Economic Development resources

Read our latest research on ways to move women out of poverty and into confidence.

Leading for Change: A Report on the Canadian Women's Foundation Leadership Institute Pilot Program 

In 2012, the Foundation partnered with St. Francis Xavier University’s Coady International Institute to launch the Canadian Women’s Foundation Leadership Institute as a three-year pilot program. The vision was a women’s leadership institute that supports emerging women leaders in Canada’s non-profit sector, and promotes a broader, more inclusive approach to leadership. This report summarizes the evaluation data gathered throughout the pilot program, highlighting the Institute’s approach, successes, and lessons learned. It also touches on the plans for the next phase of this unique, innovative, and much-needed women's leadership development program.

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Building a Stronger Future: Economic Development Evaluation Highlights, 2009-2014

Download as PDFThis highlights report summarizes the results of the Canadian Women’s Foundation’s Economic Development program evaluation from 2009-2014. During this five-year cycle, the Foundation invested about $6 million in an economic development strategy that aimed to help women living on low incomes to build sustainable livelihoods. Much of this investment went into 10 women-centred programs across Canada that reached more than 3,000 women. During this 5-year cycle, the Foundation also invested in two Aboriginal Partnership Grants. This report summarizes the Foundation’s approach, findings, successes, and learnings from all of these funded programs.

Beyond Survival: Helping Women Transition out of Poverty

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This report presents the results of the Canadian Women’s Foundation Economic Development Collaborative Fund. The Collaborative Fund was a five-year $4.8 million program that provided financial and technical support to ten community programs across Canada that helped low-income women transition out of poverty and build a sustainable livelihood. This report explains our approach, describes our research process, summarizes our findings, and analyzes the key lessons for practitioners, and the and implications for funders and policy-makers.

Practitioner resources
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Methodology report
Sustainable livelihoods backgrounder

The stages of transformation to sustainable livelihoods

The sustainable livelihoods framework

Map of expected outcomes

Learning and evaluation framework

Baseline data - All participants

Workshop outlines

Charting participant progress

Generic grantee work plan

Instructions and questions - Interview 1

Baseline data - Portrait participants

Instructions and questions - Interview 2

Economic Development Environmental Scan, November 2007

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This report, prepared for our Economic Development Planning Committee, summarizes trends that affect women’s economic development and presents statistics related to poverty and income, the labour market, government policies and demographics.

From Poverty to Empowerment

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This report, prepared for Canadian Women's Foundation and Canadian Women's Community Economic Development Council, explores the roles, needs, strengths, challenges and achievements of Community Economic Development programs and services for women in Canada.
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Inventory (Microsoft Access Database File)

Women in Transition out of Poverty: An asset-based approach to building sustainable livelihoodsDownload as PDF

A practical learning guide for community economic development practitioners.

Women in Transition Out of Poverty: A guide to effective practice in promoting sustainable livelihoods through enterprise development.Download as PDF

A practitioner’s guide to effective practice in achieving sustainable livelihoods through enterprise development.

A Consortium of Firsts

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An overview of the Women and Economic Development Consortium, a unique grant-making partnership led by the Canadian Women's Foundation, which resulted in the investment of over $2 million nationally to increase the participation of women in the economy.

Lessons Learned About Collaborative Grant-makingDownload as PDF

Our experience bringing together a group of donor partners to make collaborative grants through the Women and Economic Development Consortium.