are incorporated in the National Action Plan on Combating Hate. 
    2. Every provincial and territorial government to establish an Anti-Black Racism Directorate/Office/Secretariat if one does not already exist.
    3. The federal government ensures it works with Black communities to build on the gains of the United Nations Decade For People of African Descent as a permanent forum in accordance with the decision of the United Nations.
    4. Expanding the Supporting Black Communities Initiative program to support community organizations assisting victims of anti-Black hate.
    5. Continue to support the Mental Health of Black Canadians Fund with a focus on addressing racial trauma.
    6. That the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada accelerate and work closely with Black Canadian communities in the development of the Black Canadians Justice Strategy
    7. We urge the Federation of Canadian Municipalities to encourage its members to develop plans to combat anti-Black racism and hate in municipalities, similar to the work of Toronto’s Confronting Anti-Black Racism Unit.

    CCEDNet has formally endorsed these demands, and we encourage everyone to support these demands as well by becoming signatories to the We Can No Longer Wait to Address Anti-Black Hate statement.

    In addition to issuing this statement, the coalition organized a Vigil Against Anti-Black Hatred and Terrorism at Toronto’s Nathan Phillips’ Square on May 19. You can watch the recordings (part 1 and part 2) on Instagram. 


    Cover image of 2021 Highlights Document

    Les défis majeurs auxquels nous avons été confrontés en 2021, que ce soit l’aggravation de la pandémie, la crise climatique ou encore la découverte de tombes anonymes près des anciens pensionnats, résultent tous d’un système économique qui réduit les gens et la nature à des marchandises dispensables.

    Pour relever ces défis, nous devons sortir de ce système économique basé sur l’extraction, l’exploitation et la croissance perpétuelle. En enracinant l’économie dans des communautés fortes et inclusives, nous pouvons promouvoir des façons d’être qui encouragent l’interdépendance et le bien-être pour tout le monde.

    Tout au long de 2021, les membres et l’équipe ont collectivement travaillé à libérer le potentiel transformateur des économies communautaires d’un océan à l’autre. 

    Politiques publiques et relations gouvernementales

    • Le RCDÉC a aidé les membres à affiner leurs compétences en matière de politique et de représentation avec le webinaire Renforcer les économies communautaires et la série de causeries près du feu.
    • Nous avons organisé une tournée pancanadienne d’une semaine d’exemples d’innovations sociales et de finance sociale pour l’honorable Ahmed Hussen, alors ministre de la Famille, des Enfants et du Développement social, et son équipe. Puis, le RCDÉC a organisé un bilan postbudgétaire national avec le ministre Hussen auquel plus de 200 personnes issues de l’écosystème de l’innovation sociale et de la finance sociale ont participé.
    • Par le biais d’une série d’articles d’opinions dans les médias nationaux et d’une campagne de revendications, nous avons défendu le renouvellement du Programme de préparation à l’investissement dans le budget fédéral 2021.
    • Le RCDÉC a organisé des rencontres avec le Groupe sur l’économie citoyenne et six agences de développement régional du Canada pour discuter de priorités communes.
    • Nous avons fourni du matériel de représentation aux membres du RCDÉC afin de revendiquer des politiques en faveur d’alternatives économiques basées dans les communautés pendant les élections fédérales.
    • Nos membres ont poussé le nouveau parlement à faire avancer la Stratégie d’innovation sociale et de finance sociale, une revendication de notre campagne Mobilisons-nous pour les économies communautaires.
    • Nous avons rencontré l’honorable Karina Gould, la nouvelle ministre de la Famille, des Enfants et du Développement social et lui avons présenté nos priorités politiques.
    • Le RCDÉC a contribué à des partenariats d’apprentissage par les pairs portant sur l’internationalisation et les cadres juridiques pour l’économie sociale solidaire dans le cadre de l’Action mondiale de l’OCDE pour la promotion des écosystèmes de l’économie sociale et solidaire.  

