Immigrant Settlement and Integration through Social Enterprise Initiative (ISISE)

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The Canadian CED Network's:

Immigrant Settlement and Integration through Social Enterprise initiative (ISISE)

This initiative grew out of CCEDNet's Immigrant and Refugee Community Action Network (ICAN) which works to create opportunities for new immigrants and refugees to participate in the leadership of the CED and Co-op movements in Canada. ICAN is a national network of newcomer CED practitioners and their supporters. CCEDNet's 2005 discussion paper, Creating Opportunities - Optimizing Possibilities describes how the co-operative sector can assist immigrants and refugees in Canada and how immigrant and refugee communities can use the co-op model to revitalize Canadian communities. The ISISE initiative broadens this approach by including other forms of social enterprise.

The ISISE initiative has catalogued immigrant social enterprises across Canada, developed a profile of the sector, provided 6 case studies, and identified conditions for their success. To gather the data for this Phase 1 report, ISISE surveyed immigrant social enterprises as well as organizations with a proven track record of establishing and supporting immigrant social enterprises (Immigrant Settlement Organizations, Ethno-cultural organizations or Social Enterprise Development organizations).

Finally, ISISE will provide support for six demonstration projects to prepare business plans that scale up their enterprises in order to increase the number of immigrants who can benefit from the work experience, language training, and networking opportunities they provide. Based on renewed funding, these enterprises would then be supported to implement their plans.

A national learning network will meet periodically throughout the project to inform and share the learnings from this initiative.


The Phase 1 project report, Experiences of Immigrant and Refugee Social Enterprise in Canada, was completed and submitted to CIC after extensive review by ICAN’s ISISE Advisory Committee. Particular thanks goes to Lynne Markell of CCA for her extensive editing suggestions and feedback. 

ISISE Phase 1 Report: Experiences of Immigrant and Refugee Social Enterprise in Canada

Immigrant Sociale Enterprise Case Studies

Catalogue of Immigrant Social Enterprises across Canada

 - This Catalogue is a work in progress. We acknowledge the co-operation of many people in this work and we offer particular thanks to Katherine Kitching of the Canadian Co-operative Association (CCA) for her helpful attitude and collaboration on the SE Catalogue.


The Immigrant Settlement and Integration through Social Enterprise Final Report submitted to Citizenship and Immigration Canada is now available.

Final Report for CIC

For more information please contact:
Paul Chamberlain
Canadian CED Network
(416) 760-2554