The Power of Social Enterprise


Special Series: Twelve Canadians

Skills & Jobs North of the Tracks

By David Kattenburg

Most people pursue life, the well being of themselves and their families foremost in mind.

Now and then – in the heart of an inner city or rural community, on a factory floor, on a plot of land, out in the woods, on a mountain or river – someone follows their conscience, devoting their life to their community or the natural world around them; to something they think is right. Slowly but surely, they change the world.


North of the train tracks in prairie Canada’s gritty capital — Winnipeg’s Social Enterprise Center raises skills, creates jobs, and builds community.

Winnipeg’s Social Enterprise Center was founded in 2011 as a partnership between Pollock’s Hardware Co-op, Building Urban Industries for Local Development (BUILD), and Manitoba Green Retrofit (MGR). The wonderful space they’ve occupied at 765 Main Street — on the north side of the CN tracks — is filled with other groups like Lite (Local Investment Toward Employment)and the social enterprise Aki Energy.

Interested in community-driven economic development founded on training and job creation? Check these folks out.

Twelve Canadians is a multimedia series about women and men who’ve been devoting their lives to social, economic or environmental justice, and to the healthy development of Canadian communities and the world. Each episode examines a specific issue or situation, through the voices of people who’ve been active in that area. Lots more than just twelve. Thanks to the Social Justice Fund of the Canadian Autoworkers Union for their generous support. Thanks as well to CKUW, University of Winnipeg Radio, and to CFUV at the University of Victoria.

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