Our Vision is Employment
Many social enterprises in Manitoba focus their community efforts on preparing those with barriers to employment for the work needed to find a place in the job market. Through training, advocacy, and direct assistance, these non-profits help reduce poverty and create opportunity for those most in need.
LITE’s work in this area makes Buy Social a great fit, as social enterprises can become an excellent path toward employment.
Our work with Buy Social evolved from a past project known as the Social Purchasing Portal.
The original SPP (Social Purchasing Portal) project started in Vancouver in 2003, as a way to address unemployment and create further local economic growth in Vancouver’s inner city. In partnership with PATH Employability Centre and the EEC (Employment Exchange Committee), SEED Winnipeg launched a local SPP in 2004.
The goals were similar – to see “Economic and employment opportunities result from directing existing business purchases, to local businesses and social enterprises, which hire those who face barriers to employment.”
In 2008, the SPP took a break from the social purchasing scene, but today it is back in action and the SPP is ready to strengthen its former employment objectives and underlying values of community economic development (CED) in Winnipeg.
Adopted in 2010 by Local Investment Toward Employment (LITE), the SPP supports LITE’s mission “to promote community economic development by supporting inner-city initiatives in Winnipeg that build capacity and provide jobs”.
A special thanks to our funders, The Winnipeg Foundation and The Co-operators, for their generous support to the SPP over the years!
In 2017, the decision was made to move away from the SPP, and focus on advocacy directly through the Buy Social Canada program.
With the market changing, and awareness of local business value growing, a new strategy toward promoting social enterprise was necessary. The result of this change in strategy was a rebranding of the SPP project in Winnipeg, and alignment with Buy Social Canada, a certification network for social enterprises.
Buy Social Canada focuses on advocating for social good in procurement, through working with government and businesses to formalize new trade regulations. The program also provides direct support for social enterprises as they develop toward procurement agreements, with consultation and education services, and networking opportunities.
We’re excited to be working with Buy Social Canada to improve the social business landscape in the prairies and across Canada!