CWCF’s JEDI Business Conversion project prioritizes the engagement of more equity-denied groups (EDGs) in business conversions to Social Enterprises (SEs).
EDGs include: women, BIPOC and other racialized groups, people with disabilities, members of the LGBTQ2S+ community, and youth.
Venture for Canada
Venture for Canada (VFC) is a national charity which aims to nurture the mindset and entrepreneurial skills of young Canadians through several different programs. VFC’s mission is to equip young Canadians to build a more inclusive and prosperous society. With both a social and educational mission, VFC is a great example of a SE.
One of their main initiatives, The Fellowship Program, involves the training of recent post-secondary graduates and an immersive professional development camp designed to foster the necessary skills to excel in their careers. In addition, their Intrapreneurship Program is a virtual 7-week program that provides current post-secondary students with paid 70 hour projects to jumpstart their careers.
EDG: Black individuals, youth*
Ethos Lab is a culture-based science, technology, engineering, arts, and math (STEAM) learning academy for teens, 12-18 years old. It is a completely out-of-school program, providing youth with an alternative environment wherein they are given the tools to shift the culture of innovation through STEAM and to transform their local communities. The lab provides an array of programs, one of which nurtures skills development in ‘eXtended reality’ (an umbrella term for a family of technologies such as virtual reality and mixed reality) as these jobs are expected to grow ~170% within the next 10 years.
Being a Black-led Social Enterprise, the lab is committed to centering the humanity of the Black experience while creating a future of academic innovation. They have realized the importance of a holistic community-based approach to teaching STEAM and are devoted to building inclusivity within this academic and career environment. The lab recognizes that in order to improve diversity within this traditionally monolithic space, there is a need to redefine the idea of what someone who practices STEAM looks like. This requires creativity and the use of various cultural pathways, to promote STEAM learning in new ways youth resonate with. With a clear social, cultural, and educational mission, the Ethos Lab is an excellent example of a SE.