Episode 161: Entrepreneurship under the microscope

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These days we're hearing a lot of voices encouraging all of us to be entrepreneurs. And it's not just from Chamber of Commerce types these days. Even the progressive community is saying that we all need to create our own jobs.

On one hand, being self-sufficient is a good thing. But maybe not entirely. Today we're going to be looking at both sides of the entrepreneurial spirit and how it's practised. Especially in progressive circles where we're likely to hear words like "social enterprise."

Things have really changed from the days when everybody had a job that they went to, with job security, benefits, and good pay. We'll also hear how one union is trying to diversify and represent some of those entrepreneurs.

To celebrate this new entrepreneurship or not?  On this episode of rabble radio, we look at that from several different angles.

3:35 Imre Szeman is a member of Toronto's social enterprise community, The Centre for Social Innovation. He is also Canada Research Chair in Cultural Studies at University of Alberta.

Dr. Szeman has written an article with Dan Harvey in a recent edition of University Affairs questioning the recent zeal at university campuses for entrepreneurial education. Called "Are We All Entrepreneurs Now?", the article raises some of the same issues you just heard about in the interview we just did.

15:34  Datejie Green --  Canadian Media Guild. In the cultural industries we've always been entrepreneurs. Except for the people who are lucky enough to have a staff job at one of the big newspapers. Or TV stations. Or the CBC. Well, times are changing for everybody, as we see fewer and fewer people in the media and culture who used to be called "employees." With fewer and fewer employees to represent, the Canadian Media Guild is one trade union which is looking at ways to represent self employed workers in greater numbers. So, what good is a trade union to entrepreneurs with no job security, no collective bargaining?

25:25  Winnipeg Social Enterprise Centre -- And finally, despite all the questions we've raised in this program, we'd like to end by saying that there are a lot of great social enterprises and businesses happening across the country. What we're seeing is that starting a business isn't just something that people are doing for profits to benefit oneself and one's own family. And despite the questions raised in other parts of this program, we'd still like to recognize the good work and the good people who are doing this for the best of motives. And we want to acknowledge the success stories. Produced by the podcast The Green Planet Monitor, David Kattenburg, Executive Producer

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