The Power of the Community to Create Social and Economic Change PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 17 January 2007

Station 20 WestMaking the Links Radio's Don Kossick talks with Len Usiskin of the Quint Development Corporation in Saskatoon. Quint Development Corporation exists to strengthen the economic and social well being of Saskatoon's five core neighbourhoods through a community based economic development approach. Len will be talking about the social economy and community economic development - and the power of community in making social and economic change.

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Community Economic Development is a more holistic approach than traditional models of economic development. It integrates economic, social, ecological, political, and cultural development as part of a strategy, and has the revitalizing and reclaiming of community as its primary aim. CED concentrates on the development of community organizations, which enable minority or low-income groups to pool their resources and talents to create community ownership, jobs, training and income for community members.

Community Economic Development strives:

  • To be inclusive of marginalized groups and individuals who are often excluded from participating fully in the economy.
  • To undertake economic development in a manner that is in keeping with community culture and values;
  • To combine the development of an "enterprising culture", based on a philosophy of self-reliance, creativity, and innovation, with a belief in, and commitment to, cooperation, equity, and equal opportunity.
  • To develop community capacity, skills and resources;
  • To ensure that social and economic resources remain in the community.
  • To promote local ownership, community control over capital and resources, and local reinvestment to guarantee long term development.
  • Develop enterprises that meet multiple bottom lines - economic efficiency as well as enhanced social and environmental conditions, and healthier communities.

Central to each of these objectives is the belief that community representation in, and control of, the economic development process will result in greater ultimate benefits than a strategy, which lacks community involvement. Only with such a community focus will the jobs and opportunities offered by economic development be advantageous to both the workers and the residents. Profits generated or assets acquired by the Community Economic Development Organization (CEDO) is then used for further development of programs, training, job creation and employment development initiatives in the core neighborhoods.

Although city core communities face many challenges, a community economic development approach has the potential to build healthier communities - where people regain some measure of control over their day-to-day lives and where human and local needs take precedence over distant and corporate needs.

Last Updated ( Saturday, 03 February 2007 )
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