What was the purpose of the project?
The study looks to describe and measure the impact of the social economy in Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and northern Ontario while strengthening and expanding existing capacities.
How long was the study?
The research took place over the course of 6 years, from 2006 to 2011. Even though the formal research project is finished, much of it has served as only a stepping stone to many other projects and some thriving social enterprises.
Who was involved in the project?
There are 24 academics in 10 disciplines from 12 universities, and 40 community partners from four provinces, the United States, Colombia, and Belgium taking part in the study in various capacities. The structure of the study forms a network involving academics, students, community groups, government, and other interested partners.
Who headed the project?
The principal investigator of the Linking Learning, Leveraging project is Dr. Lou Hammond Ketilson, director of the Centre for the Study of Cooperatives at the University of Saskatchewan.
How was the project funded?
Funding for the research is estimated at $6.45 million – $1.745 million from SSHRC and the remainder from leveraged funds and matching in-kind funds from our partners.
Were there scholarships available?
Scholarships were available to Masters and PhD students.
Who could apply for internships?
Community partners submitted proposals for research to be matched with an undergraduate or a graduate student for 4 month or 12 month internships. The three provincial organizations (CUISR, WIRA and CESD) posted calls for proposals.
Who were the co-applicants, collaborators and partners?
The researchers associated with the project were co-applicants or collaborators, and community partner organizations. Co-applicants and collaborators were individuals who participated in setting the intellectual goals of the project, while community partner organizations were interested in investigating the social economy from a practical viewpoint and they agreed to participate in this research by submitting a letter of support.
What is the Social Economy?
The Social Economy is commonly considered to consist of co-operatives, mutuals, and nonprofit enterprises.
The Quebec Chantier de l’Économie Sociale has described the Social Economy as follows:
• Goal of service to members or collectivity
• Autonomous management
• Democratic decision-making
• Primacy of people over capital
• Individual and collective participation, control, and responsibility
In the Northern Ontario, Manitoba and Saskatchewan Social Economy Regional Node, the Social Economy is evident in organizations of co-operative, community economic development, and Aboriginal economic development sectors.
One of our academic research partners, Dr. Brett Fairbairn, who has presented on the social economy before this project was initiated, has made his PowerPoint slides available here.