Community Economic Development Initiatives

Community economic development is a process of improving quality of life for the whole community. This section shares stories of community projects based on the needs of all people that are building economies and creating long-term jobs.

BC Ideas Exchange Showcase – Workforce and Resident Attraction Strategies 

Do you live in the most beautiful place in the world? Or maybe your town has a budding industry or development opportunity but you’re finding it hard to get the word out there and attract new entrepreneurs and families? Each community has a unique make up of assets and lifestyle that make them attractive places to live and work but without effective marketing potential newcomers and investors may miss them. This webinar will showcase creative examples of campaigns that have brought in new residents and investment to regional communities. Tune in for examples for what worked and what didn’t, ask questions and get some ideas for your own communities strategy.

Speakers: Randy Morse, BC Rural Centre and Terry Van Horne, Executive Director, Lower Columbia Initiatives Corporation

Presentation slides: 

Watch the Workforce and Resident Attraction Strategies webinar originally broadcast on September 12th, 2019.

Building Resilience

Community Economic Development is an approach that encourages self-reliance and sustainability as a way of dealing with the ups and downs of economic and social change. Communities can build resilience by mobilizing homegrown assets, both financial and human, while leveraging outside resources to achieve their goals. In this webinar, we’ll introduce the basic concepts and show how they can be incorporated into your economic development work. If you are new to this approach or want some tools to explain it to colleagues or community members, this webinar is for you!

Speaker: Jeremy Stone, Director of Community Economic Development Programs, Simon Fraser University

Presentation slides: 

Watch the Building Resilience webinar originally broadcast on April 4, 2019

Social Enterprises

Social enterprises: what are they, and how do they benefit local economic development in B.C. communities? Learn about the “trifecta” of social enterprises, social procurement, and social finance, and hear about the unique challenges and opportunities for social enterprises as part of a community's economy. We'll share examples of social enterprises in B.C. serving a variety of objectives from employment to environmental restoration.

After this webinar, you’ll be able to identify how a local government or economic development agency can help to create a supportive environment for social enterprises that in turn serve the economic needs of the community.

Presenter: Kristi Fairholm Mader, Scale Collaborative

Presentation slides: 

Watch the Social Enterprises webinar originally broadcast on October 16, 2018

BC Ideas Exchange Story Showcase: Great Taste, Great Opportunity

This is the first of our quarterly BC Ideas Exchange Story Series featuring two communities who have turned great taste into economic opportunity! Hear the inside stories and participate in a talk-show-style Q&A among your economic development colleagues.

This new series brings our online BC Ideas Exchange story library to life and showcases community-led economic development success stories from throughout the province. Learn from communities who have tried economic development a little differently and join a peer-to-peer network of innovative economic development practitioners.

Hear the story of how Fields Forward is creating jobs and wealth, diverting waste, and uniting the community through a new food and agriculture initiative in the Creston Valley. One of their first projects is the Mobile Fruit & Vegetable Press – a social enterprise that brings a mobile juice press to farms.

What do you get when you have four breweries opening on the same street in a supposedly sleepy suburb? For the city of Port Moody, you get a great economic opportunity. “Brewers Row” has turned the city into a destination for gourmands and beer lovers who come to taste the beer and stay to eat in restaurants and visit the cultural spots. With a little creativity and a lot of “yes” attitude, the results are paying off.

Presentation Slides:

Watch the Great Taste, Great Opportunity webinar originally broadcast on March 22, 2018

The Power of Buying Local

For every $100 spent at a local business, $46 recirculates in the local economy, which means each local purchase has 2.6 times the economic benefit.

In this webinar, hear from an organization working with communities to encourage buying local, in addition to businesses, elected officials and municipal staff. Together, they’ll share the importance of buying local, some ways to promote buying local in your community, and tips and tricks from their success stories.

Shifting just 1% of purchases to B.C. owned businesses can generate 3,100 jobs and $94 million in wages in the B.C. Economy. Don’t miss this exciting opportunity to learn how you can boost your community’s economy by highlighting existing businesses.

Watch the Power of Buying Local webinar originally broadcast on April 26, 2016

Social Enterprise and Enterprising Non-Profits

A social enterprise is a business producing goods and services for sale and earning revenue, but with a primary purpose of directing revenue toward social and environmental goals. They range from thrift stores to farmers markets to businesses that provide skills training, affordable housing and jobs for people with disabilities. They can also be a for-profit business that is focused entirely on social objectives. What connects them all is that their primary purpose is a social one.

Learn about the tools, resources and grants available to foster the growth of these triple-bottom-line businesses in your community and the visible benefits they provide.

Watch the Social Enterprise and Enterprising Non-Profits webinar originally broadcast on June 11, 2015