Our Work

We’ve been involved in many projects since our founding in 2002, worked with women all across the country, and been instrumental in changing things at a policy level.

We continue to find new and innovative ways of helping the women-centred CED organizations we partner with achieve great things. Because, when it comes down to it, we’re all in this together. Our goals are the same: we want a better life for women in this country.

Building Forward

We believe in momentum. As we’ve developed our practices, honed our knowledge, and improved our network and resources, our momentum has grown.

We can harness our networks to help develop grassroots change. We can use our knowledge and expertise to challenge policy where it needs challenging.

How do we know that our momentum is moving us in the right direction?

We always ensure that we “build forward” by carefully planning and considering each project. We focus on the projects that we feel will have the most impact. Here’s how:

Research and Development

Every new project we consider follows a specific process:

Research: We use our resources to determine where we can improve things.

Strategy: We determine the ways in which we would implement change.

Consultation: We talk to experts to determine if our approach makes sense.

Growth: We expand to meet the needs of the new project. This may include bringing on experts as consultants or creating new business models customized to our particular, women-centred needs.

Implementation: This is the on-the-ground part of the the process. Here we put our plan into action, watching carefully all the while.

Learning: By reporting and analyzing, we determine whether the project achieved what we set out to do. The goal here is to learn what we can and continue to improve.

Our method relies heavily on numerous eyes (and of course, numerous hands). As an organization with limited resources, we need to ensure that they are being directed toward things that actually make a difference.

Our Projects

Below is a list, along with a short description, of the projects we have spearheaded. Please click on the link to read more.

Her Own Boss! (HOB)

This is a participatory research project that began in 2018 and was funded by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). The Women’s Economic Council connected with a group of racialized immigrant women — either entrepreneurs or aspiring entrepreneurs —  to better understand their needs and how they can best be supported. Read more …

Jigsaw Puzzle Project

This project begins in September 2015. It looks to build on the success of the Cluster Project, giving women-centred CED access to useful tools and resources. We want to provide these organizations with their missing puzzle pieces. Read more.

Cluster Project

The Cluster Project has been our most ambitious to date, featuring the participation of seven organizations across the country for three years, from 2012-2015. The goal of this project was to increase sharing and networking between these organizations, allow them to learn from us and each other, and help them grow. Read more.

Leadership Train-the-Trainer

Initially launched in 2009, the Train-the-Trainer project has grown substantially since its inception. The project seeks to mentor women in junior leadership roles in CED organizations, helping them to improve their skills and tools. Read more.

Economic Literacy

Our Economic Literacy project was designed to help women learn about economics at a grassroots level. We partnered with eight organizations across the country and helped to develop a curriculum of resources to help these organizations engage their base. Read more.

Aboriginal Women and Economic Security

This project was a report that showed conclusively that Aboriginal women and other marginalized women can be supported more fully to participate, lead and grow self-employment or social enterprises. Read more.

Immigrant Women and Economic Security

This report was designed to address issues facing immigrant and refugee women. The goal was to identify potential strategies to advance the economic security of these women. Read more.

Tools for Sustainability

The goal of Tools for Sustainability was to address the needs of seven women-centred social enterprises across Canada. We helped these organizations directly and created free-to-use materials designed to be used by any women-centred social enterprise. Read more.

If Women Mattered

The purpose of this report was to outline the steps that can be taken at a federal level to support women-centred CED organizations. We provided data and solutions that helped pivotal decision makers do their jobs. Read more.