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Abstract

This working paper is the Canadian component of the “International Comparative Social Enterprise Models”(ICSEM) project. The objective of this report is to examine social enterprises at the national level focusing on the context, models and institutions of social enterprises in Canada. The analysis shows regional difference in the historical development and conceptual understanding of social enterprises in Canada. The report finds that five main types of social enterprises emerge, which cut across the cultural and policy regimes in Canada: co-operatives, non-profit organizations, community development/interest organizations, First Nations businesses, and business with a social mission. Provincial government legislation and major enabling institutions (eg university institutions, social networks and movements, entrepreneurial spaces, and funding agencies) have a major influence on how we can understand the context and emergence of social enterprise models.