A Brief Background: Community Enterprise and the Social Economy
The social economy is diverse - encompassing nonprofits, charities, co-ops and other groups, which are actively meeting social, cultural, economic and environmental needs in communities throughout the country. Many of these organizations operate community (or social) enterprises, which produce and sell products and services to paying customers. These enterprises provide a number of benefits, namely, they: meet under-served community needs, maintain or create jobs (often for people with barriers to employment), and generate revenue which supports the nonprofit's long-term sustainability. CSC has long recognized the value of community enterprise. The following presents a brief outline of our work to date and our plans for the future.
Laying the Foundation in 1998-1999
In partnership with Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA), CSC engaged representatives from non-profits, government, the private sector and labour organizations in a roundtable discussion about the role of the social economy in regional development. Several key messages emerged:
Research, Recommendations and Publications in 2004-2007
Building on its previous work, CSC undertook to increase knowledge about the social economy in Newfoundland and Labrador and strengthen the capacity of community enterprises. Informed by 300 organizations, agencies and government departments, CSC's research included an extensive literature review, telephone and online surveys, interviews, site visits, and various regional and provincial meetings.
The research clearly showed that social economy organizations:
Building on this research, CSC called for the development of a number of specific supports:
One concrete output of this work was the development of the province's first-ever community enterprise inventory and booklet, Community Profits: Social Enterprise in Newfoundland and Labrador [pdf].
More CSC Publications on social enterprise
Suggestions For Moving Forward: Points for Consideration, Priorities for a vital, sustainable community sector in Newfoundland and Labrador
The priorities presented in this document are based on work of the Community Sector Council Newfoundland and Labrador (CSC) in discussion with the Community Sector Working Committee (CSWC). At a recent meeting the Committee identified key areas
through which the Provincial Government could strengthen its relationship with the community sector and play a continuing role in further strengthening community sector organizations throughout Newfoundland and Labrador.
How Language and Communication Differentials between Social Enterprises and Economic Development Agencies Impact Financing
This exploratory research seeks to identify communication
problems experienced by social enterprise leaders in Newfoundland and Labrador when applying for financing, while similarly identifying the perspective of economic development agencies
Report Promoting Social Enterprise in Newfoundland and Labrador
CSC defines social enterprise as any nonprofit-run initiative that sells products and services to achieve or contribute to community goals. This can include non-charitable nonprofits, charities and nonprofit cooperatives, and is also referred to as community enterprise and nonprofit enterprise. As part of its ongoing effort to explore and promote social enterprise, CSC recently undertook two activities to engage social enterprise leaders in defining priorities: a one-day forum and a series of follow-up interviews with selected Forum participants. This report compiles the findings of these engagement activities, and makes recommendations for first steps that can be taken to move social enterprise forward. Download a copy of this report.
Community Profits: Social Enterprise in Newfoundland and Labrador
Community Profits marks the launch of an effort by the Community Services Council Newfoundland and Labrador to build an inventory of non-profit organizations and co-ops in our province involved in some level of community enterprise activity. Community Profits profiles a cross-section of extraordinary organizations and provides a listing of about 140 groups and their entrepreneurial activities. Download a copy of Community Profits.
Tell Us About Your Enterprise Activity in Newfoundland and Labrador
Are you a non-profit organization in Newfoundland and Labrador that generates revenue through the sale of goods or services in the marketplace on a regular or ongoing basis? (This could be to the general public, clients, other non-profits, government, or third party pay. We do not mean one-off or occasional fundraisers.) If yes, the CSC would like to hear from you. Click to Download the form.
Fostering a Climate for Growth and Regional Development through the Social Economy
CSC initiated the process of identifying social or community enterprises and their contributions to social, economic and cultural development across our province. The work, carried out from
2005-2007, included an extensive literature review and bibliography compilation, site visits, national and international conferences, interviews, regional discussions, a provincial
roundtable, an online survey, focused discussions with government officials (federal and provincial) and other community support agencies, and a symposium which included presenters from Quebec, British Columbia and Newfoundland and Labrador, with participation from around our province and also from Nova Scotia.
Annotated Bibliography on the Social Economy
The focus for this annotated bibliography was to provide a listing of resources on the Social Economy with special reference to communications. The resulting 78 entries cover the bases from academic articles and books to journal articles to on-line resources.
The annotations provide background summaries of the sources, which should help those interested in this area to judge the relevance of the original material to their own needs.
A comprehensive list of CSC publications which reference social enterprise activity in Newfoundland and Labrador can be found on the Social Enterprise in NL page.