Social enterprises across Canada create community capital by supporting immigrants and newcomers

Mar 30th, 2022

Certified Social Enterprise MOSAIC Engage

One in four workers in Canada are immigrants, contributing to Canada’s growing labour force, local economies, and community wealth.[1] These numbers are expected to increase steadily in the coming years, as is the need for more services to support them. How can we play our part in creating a more equitable, inclusive, and just society for immigrant and newcomer communities?

We can support businesses employing and training immigrants and newcomers like MOSAIC Engage, a Buy Social Canada Certified Social Enterprise with the mission to enrich the life of immigrants and newcomers by assisting them in their successful integration into Canadian society through language services, employment skills workshops and cultural trainings.

MOSAIC Engage helps organizations create more inclusive and equitable workspaces for immigrants by offering diversity and inclusion services through their Centre for Diversity. Since the launch of their centre, they have helped train 500 employees in more than 20 organizations and have offered language testing services and classes to 6,000 immigrants from 80 countries.

After many ups and downs, I came to Canada and am living in Vancouver now. However, living wasn’t easy at first, but I was connected to MOSAIC which led me to learn more about the language and lifestyle in Canada. I am so thankful to MOSAIC, and I decided to write my next book about moving to Canada and learning from this amazing organization which is helping refugees and immigrants. “This is my home” is the title of the book and it’s a small contribution to Canada’s large community.

MOSAIC Graduate

MOSAIC Engage is one of several Certified Social Enterprises across the country supporting immigrants and newcomers.

Flavours of Hope is a social enterprise in Vancouver who supports and empowers newcomer and refugee women to earn a livable income and make connections and community through food, cooking and storytelling. They are creating spaces and a sense of community where women can equip and empower one another through sharing knowledge, tools and resources and removing the systemic barriers they face as immigrants and newcomers. 

In Winnipeg, The Cutting Edge provides opportunities to newcomer women by teaching them sewing skills and helping them to launch their careers as sewing machine operators. The Cutting Edge ensures that all their operators are provided a fair wage and work closely with several Canadian manufacturers hiring newcomer women. In addition to providing specialized sewing skills training, The Cutting Edge offers newcomer women English lessons and other skills needed to enter the Canadian workforce.

RivInt has been training and employing newcomer women and immigrants for more than 20 years in Toronto. They offer interpretation and translation services in 110 languages and have trained and tested 800 newcomer and immigrant women, providing them meaningful and safe employment. All of RivInt’s profits are reinvested back into funding current and future supports and training, including providing settlement, employment, and mental health counselling services.

The future of business must centre on the creation of community capital, the foundation of healthy communities. One of the most impactful ways to do that is to work with Certified Social Enterprises, businesses that embed a social, cultural or environmental purpose into their operations and reinvest the majority of profits back to their mission.

Learn more about how Buy Social Canada supports social enterprises, and if you are a social enterprise looking to grow and expand your market opportunities, visit our Social Enterprise Certification page.

To connect with or buy from a social enterprise near you, check out the Certified Social Enterprise Directory.

[1] The Canadian Immigrant Labour Market: Recent Trends from 2006 to 2017

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