Social innovations in Ontario: An analysis of self help groups,

cooperatives, diaspora businesses and social enterprises

among African-Canadians and racialized people


A five-year project funded by the Ontario Ministry of Research, Innovation and Science for the Early Researcher Award (2018-2022).
This research project examines the role of the social economy–comprised of community organizations and socially conscientious businesses that support societal well-being–among racialized Canadians and racialized people in the GTA, London and Oshawa. The project documents how racialized people, especially women, are excluded from economic development programs (e.g., those created to support Impact Ontario) and how people cope with exclusion by relying on local social economies. 


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Tewodros Asfaw

Tewodros is currently a PhD student at York University. He completed his BA and MA at University of Windsor. His past research involved food security, in theorizing hunger and in constitutional discourse on hunger. In 2018, joined Dr. Hossein as an RA. This work involved analyzing and understanding the three thousand years old political economy of Ethiopia.


Semhar Berhe

Semhar is currently in her last year of the Business and Society program at York University. For the 2017/2018 academic year Semhar was part of The UMosaic Fellowship where she was part of creating a social initiative that is currently being marketed. She has also been awarded an international scholarship that will take her studies abroad starting Fall 2018. Her interest lies in public policy and the how this impacts society as a whole, with this interest she has plans to pursue her Master's and JD Law degree

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Nicholas Goberdhan

Nicholas is currently a fourth-year undergraduate student at York University. He is doing an honors double major BA in Law and Society & Health and Society. This fall, he will be returning to York University to do his Masters Degree in Socio-Legal Studies. 


Ola Osman

Ola is currently a fourth year undergraduate student at Western University’s Department of Women’s Studies and Feminist Research. She will be headed to complete a Masters in Women’s Studies at Oxford University in the fall. She is invested in documenting the lives of Black women who organize for peace trans-nationally. Her undergraduate thesis examined the Black maternal familiarity with death and the mobilizing capacity of performative mourning. Her graduate thesis will focus on Liberian female ex-combatants’ experiences of reintegrating in the post-conflict era.