Jesse Willicome, Community Initiatives Consultant, Creston & Regional District of Central Kootenays Area B & C 

Not for the faint of heart or those who don't want to get their hands dirty. This is the real deal: instructors with working experience, an inspiring professional cohort, and a curriculum grounded in the real world! An amazing program for local change-makers seeking cutting edge ideas and practical tools to built resilient communities across Canada and the world. 

Grady Hamilton, Entrepreneur

The SFU CED program provides students with the opportunity to learn through graduate style adult education, encompassing an incredible network of like-minded CED practitioners and future leaders, and the best instructors. More importantly, the program provides a space to apply the CED learnings to the project or business you are looking to develop and bring your dreams to fruition. Education meets functional practice in this world class program.

Molly Ware, Leadership Team & IDEA Lab at IDEA Institute at Western Washington University

The SFU CED program inspired me and helped me to take practical strides towards creating new possibilities for my work. The program and the people in it helped me find greater courage and trust in myself. I am incredibly grateful for the quality of instructors, for the connections & inspiring examples of social enterprise & community economic development, and for the program. I would do it again in a heartbeat.

Victoria LaineWhole Food Nutrition

The CED program helped me understand other worldviews, and to discover my own. It helped me to develop more confidence in storytelling, networking, and presenting. It gave me a better historical context for understanding economics: what is not working, what has worked, where we can go from here. It gave me an overview of community development concepts, and some specific tools to incorporate into the work I presently do. I'm truly grateful for the opportunity to become a part of this community. It was 8 months of discovery and learning from shakers-and-movers, our amazing teachers and cohort! Thank you!


Matt Smedley, Executive Director, Mission Possible

As someone who spends my days in the social enterprise domain, the CED program allowed me to engaged with the multi-faceted aspects of economic development. It expanded my own imagination of what is possible when working with people who are determined to create a better world.

Hugh Moore, Community and Economic Development Officer, Tobacco Plains Band 

In a world filled with learning opportunities and academic choices SFU CED talks the talk and walks the walk - the program is designed, led, and taught by people who are doing the work, on the front line every day. Theory is easy, it is in reality where the magic lives.

Jessica Vergata(Pre)serve Food Skills

SFU's CED certificate program is driving the conversation around triple-bottom-line, ethical business forward in Canada. Not just a handbook of ideas, the program pushes participants to grapple with the practice and implications of real change-making. This is the stuff of making leaders.

Racheal Weymer, Project Manager, Ecotrust Canada

The SFU CED program provides a wide array of CED content via inspiring and interesting speakers. The connections you make are invaluable. I came away with a deeper understanding and a better way of communicating the work that I do.

Donna McBrideMomentum

The CED program provided the foundation and acted as a catalyst for me to launch a social venture. And now I have a supportive community of like-minded people that can support me in my journey. Thank you SFU!

Gina Nagano, Justice Coordinator, Kwanlin Dün First Nation

I am so inspired, very confident that I now have the ability and new skills to work in communities to enhance capacity building and community economic development in harmony with our natural resources to benefit everyone and generations to come!

Jessica Hill, Independent Consulting, Oneida Nation of the Thames

I came to the program because of my desire to find a new way of making economics relevant to First Nations' communities because nothing has seemed to really work that both reaches the community and engages them. I found a way to do that here.

Eric BurtonFactor 5 Consulting

The SFU CED program charts a path forward for economic vitality that enriches the lives of people by creating convergence between economic, social, environmental, cultural and political factors.

Heather FeenstraEarth Matters ECO Store

The Certificate in Community Economic Development for Professionals has allowed me to take my self more seriously as a professional by being more able to contribute valuable skills and useful, up to date tools at the social enterprise where I work.

Chris DiplockVancouver Tool Lending Library

Participating in the Community Economic Development program has been an absolute privilege and receiving the bursary allowed me to do so. The program has given me the confidence to go out into my community and create change.

