Low Income Entrepreneur Needs Assessment

In 2017 LEDlab worked with an Advisory Committee of low-income entrepreneurs and nonprofits that support entrepreneurship to run a ‘listening project’ to better understand the needs and opportunities for micro-enterprise in the DTES.

The project was initiated as a priority of the City of Vancouver’s Community Economic Development (CED) Strategy. Self-employment and entrepreneurship offer a real alternative that can provide flexibility to people facing barriers to stability, while increasing their economic independence. Therefore, the purpose of the low-income entrepreneur needs assessment project was to answer the question – how might we legitimize and support entrepreneurship in order to increase the personal incomes of DTES residents? What new community projects, resources, or policy changes could help achieve these goals?

The listening project completed in June 2017 and a final report summarized the key findings. The report provides an overview of our engagement process, key findings, solutions proposed by low-income entrepreneurs, as well as recommendations and next steps in being able to respond to the challenges and opportunities that were identified.

We are keen to move forward on next steps with our community partners and to have a LEDlab graduate student project coordinator start in the fall to support initiatives.

Have a look through the report to learn more about the project!