Cross-sector economic development partnership in Montreal

Supporting growth from within

RESO (Regroupement Economique et social du Sud Ouest) is a community economic development corporation working since 1984 for economic & social revitalisation of Montreal’s Southwest following industrial decline in the 1960s – 90s. It is community-led but with private, trade union & public sector involvement. RESO’s objective is to create an economic, social and cultural future for residents in South West Montreal which is sustainable, equitable and ‘built on the ‘the commitment and consultation of the population and social and economic partners’.

Specifically, RESO aims to re-engage local people in their local economy particularly including the unemployed, potential entrepreneurs, local businesses, young adults, community organisations and social enterprises.

The services that RESO provide to these target groups includes:

  • human resource development & training,
  • technical assistance aimed at business retention
  • issues related to land use, development of infrastructure
  • representation, consultation & promotion relating to development in the area.

Key features of this approach for the UK context

  • RESO brings together all the partners for whom the local economy needs to work: not just business and public sector, but trade unions and civil society.
  • An emphasis on locally owned business as well as on local workforce: aiming to meet the needs of both through its support initiatives in a distinctive locally tailored way.
  • Having an explicitly socio-economic aim as its basis, rather than focusing purely on growth regardless of who benefits; using this as a way of targeting disadvantage and raising up the whole of the local area.
  • RESO builds bridges between social inclusion, labour, business owners, investors, procurers, achieving big impacts on not only on poverty and social exclusion but also on reversing historic economic decline.

To learn more

More information is available from the RESO Website.

Also see: Lewis, M. & Swinney, D. (2008) Social economy? Solidarity economy? Exploring the implications of conceptual nuance for acting in a volatile world. Centre for Community Enterprise, Canada.

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