Mapping the Social Economy in British Columbia and Alberta: Trends, Patterns, New Directions
Paper presented at the Second Annual Conference of the Association for Nonprofit and Social Economy Research May 27-29, 2009, Carleton University, Ottawa, Ontario
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The BC-Alberta Social Economy Research Alliance (BALTA) is collecting information on the scope and scale of the social economy in British Columbia and Alberta. As part of this research endeavor, the BALTA Mapping project conducted an online survey in 2008. This paper provides a first snapshot of the social economy in British Columbia and Alberta based on information collected with the BALTA mapping online survey. It reflects on research decisions and identifies some challenges in surveying the sector. While the mapping project is ongoing, data collected so far illustrate the diversity of the sector and underline its importance for individuals, communities and the economy. The paper sets out some preliminary patterns and provides analysis of the role of the sector as it impacts gender and minorities, its engagement with market practices and the emergence of the environment and sustainability as a social economy mission and practice.