Cultivate Inclusivity

Connecting employment agencies with employers to uplift individuals that face barriers to employment




Beedie School of Business


Civic Innovation Change Lab


  • Timothy Ames
  • Alia Sunderji
  • Tara Mahoney

City of Vancouver:

  • Brad Badelt

Student Team:

  • Bradley Sarandi
  • Yoonji Choi


  • Resilient Vancouver

Community Partners:

  • Krista Loewen | Vancity


Spring 2020


Cultivate Inclusivity supports communities by connecting employment agencies with employers to uplift individuals that face barriers to employment. Our online platform is designed to be a catalyst that helps Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside community members reach their goals and fulfill their future job potential/hire-ability. It provides individuals facing barriers to employment with an option to gain supplementary income on their terms and fits their schedule through the work of “micro-jobs”.

Through interviews with over 15 Downtown Eastside Organizations and Individuals with lived experience, we discovered a disconnect between employers, employment agencies and community members.

For Employers like Potluck Cafe: there is a lack of resources to hire individuals with barriers to stability and inconsistent labour needs. For community members, full-time work does not fit their needs or schedule and can be a high barrier, even once obtaining the employment. Part-time/gig work is not easily obtainable. An ethical substance use navigator with Vancouver’s network of Drug Users gave meaningful insights in our early development. We learned that one major issue is the misunderstanding of the value of workers’ time and that relationships with individuals are especially important. Flexible work that considers workers other commitments is pivotal for retention. For employment agencies: most work that individuals are being connected to is on a full-time basis and jobs are not as supportive as they could be. Current provincial resources used have a wide variety of systemic process issues, agency employees often find themselves hitting walls when connecting individuals to work that fits their needs. A usable platform that is easy to connect individuals that have been through their programs has been a specific need for agencies such as Embers Eastside works.



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