    Apprentissage et renforcement des capacités

    • Projet d’écosystème de l’entreprise sociale (S4ES)
      • En septembre 2021, après cinq années passées à aider les entreprises sociales canadiennes à renforcer leurs capacités vitales, S4ES a mis fin à ses activités. Tout au long de l’année, les partenaires de S4ES – Buy Social Canada, le RCDÉC, le Chantier de l’économie sociale, le Social Enterprise Institute et le Social Value Lab – ont mis en place des incubateurs, lancé des cours, distribué des ressources et dynamisé des communautés de soutien.
      • Le fonds d’emprunt, administré par le RCDÉC et géré par six gestionnaires de fonds à travers le Canada, a versé 800 000 $ en 2021 à 33 entreprises sociales. L’accès au financement social a permis à ces entreprises sociales de lancer ou de développer leurs activités et de créer 168 emplois et postes bénévoles.
    • Programmes d’apprentissage externes 
      • Le RCDÉC a conçu une Anti-Masterclass sur l’innovation sociale, et a assuré la présentation du programme auprès de cinq cohortes d’apprenants dans cinq régions du pays.
      • Nous avons réussi à convertir le Programme de leadership communautaire en personne en un format virtuel, en finalisant la prestation du programme avec deux organismes différents. Dans l’ensemble, 93 % des apprenants ont indiqué que la formation était très efficace, 97 % des apprenants recommanderaient la formation à un ami ou à un collègue, et 100 % des apprenants qui ont suivi le programme ont déclaré qu’ils utilisaient leur apprentissage dans leur fonction (90 % d’entre eux ont estimé qu’ils l’utiliseraient souvent ou tous les jours!)
      • Nous avons préparé le cours en ligne ouvert à tout le monde Toward Co-operative Commonwealth  en partenariat avec le Synergia Co-operative Institute et l’Université Athabasca.
      • Le RCDÉC a participé à une série vidéo sur Bill Ninacs, militant du développement solidaire.
    • Apprentissage interne
      • Nous avons encouragé le personnel à participer à des séances mensuelles d’apprentissage sur l’anti-oppression et la libération collective, y compris des apprentissages autonomes et des travaux en petits groupes sur le fonctionnement de la culture de la domination blanche au sein des organismes. Des sessions conjointes du conseil d’administration et du personnel ont examiné l’intersectionnalité, et le RCDÉC est resté un participant toujours aussi actif au sein du groupe de travail sur la solidarité.
    • Recherche, données et mesure de l’impact 
      • Le RCDÉC a commencé à travailler sur les communautés de pratique dans le cadre du projet Adopter des mesures communes visant à renforcer la mesure de l’impact social pour les objectifs de développement durable, en partenariat avec le Centre pour l’innovation sociale et l’approche commune de la mesure d’impact.  
      • Nous avons terminé les enquêtes finales pour une étude longitudinale sur les impacts des Work Integration Social Enterprises (entreprises sociales d’insertion professionnelle) pour les populations vulnérables à risque d’itinérance.
      • Le Programme de données communautaires du RCDÉC a ajouté un tableau de bord de rétablissement communautaire en cas de pandémie et un tableau de bord du logement à la série de données mises à la disposition des collectivités locales du Canada.
    • Engagement des membres
      • Nous avons fait participer nos membres au processus de finalisation du document sur la Théorie du changement et nous avons commencé à suivre nos progrès au cours du second semestre de l’année. Nous avons également élaboré

    Cartoon photographer with text New deadline: June 9!

    The launch of CCEDNet’s new website is just around the corner, and we couldn’t be more excited! The site will go live in May, and then we’ll formally launch it at our Annual General Meeting on June 9.

    One thing you may have noticed about our current website is that the photos we use are, well, somewhat *vintage.* So, the new site is also an opportunity to update our collection of images – we want to showcase the contemporary CED sector in all of its vibrant diversity.  

    Here’s where you come in. To build our new collection of images, we’re launching the #CEDLooksLikeThis photo contest. Send us your photos from the front lines of CED! Show us what you and your team look like in action, and show us the impact you’re creating in your communities. Show us what CED looks like. 

