Workforce Innovation Through Social Enterprise


Social Enterprise is a catalyst for social and economic empowerment and inclusion.  It is defined as a non-profit initiative that produces and sells goods or services in a business-like model in the market economy, but they manage their operations and redirect their surpluses in pursuit of social, community, cultural or environmental goals.

The Goal of the Workforce Innovation Through Social Enterprise Project is to facilitate evidence-based research and analysis and to disseminate resources and practical tools which encourages and supports Social Enterprise growth in Newfoundland and Labrador as an innovative tool for addressing workforce challenges, supporting rural sustainability, encouraging small business enterprise, and building a stronger economic foundation for the future.

This goal will be accomplished through collaborative partnerships and stakeholder engagement, applied research, piloting and evaluation, data analysis and documentation, as well as knowledge mobilization and dissemination of information and practical tools and resources.

The Community Education Network (CEN) for Southwestern Newfoundland is a non-profit community-based organization with 27 years experience working collaboratively with community and government partners to affect positive change for individuals, families and communities.  CEN and its Associate Organizations, the Community Action Committee Family Resource Program and the Community Youth Network, facilitate an array of community-based services including: prenatal support; programs for young children and their parents/caregivers; licensed preschool/childcare programs; programs and activities for youth; mental health and addictions youth outreach services; adult basic education; career and employment programs; violence prevention initiatives; and housing support services.

Primary Research Question(s)

  • What practical and innovative Social Enterprise opportunities exist in Southwestern Newfoundland which can address workforce challenges, provide training and employment opportunities, support community sustainability and build a stronger economic foundation for the region, as demonstrated and evaluated in a pilot study?


Research led by Community Education Network.


Southwestern Newfoundland


October 2019 – March 2022