Diversity, Equity and Inclusion 

DEI at LearnSphere

LearnSphere exists to help organizations prosper, building their capacity with relevant skills, knowledge and tools. 

We are committed to diversity, equity and inclusion in all facets of our work. We recognize that businesses and non-profits flourish when they embrace varying perspectives and experiences.  We also recognize that economies and communities are strengthened when all people are enabled and empowered to start and run successful organizations.   

We are proud to offer programming designed to support businesses led by Indigenous peoples, women, LGBTQ2S+, newcomers to Canada, and members of official language minority communities, among other under-represented groups. 

We have developed numerous programs focusing on equity deserving groups such as:

  • Direct support for women entrepreneurs since 2000 through our business management capacity development program, ProfitLearn
  • Supporting the success of women and girls through vocational and technical training in Cameroon
  • Building capacity in New Brunswick’s Immigrant Serving Agencies to more effectively serve newcomers and measure their results
  • Increasing awareness and education around workspace sexual harassment with a focus on LGBTQ2S+

Want to know more?  Here are some examples …

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ProfitLearn and Training for the Non-Profit Sector (TNPS)

Building capacity of businesses and non-profits among equity-deserving groups  

ProfitLearn and TNPS deliver capacity development for small and medium size enterprises and non-profits.  While the programs themselves are designed to meet the needs of all small and medium sized enterprises or non-profits, we frequently work with partners to deliver these two programs to meet the learning needs within specific equity-deserving groups.  For example, we have delivered business skills training for women entrepreneurs in partnership with Women in Business NB and business start-up incubators / accelerators for Indigenous entrepreneurs in partnership with the Joint Economic Development Initiative (JEDI).

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Women on Boards Workshop Series

Empowering women to become effective board members 

With the goal of increasing the level of women’s participation in both for-profit and non-profit boards, LearnSphere offered a workshop series in partnership with the New Brunswick Association of CBDCs, and the Women’s Equality Branch of the New Brunswick government. 

Designed by women for women, and facilitated by three of LearnSphere’s female associates with extensive expertise and first-hand experience on boards, the series offered relevant content and practical tools over a span of three years. 

A total of 428 participants took part in 25 offerings of the workshops to learn the fundamentals of what to know about joining a board, what is expected once you become a board member, and how serving can positively impact a women’s career and community.  Funding was provided by the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) and the Province of New Brunswick through the Training for the Non-Profit Sector Program. 

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Accent™ Program

Supporting access to services among official language minority communities  

Working with ACOA NB, we developed innovative training aimed at helping small and medium sized businesses in NB understand the benefits of serving their customers in both official languages.  During delivery of this program in 2011-2013 we helped businesses understand the benefits of active offer.  We also provided tools and resources, making it easier for SMEs to meet the needs of the minority language community in their region. 

In 2017-2018 we delivered similar programming for Employment Centres across NS, to help ensure that all Nova Scotians have access to employment support, in the official language of their choice. 

We have further tailored the program, and are currently offering it to over 700 managers in the Horizon Health Network (2021-2023).  This most recent version of the program will help ensure that all patients can access their health care services in the official language of their choice. 

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Supply Chain 1-2-3

Supporting SMEs from equity-deserving groups to sell into complex supply chains 

Designed to help SMEs learn how to sell into large, complex supply chains, our highly reviewed Supply Chain 1-2-3 program is aimed at growth-oriented small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

Through classroom learning and one-on-one coaching, it gives businesses the skills and tools to become a trusted supplier in a specific sector. Each program closes with the popular “Meet the Buyer” event, where participants meet first-hand with buyers within the sector.

The program received high praise from initial participants in British Columbia, Quebec and the four Atlantic provinces.

In early March 2020, LearnSphere’s energy sector experts delivered the program in St. John’s NL, for Indigenous SMEs and First Nations in the Atlantic region, and saw 15 Indigenous businesses and organizations participate. 

In 2022 to 2025 the program is expanding to all parts of Canada, including the territories. Additional content and new sectors will be introduced under the expansion, and LearnSphere will focus on increasing participation among businesses led by equity deserving groups including women, Indigenous people, newcomers, among others.

At a glance …

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