    To sweeten the deal, we’re offering prizes from beampaints, a natural paint-making enterprise in M’Chigeeng First Nation on Manitoulin Island/ Mnidoo Mnising. The grand prize is a shell gift set – a collection of handmade paints that comes bundled with a paintbrush, an abalone shell, and some sage. Three runners up will receive Mini Birch Cookie gift sets, which include handmade paints, a birch palette, a paintbrush, handmade paper, and a reusable cotton bag. 

    Throughout the contest, we’ll also share some of the photo submissions we receive on our social media feeds, using the #CEDLooksLikeThis hashtag. If we share your photo on social media, we’ll tag you and include a description of your work, too. Hopefully this helps drive visibility for the wonderful CED work that our sector is doing. 

    Submissions must be received by midnight Pacific Time on June 9, 2022. You don’t need to be a CCEDNet member to participate. 

    Enter the #CEDLooksLikeThis Photo Contest

    Contest Rules

    Term: The #CEDLooksLikeThis Photo Contest begins on May 2, 2022 and ends on June 9, 2022. By submitting an entry, each contestant agrees to the rules of the contest and states that they are 18 years old or older. Also, the person providing the photos attests that they are the copyright owner and that they are legally permitted to authorize others to use the copyright, and that anyone appearing in the photo has duly authorized their appearance to the owner / copyright holder.

    Entry deadline: All entries must be received on June 9, 2022 by 12:00 p.m. Pacific Time.

    Who may enter: The #CEDLooksLikeThis Photo Contest is open to anyone doing community economic development work within the territory called Canada. The contestant certifies that they are the sole creator and copyright owner of the submitted photograph.

    Judging: Photo entries will be judged based on creativity, quality, originality, responsiveness to the prompt and overall impact. CCEDNet will determine winners’ eligibility in its sole discretion and will notify winners via the contact information provided at the time of entry. CCEDNet may disqualify anyone who fails to respond to the notification within five business days. In the event of a dispute regarding the winners, CCEDNet reserves the right to award or not award the prizes in its sole discretion. Decisions of CCEDNet are final and binding.


    • Grand Prize: A shell gift set from beampaints. 
    • 3 Runner Up Prizes: Mini Birch Cookie gift sets. 

    Should CCEDNet be unable to purchase these gift sets for whatever reason, CCEDNet reserves the right to replace these prizes with similar beampaints gift sets at its own discretion. 

    Photo Usage: By entering the contest, you grant CCEDNet royalty-free, world-wide, perpetual, non-exclusive license to publicly display, distribute, reproduce and create derivative works of the entries, in whole or in part, in any media now existing or later developed, for any purpose, including, but not limited to:

    • The CCEDNet website
    • External and internal publications (reports, presentations, press releases, briefing notes, articles, newsletter, emails, etc.)
    • Social Media

    Photo Credit: Any photograph reproduced will include a photographer credit as feasible. CCEDNet will not be required to pay any additional consideration or seek any additional approval in connection with such uses.

    Photograph requirements: High resolution images are preferred, and photos should be smaller than 5 MB. Please upload images with the original pixel size (unless cropped). Do not scale and do not change the resolution.

    Contest Rules: CCEDNet reserves the right to cancel the contest or modify these rules at its discretion. 

    Enter the #CEDLooksLikeThis Photo Contest


    Every year, CCEDNet members are invited to submit nominations for CCEDNet’s Board of Directors. This year, there were four vacancies to be filled.

    Four eligible nominations were received by the deadline, leading our Elections Officer to declare the following candidates elected by acclamation:

    The results will be ratified at CCEDNet’s Annual General Meeting of the members on June 9.

    Congratulations to these amazing CED leaders from across Canada, who will be part of CCEDNet’s dedicated Board of Directors.

