LINKING, LEARNING, LEVERAGING: SOCIAL ENTERPRISES,
KNOWLEDGEABLE ECONOMIES AND SUSTAINABLE
ROGRAM OVERVIEW: MANITOBA AREA
WHAT IT’S ALL ABOUT
“Linking Learning Leveraging” is a five-year research initiative headed by Dr. Lou
Hammond Ketilson at the Centre for the Study of Cooperatives, University of
Saskatchewan, in partnership with other Canadian universities and community and
cooperative organizations. The initiative is funded by the Social Sciences and
Humanities Research Council and covers the geographic area of Saskatchewan,
Manitoba and Northern Ontario. Support and administration for the Manitoba region of
the initiative is being provided by The Winnipeg Inner City Research Alliance (WIRA).
“Linking, Learning, Leveraging” will essentially investigate how social economy
enterprises help build more respectful relationships within communities, with the
environment, and among stakeholders.
Research questions the initiative is exploring include:
- What can be learned from the social economy’s evolution to date?
- Where is the social economy?
- What is it accomplishing?
- What does it need?
- How can we apply this knowledge in public policy?
The social economy refers to those enterprises and organizations that use the tools and
some of the methods of business, on a not-for-profit basis, to provide social, cultural,
economic and health services to communities that need them. Social economy
enterprises exhibit distinctive forms of organization and governance such as worker co-
operatives and non-profit organizations. Such organizations produce goods for and
deliver services to the public. These goods and services include childcare, recycling,
tourism, culture, producing goods for market, as well as financial institutions such as
credit unions and the evolving social economy finance sector. To individuals and
communities in need, social economy enterprises offer employment opportunities as well
as goods and services at affordable rates. Such enterprises also reinvest profits in the
organization, and provide opportunities for skills development that help individuals find
employment. More broadly, the social economy provides goods and services to the
wider community as part of a commitment to sustainable development as demonstrated,
for example, by the large number of social economy enterprises involved in fair trade
and socially responsible production. See http://www.usaskstudies.coop/socialeconomy
Linking, Learning, Leveraging Overview April 2006 http://www.usaskstudies.coop/socialeconomy 1
AREAS OF RESEARCH FOCUS
The research will focus on five areas:
1. Social enterprise/organization development – primarily case-study profiles of
social economy enterprises/organizations examining; organizational structure,
purpose, processes and planning; membership and membership engagement;
relationships within the social enterprise and with government, for profit
enterprises and other social economy organizations/enterprises; roles of social
enterprises/organizations in promoting more forms of social integration; and, the
cultural and social values that inform practices within the enterprise/organization.
2. Financing strategies for social enterprise/organization development – will
focus on the challenges of funding the social economy, in addition to identifying
innovative and successful funding models. Because social-economy enterprises
direct their activities toward dual goals – social and economic – finding
appropriate funding sources can be problematic. Access to core funding as
opposed to start-up or project-based is an ongoing issue. Many of the
organizations go from grant deadline to grant deadline in search of sustainable
funding. This project-based funding is ineffective and distortionary, especially for
organizations delivering social services to highly underprivileged clients.
3. Governance of social-economy enterprises/organizations – this area will
highlight examples of innovative, alternative, or experimental approaches to
stakeholder involvement inspired by democratic values and principles. Such
approaches could take quite different forms from conventional democratic
practice such as attendance and voting at meetings. May offer methods of
measuring good governance and its impacts, development of tools for
assessment of democratic and governance practices, etc.
4. Measuring and mapping the social economy – the key interest in this area is
in mapping the nature and measuring the impact of social economy
enterprises/organizations on both the economic vitality and the quality of life in
the communities or regions where they operate. Another is determining the
underlying conditions that strengthen social-economy organizations/enterprises.
5. Developing policy frameworks for the social economy - this area offers the
opportunity to review existing regulatory frameworks affecting the social economy
with a view towards identifying gaps as well as areas of overlap and multiple
governmental interest. What public-sector programs and policies are most
appropriate for supporting the social economy? How can existing and potential
taxation instruments be used to reward and increase involvement in the social
economy? What types of regulations can address the liability insurance crises
permeating social economy organizations?
