The Government of PEI, through projects embedded and championed in the Executive Council Office, has been exploring and developing a betier understanding of Social Enterprise over the past several years. The PEI Poverty Reduction Action Plan, released in November 2018, included exploring the development of a provincial social enterprise framework as supportive action for building communities and partners. The current government recommitied to the Poverty Reduction Action Plan in the June 14, 2019 Speech from the Throne.
The exploratory work within government was in tandem with an increased interest from community groups in Social Enterprise as an opportunity to diversify revenue streams and reduce dependence on government funding. Not for Profit organizations on PEI also see this as an option to find new ways to address the complex social problems their members and the community at large are facing.
In the fall of 2018, an ad hoc working group of community organizations proposed this project to Innovation PEI as the host organization to develop an action plan and recommendations for creating an environment where social enterprise can flourish.
Over the winter of 2019, the Social Economy Working Group released a survey to gather community perspective on the benefits and challenges they face as well as recommendations for next steps. We have also had further discussions with experts and key players, both on PEI and off, who contributed to the understanding of where PEI is now and where we need to go. This discussion paper integrates the learnings from the community, as well as local, regional and international expertise on Social Enterprise.