RADIUS & Future Skills Centre combine their energy to support newcomer-led innovation

We have worked with the Future Skills Centre (FSC) for a little while now. There is something about their appreciation of what it takes for innovation to flourish that has been truly supportive of our approach.

Last year, FSC was a major enabler of BUILD, our cohort-based program that brought together 13 racialized innovators looking to refine their model and impact. This year, we continue our efforts to support racialized innovators, but with a twist.

First, instead of offering a cohort-based program like BUILD, we’re offering an ongoing concierge service. What is a concierge service? In a nutshell, you reach out to us with questions on how to deepen or grow the social, economic, or environmental impact or sustainability of your innovation, and we connect you with the appropriate training, resource, human, or organization. We have been doing this for years now, but with FSC’s support, we can do more of it and better.

The second twist is targeted at other organizations or groups out there doing the work of supporting racialized newcomer businesses, cooperatives, movements, or non-profits. We have loved seeing from you this curiosity to know more about how to embed equity into innovation work. “Equity-centred” here describes a way to ground support services in the lived experiences of newcomers and in the redistribution of wealth, power, and stewardship to historically and persistently marginalized communities. So, with a healthy dose of humility, we’re creating a documentary sharing the tensions we experience at RADIUS when we try to centre equity in all we do. Our hope is for this documentary to become a resource that either inspires you to do something similar in your own organization, helps you decide it’s not for you at all (still, let’s chat), or maybe just starts a conversation with your peers.

In the grand scheme of support services for racialized newcomers, there remains a significant gap in services that account for racialized and newcomers’ lived realities and the navigation of financial opportunities that help them scale their initiatives. Further, the lack of safe and supportive spaces for racialized newcomer innovators is a pressing issue. Our work with FSC is part of our continued dedication to eliminating these gaps and providing comprehensive support.

For more information about our concierge service, please email us at concierge@radiussfu.com.

This service is part of the project Deepening & Sharing Equity-Centred Support for Racialized Newcomer Innovators funded by the Government of Canada’s Future Skills Centre.

The Future Skills Centre is a forward-thinking centre for research and collaboration dedicated to driving innovation in skills development so that everyone in Canada can be prepared for the future of work. We are funded by the Government of Canada’s Future Skills Program.

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