WHO’S ELIGIBLE TO APPLY
Organizations, enterprises and academics active and interested in the social
economy in Manitoba are eligible to apply.
Each application must come from a partnership between at least one academic
and one community organization/enterprise representative.
Linking, Learning, Leveraging Overview April 2006 http://www.usaskstudies.coop/socialeconomy 2
HOW IT WORKS: THE PROCESS
All eligible proposals must list at least one academic partner and one community partner
willing to jointly manage the research project. If needed, the WIRA liaison directors will
work closely with interested individuals and groups to find appropriate partners to put
forward an application. Once the partnership has been established, the research
questions and objectives determined, and the commitment and roles of the partners
agreed upon, the application for funding may be submitted by the deadline for
adjudication by the WIRA Executive Steering Committee.
Responsibilities of project partners:
Establish the roles and levels of involvement of the academic and community
partners, according to the nature of the research, and the needs, expertise and
time availability of partners.
Strive for balance in power and participation among partners.
Undertake community-based research.
Partners fully collaborate in all steps of the research, from identification of
research goals, to developing methodology, to producing the final report.
Meet regularly regarding the progress toward the goals and objectives of the
Provide research leadership to the student and/or community researcher.
Accurate reporting of research results, taking into account the needs for
confidentiality in gathering, dissemination and storage of information and the
need for objectivity and neutrality in research.
The partners shall provide the resources and infrastructure (eg. Staff, space,
appropriate supervision, stationery supplies, etc.) needed to complete the
The Principal Investigator is the partner that is the main contact person who
organizes and directs the research project, arranges meetings, and stays in
regular contact with the Community Liaison Director.
Role of the WIRA Liaison Directors:
Assist interested individuals in developing research ideas and in the
strengthening and defining of research goals prior to the submission of an
Ensure that strong research partnerships are established: connect individuals to
others with whom they may want to form a research partnership and submit an
Hold and administer all of the funds committed to the “Linking, Learning,
Pay the community release amount directly to the community organization and
pay the internship stipend to the student upon receipt of invoices (including hours
worked, and wages plus mandatory deductions).
Facilitate collaboration between partners throughout the research project.
Check in regularly with research partners to ensure that the process is running
Offer research and administrative support to the research partnerships.
Inform research partnership about progress of the larger “Linking, Learning,
Notify partners of relevant conferences, workshops, and events and provide
assistance in applying for funds for travel and attendance.
Linking, Learning, Leveraging Overview April 2006 http://www.usaskstudies.coop/socialeconomy 3
RESEARCH FUNDING AVAILABLE (Note: It is not necessary to have the student
researcher or community researcher identified at the time of application)
For students: Must have full-time student status. Preference will be given to
students demonstrating excellence in academic performance, and those whose
research interests lie in the social economy. Project application may include a
request for either:
o a full-time four month internship for up to $5,000 (same for all levels of
o a 12 month internship (to cover 8 months of part-time work during the
school year plus 4 months of full-time summer work). The maximum
amounts for 12 month internships are: undergraduate - $10,000; Master’s
student - $12,000
For community release time: must be an employee of an organization/
enterprise involved in the social economy. Payment will go directly to the
community organization to compensate for the employee’s time spent on the
research. Maximum of $5,000 per person, per project.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
If you have questions about the “Linking, Learning, Leveraging” initiative in Manitoba, or
need assistance in finding appropriate project partners, you may contact:
Community Liaison Director
Winnipeg Inner City Research
#103-520 Portage Avenue
Winnipeg, Manitoba R3C 0G2
Phone: (204) 982-1152
Research Liaison Director
Winnipeg Inner City Research
#103-520 Portage Avenue
Winnipeg, Manitoba R3C 0G2
Phone: (204) 982-1148
Linking, Learning, Leveraging Overview April 2006 http://www.usaskstudies.coop/socialeconomy 4