What does “Social Exclusion and Business in the Global South” have to do with 25 York students and 8 business owners from the GTA?

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On Wednesday, October 14, Dr. Caroline Shenaz Hossein, professor in the Department of Social Science, Business and Society (BUSO) program, along with the York-TD Community Engagement Centre (CEC), hosted a panel discussion on this topic at the CEC, York’s satellite campus at Jane and Finch. Nathan Stern and Lorna Schwartzentruber of the CEC provided a research orientation to the students prior to embarking on this assignment with local business owners.

As part of this third year course, a panel discussion was held on social exclusion in the Canadian marketplace with Canadian small business leaders. The small business owners shared their visions for enterprise development and how their businesses have a ‘double bottom line’ where they think about the profit motive as well as the social impact in communities. The panel guests included Noel Livingston and Jacqueline Dwyer of the Toronto Black Farmers and Growers Collective, Tanya Turton of NiaZamar, Trevor Fortune and Dwayne of eBiz Money Pool, Veronica Nnesa of Kuwala Inc., Stachen Frederick of Braids for AIDS Inc., and Tamika Johnson of Boss Magazine.

The business owners discussed key concepts such as access to credit; business development services, networks and mentors; poverty as oppression; culturally appropriate products; bias and exclusion in business and society; sustainable business and more. The business owners also examined alternative ways to counter-act exclusion in business.

York students self-selected the business they will carry out a project with over the course of the semester. This experiential learning opportunity allows for the students to reflect on business opportunities as well as the lived experiences of these business leaders who are passionately pursuing their vision, despite the impacts of social exclusion.

For more information on this course please contact Dr. Caroline Shenaz Hossein.