Afro-descendants contribute positively to the development of communities while facing persistent challenges of socio-economic inequality, discrimination and lack of equitable access to opportunities.
The social and cooperative economy, originally conceptualized to promote the economic empowerment and emancipation of equity-seeking groups, offers significant potential for the social and economic influence of Afro-descendants. Through the creation of cooperatives, social enterprises and community organizations, they can take control of their economic future, create sustainable jobs for themselves and community members, strengthen their economic resilience and decisively combat systemic inequalities.
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Development | Opening up to communication with CommUnité
CommUnité is a free program designed to help young Francophones living in Ontario, aged 18 to 30 and identified as members of visible minorities, explore their dual cultural identity and their relationship with Canadian media. The program included four days of virtual workshops, highlighting communication professions, skills development and intercultural communication. The main aim was to support participants in their job search in the media and communications field, while offering them a space to share their experience and vision of their dual identity. Through a series of vignettes, we introduced them to various communications professions through which they can express themselves and share their perspectives. In addition to planting many seeds of interest in their minds, our team itself has grown as a result.
Outreach | Passerelle Afrique Ontario
Passerelle Afrique-Ontario is a collaboration with the Maison des coopératives du Togo, whose aim was to facilitate cooperation between players in the social and cooperative economy of Togo and the province of Ontario. It took place over four virtual events.
The workshops addressed themes essential to strengthening cooperation between the social economy of Togo and Ontario. One explored the economic specificities of these regions, another highlighted the resilience of collective women entrepreneurs, while a third looked at the potential of the African diaspora for economic development. Finally, the last workshop created a networking space to identify opportunities for collaboration between social entrepreneurs, community actors and government representatives. These events helped forge links between those involved in the social and cooperative economy in both regions.
Research | Mapping the black francophone entrepreneurial ecosystem in the Ottawa-Gatineau region
At the request of the Africa Development Network, Impact ON undertook a study to advance the understanding and support of the entrepreneurial ecosystem of the French-speaking Black communities in the Ottawa-Gatineau region. Our research has laid the foundations for a comprehensive approach to strengthening entrepreneurship in these communities.
We raised crucial questions about the sustainability of this ecosystem, the expectations of those involved in entrepreneurial support, and the various dimensions that need to be taken into account to better serve black communities economically and socially.
In addition, our study has highlighted the importance of measuring the impact of the support offered to entrepreneurs by the various organizations in place, both economically and socially. This will ensure that the specific needs of black communities are understood and met.
This study marks a crucial step in the construction of this growing entrepreneurial ecosystem in Ottawa-Gatineau. As the Black population continues to grow and contribute to Canada’s development, our research paves the way for future studies to better understand their realities, needs and aspirations, and to support them more effectively.