Low Income Entrepreneur Needs Assessment

The Low-income Entrepreneur Needs Assessment (LENA) project is a priority action of the newly adopted DTES Community Economic Development Strategy. This project was recommended by members of the Community Economic Development Strategic Action Committee and Urban Core. Members from the two groups will make up an advisory committee for this project, along with residents of the DTES who are themselves low income entrepreneurs. The Local Economic Development Lab is hosting this project in it’s early incubation phase, dedicating staff resources to bring this idea to fruition.

The scope of this project is to conduct a 24-week user discovery and needs assessment in order to inform what additional value could be created for the self-employed and micro-entrepreneurs living in the DTES.

LEDlab Project Coordinator, Nicole Luongo and Community Outreach Coordinator, Davin Boutang, will:

  • Map existing clusters of self-employment in the DTES (on a spectrum from informal to formal)
  • Conduct informal one on one and group interviews
  • Determine what needs different groups might have in order to improve their incomes, businesses, find success and legitimacy, etc.
  • Prototype potential solutions to address identified needs through small, informal experiments (e.g. business cards, collective marketing, vending in specific locations)
  • Conduct secondary research on existing comparable initiatives from outside Vancouver
  • Draft a report on findings, including recommendations for next steps and associated policy innovation