Business Conversions to Social Purpose Enterprises – for Equity-Denied Groups*


Tuesday, May 23rd
Doors at 6:30 pm
Presentations at 7:00 pm


Glitter Bean Cafe, 5896 Spring Garden Road, Halifax -AND- online via Zoom (link will be provided via Eventbrite)



**Please note that registration is mandatory to attend both the in-person and online versions of this event. Due to capacity limitations at the cafe, those arriving without prior registration may be redirected to join via Zoom from an off-site location.

*Equity-Denied Groups include, but are not limited to: BIPOC people, differently-abled people, women, LGBTQ2S+ communities, and youth. 
  • Are you a business owner thinking of selling?
  • Are you interested in collectively buying a business along with others?
  • Are you part of an Equity-Denied Group?
  • Come to this session to find out more!



Hazel Corcoran: Executive Director, CWCF
Juliet ‘Kego Ume-Onyido: Black Women Professional Worker Co-op & Whole Woman Network
Janielle Maxwell: Coordinator, JEDI Business Conversions Project

  • History & mission of the co-operative and Social Purpose Organization (SPO) sectors
  • Overview, objectives, events & initiatives of CWCF’s JEDI Business Conversions Project
  • The importance of a JEDI-centered approach to SPOs & the transformation of Canadian employment
  • Equity-denied groups and SPOs: cultural affinities, workplace barriers, and benefits of SPOs
  • The benefits of mutual aid & co-operative economics for women facing domestic violence, financial trauma/challenges, and abuse


The Canadian Worker Co-op Federation (CWCF) is joining forces with Glitter Bean Cafe in Halifax, NS to facilitate a session on business conversions to Social Purpose Organizations (SPOs) for members of Equity-Denied Groups (EDGs). Glitter Bean Cafe is a proudly Queer-centric worker owned co-op, that provides a safe space for all members of the LGBTQ2S+ community.

The presentation will include an overview of CWCF’s JEDI Business Conversion Project (including its objectives, initiatives and events) and a discussion on why a JEDI-centered approach to Social Purpose Organizations (SPOs) and the Canadian employment realm- is needed for true transformational change.

Hazel will discuss CWCF’s history and mission within the co-operative and SPO sectors. Juliet ‘Kego Ume-Onyido will tackle themes such as the cultural affinity of EDGs to SPOs, challenges faced by EDGs in traditional realms and in business conversions, and how business conversions to SPOs can benefit marginalized groups. She’ll also share insights on how mutual aid and co-operative economics have uplifted women and women identifying individuals facing domestic violence, financial trauma/challenges, and abuse. Janielle will touch on the challenges various members of EDGs face in the workplace and financial spaces, and the subsequent need for reform. She will also discuss the JEDI Business Conversion Project, as it is situated to help combat the mainstream struggles EDGs experience in many traditional business realms. The session will conclude with a Question & Answer period, where Hazel and Juliet will respond to audience inquiries.



The small business succession challenge in Canada is well known, and often business owners and their communities struggle to manage ownership exits gracefully. When the owner of a business is ready to retire or sell, a timely succession is necessary for business survival.  

In addition, with the pandemic having affected nearly every small business across the country, more business owners than ever must make tough choices about the survival and sustainability of their enterprise. 

The challenges are even greater for businesses led by and/or serving equity-denied groups, as they often face issues of ‘renoviction’, lack of access to capital, etc. Yet there is also great potential, as these businesses that are essential parts of their local communities can be converted from their traditional structure to social purpose or co-operative enterprises to help continue their legacy. 

Social purpose organizations (SPOs) such as Co-ops and Social Enterprises (SEs) have different value systems embedded into their governance and therefore operations. An SPO can be created when employees, communities, and/or other stakeholders buy the business collectively.  

Equity-Denied Groups include, but are not limited to: BIPOC people, differently-abled people, women, LGBTQ2S+ communities, and youth. 



This info session is supported by the federal Investment Readiness Program.  Funded by the Government of Canada, the
Investment Readiness Program (IRP)  supports social purpose organizations as they contribute to solving pressing social, cultural and environmental challenges across Canada. 



Juliet ‘Kego Ume-Onyido

Juliet ‘Kego Ume-Onyido, MBA, is a co-founder of the Black Women Professional Worker Cooperative. She is a Strategist & Visionary of the  ‘F.L.O.W initiative: Financial Literacy & Opportunities for Women’, which is a syndicated invite-only series of experiential sessions, retreats, and podcasts for women entrepreneurs. She is a passionate social justice advocate for Gender Equity, Quality Public School Education, Financial Literacy & Empowerment programs, especially in the delivery of certification trainings, seminars and workshops on Self-leadership, Transformational Leadership, Community Development & Wealth creation.

Ms. Kego Ume-Onyido is also a dynamic speaker and trainer on Social Enterprise, Transformational Leadership, and results-based coaching; with a focus on empowering rural women to build sustainable and resilient cooperatives and communities. Further, she is a Strategic Interventionist, delivering experiential workshops for Women Professionals and Entrepreneurs on Work-Life Choices, and how to achieve excellence and success in the new empathy-driven, data-value-based economy. Author of upcoming books: “UN-Locking Your HeArt of Leadership”; Collections of Short Stories and Poems: “Conversations With An Amichi GrandMother” & “Today, I Will Not Bow.” She is a Sun Life financial Advisor.


Janielle Maxwell

I have recently joined the Canadian Worker Co-op Federation as the Project Coordinator for the Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI) Social Acquisition Project. I am happy to be in a position where I can help improve access to viable, long-term business solutions for equity-seeking groups. This will not only help increase capital and economic stability in these communities, but contribute to solving the multi-factorial business succession dilemma Canada currently faces.

As a Black woman of colour who grew up amongst other equity-seeking groups (other racialized individuals, differently-abled people, LGBTQ2S+, etc.), I am well aware of the inequities and barriers marginalized people face in social, academic, and professional spaces. Due to personal experience with all of the aforementioned contexts, I have developed a strong passion for true advocacy that catalyzes measurable change for the systematically underserved, under-represented, and under-credited. 

I am currently completing my MSc in Rural Planning and Development at the University of Guelph, with a One Health Specialization. I am hopeful that sessions like these will strengthen the network of those committed to equity and diversity in the business space.


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