Author(s): Kirsten Bernas, Blair Hamilton
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Social enterprises have emerged as viable business models that create a blended return on investment as a result of the multiple economic, social, and environmental benefits they bring to local communities. They contribute to more inclusive and stronger local economies, more jobs for people with barriers to employment, the provision of important community services, reduced poverty, renewed communities, and more sustainable environments. In Manitoba, Building Urban Industries for Local Development (BUILD) and the Brandon Energy Efficiency Program (BEEP) conduct energy efficiency retrofits on low-income homes while providing jobs for people with barriers to employment. These social enterprises have adopted a Community Economic Development approach to their business model and their training model which strengthens their capacity to achieve multiple economic, social, and environmental benefits. In addition to providing comprehensive training and employment opportunities to individuals who otherwise wouldn’t be in the labour force, BUILD and BEEP contribute to reduced energy usage and consumption, fewer Introduction greenhouse gas emissions, lower utility bills for low-income families, a stronger local economy by supporting other local businesses, and reductions in government expenditures associated with social assistance and crime.

Grant: Transforming Inner-city and Aboriginal Communities - 2007-2012
Category: Community Economic Development