    Aftab KhanVidal Chavannes

    Vidal A. Chavannes, Ed.D, M.A.Ed., B.A., B.Ed, is currently the Director of Strategy, Research & Organizational Performance with Durham Regional Police Service. In this regard, Dr. Chavannes charts the strategic direction of the organization and manages teams responsible for strategic planning, key performance indicator (KPI) development and tracking at the organizational and divisional levels, and all education and training for members, inclusive of the use of force and academic portfolios.

    Vidal has more than fifteen years of extensive experience in education and training in Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom, including secondary, post-secondary and technical and vocational education and training (TVET) teaching and program development, delivery, evaluation and review.

    He holds a Doctorate in Education from the University of Calgary, with a specialization in Higher Education Leadership. Dr. Chavannes has worked in a full-time and consulting capacity with a variety of public, private and non-profit organizations, all within the training and education ecosystem. Through these engagements, he has written curriculum, developed articulation agreements, managed faculty and staff and charted the strategic direction of a variety of organizations across North America and internationally.

    Katie Allen, in front of a tree with a dogBarb Davies

    Barb is a facilitator, educator and practitioner of social impact.

    In her role at Mount Royal University with the Institute for Community Prosperity and Trico Changemakers Studio, Barb develops transformational learning experiences that build bridges between campus and community and uses developmental evaluation to foster a vibrant changemaking ecosystem on campus.

    Previously, Barb worked for Momentum, a changemaking organization in Calgary that uses systems-based approaches to address poverty reduction. Her work focused on strengthening supports for social entrepreneurship both locally and provincially. In addition, she developed learning initiatives to empower individuals to use economic tools to address social issues, including hosting an award-winning national conference.

    Barb is a co-founder of Local Investing YYC, an impact investment cooperative that provides capital to Calgary-based businesses generating social and environmental returns. She has also served on the board of Green Calgary and participated on advisory committees with Health Canada on regulatory approaches within the natural health sector. As the previous owner of a leading natural health retailer in Calgary, Barb built bridges in the community growing awareness for local producers and growers and served on the board of the Business Revitalization Zone. Barb uses a values-based approach to advance sustainable solutions that prioritize people and place..

    Katie DamanYvon Poirier

    Yvon has a long history of involvement in the labour and social movements in Québec and Canada. He was founding President of the Corporation de développement économique communautaire de Québec in 1994, and member of the organizing committee of the Global Meetings on Community Economic Development in Sherbrooke, Québec in 1998. 

    From November 2003 to July 2013, he co-edited a monthly international e-newsletter on sustainable local development published in four languages. He has been a CCEDNet member since 2003 at first as an individual and since 2012 he represents the CDÉC de Québec.

    He has been involved in  tnternational representation for CCEDNet since 2004. His most significant international involvement has been in the  Intercontinental Network for the Promotion of the Social Solidarity Economy (RIPESS). He has participated in many RIPESS conferences in different continents and since October 2013 is a member of the RIPESS Board of directors. He has also participated in different World Social Forums and he represents RIPESS in the UN Inter-Agency Taskforce on SSE.

    Michael NorrisNicole Rosenow-Redhead

    From Atlantic Canada, Nicole has worked in community socioeconomic development for many years in the creation of economic opportunity led by populations that can experience oppression, including policy research, curriculum development, program management, financial literacy, and leading intercultural diversity and inclusion research, education, and strategies. 

    Nicole has a Master’s degree in International Development, and recently completed Dalhousie University’s Intercultural Communication Program. Many years ago she had participated in CCEDNet’s CreateAction Program and thoroughly enjoyed the experience, particularly CCEDNet’s emphasis on authentic intercultural collaboration and working with, and valuing, multiple worldviews. 

    Nicole advocates for interculturalism as the way forward in supporting the positioning of all-inclusive diversity as a strength; interculturalism wholly supports all residents of a community as a way to intentionally engage across dimensions of our identity that can systemically act as barriers to relationship-building. 

    Nicole serves as Vice President on the Board of the Sickle Cell Disease Association of Atlantic Canada, and works with Halifax Public Libraries, valuing the opportunity to support the innovative intersection of a commons-based approach to knowledge, education and resources with public space and community engagement, in partnership with community organizations.


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