Using Build Up Saskatoon (BUS) as a case study, this research project evaluated the economic and social impact of social enterprises.

Build Up Saskatoon is an industry-standard construction and contracting social enterprise of Quint Development that provides training, supports, and long-term employment in the trades for individuals who face multiple barriers to employment, particularly those with previous experience in the criminal justice system.

To understand whether this meaningful work helps keep people out of the criminal justice system and supports their journeys to cultivate a different path in their lives, the research team worked closely with BUS, Quint Development, officials at the City of Saskatoon, and the Saskatoon Police Service

The findings of this research are presented in three separate yet connected reports:

  1. ‘More than a job, finally”: Lived Experiences of Build Up Saskatoon Participants – This research conducted interviews with BUS participants to explore their experiences of and outcomes from working at BUS. We found that BUS’ multifaceted intervention model to address participants’ barriers to employment helped them to demolish old structures, develop occupational foundations, cultivate stable framing in their lives, and allowed them to embark on social renovations. 
  2. Working it Out: Estimating the Social Value of Build Up Saskatoon – this report found that BUS programming helped government agencies, such as the Ministry of Corrections, Policing, and Public Safety, Ministry of Social Services, and Saskatoon Police Service generate a net saving of between $126,489 to $306,666 in its first year of operation. This translates to a return on investment of $1.39 to $1.95 for every government dollar invested in BUS.
  3. Turning up the dial on Saskatoon’s Social Procurement: A Multi-City Policy Analysis – This report compared how social value is codified in the procurement policies across Saskatoon, Calgary, Winnipeg, Vancouver, and Halifax. Through this comparison, this report identified policy mechanisms currently being used across the five cities that can help to advance social procurement.

Click below to access the reports.