John Waldo, Spice Management Group

I can’t begin to tell you how much I enjoyed the program. It opened my mind and opportunities. The program was an amazing catalyst!

Miriam Bankey, Calgary Urban Project Society

The program provides a toolkit of language, a way to deliver these new ideas without all the jargon. It also gave me the affirmation that I'm not alone, that I'm not the only one looking at my community and knowing it can be better.

Garth StillerWestern Economic Diversification Canada

It’s not only the learning – it’s the synergies & networks that are created add value to the program.

Bonnie Heilman, Director, Kinship Community Development

The effectiveness of the Social Innovation Challenge was incredible. I've been to conferences where we talk a lot and go in circles, but not here. This is how I want to always work. And the best part of this program is that everything you do here can be brought back to your own community.

Corinne BurnsTown of Cochrane, Regional Delivery Partner 2008-2009.

This CED program provides skills that form the ‘glue’ between non-for-profit organizations, economic development and the business world.  Participants have gained an understanding about how all disciplines are interconnected and that without these connections, communities cannot be balanced, healthy and vibrant.  For many of us, this program has been life-changing and has given us the language we need to get our messages across.

Dani DeBoice, Director, Corporate Citizenship, First Calgary Financial

"The Community Economic Development certificate program was an integral step for me to understand a new way of thinking, a new landscape and a new ecosystem in which commerce and community can come together to achieve social change. As a past participant, my learnings provided me with the tools and the knowledge to start to reframe the way our credit union approaches our work within the community."

Michelle Eggli, Communications and Program coordinator, enterprising non-profits program

I loved every second of the program. I was expecting to leave with a deeper understanding of CED, and I did, but more importantly I connected with my fellow students and have been inspired by their passion and enthusiasm for making a difference in their communities. 

Kelly Starling, Director of Economic Development, Brazeau County

The SFU Program gave me a deeper understanding of the role of Economic Development in Sustainable Community Development. I now know that you cannot have one without the other.

Dawn Smith, Island Village Builders Cooperative 

The CED program has greatly impacted me as a leader and small business owner working in my community. It’s given me the tools, experience and contacts I need to support our thriving community of natural builders working on Vancouver Island. It’s so important that this kind of education is made available to grassroots young leaders like myself. We have the inspiration and the energy to make things happen - we just need the right amount of support and tools to launch us on our way.

Barry O'Neill, Former President, CUPE BC, and founder of the Ten Percent Shift

The SFU Community Economic Development Program is the most important thing any university is doing in British Columbia, and it’s crucial that this program be made available nationally. In my speaking tour across Canada this is the thing that everyone wants.

Richard Wright, Economic Development Manager, Gitanmaax Band

The magnitude of the SFU CED Program is truly an eye opener for me. I know now with certainty that restructuring our economic development office to undertake CED was the right thing to do.

David Kalinchuk, Economic Development Manager, Rocky View, Alberta

The Program’s broad-based, grassroots approach to community economic development is extremely valuable, surprisingly innovative, and completely refreshing. Every economic development professional should take the SFU-CED Program!

Sharon Anderchek, Business Loans Advisor, Community Futures Sunshine Coast

The SFU CED program was incredibly stimulating. The exercises took me out of my comfort zone on numerous occasions and this is a good thing! I feel great after accomplishing something new. The trainers are wonderful. This program is at the cutting edge of new ways of looking at the world and how we move our communities forward.

Wes Regan, Executive Director, Hastings Crossing Business Improvement Association

The SFU CED program is a truly powerful space for all of us to connect, learn and build community within our growing professional network. I am happy to be counted among other alumni whom I've known and had the pleasure of working with throughout the years, and others I know by reputation or familiarity with their work. I've learned a tremendous amount, not just about Community Economic Development, but about me and about how I can play the most effective role contributing to CED in my community.

Jenn DolenMisty Isles Economic Development Society

The Community Economic Development Certificate Program was an amazing program. I was looking for a program that would give me hands on knowledge in the industry and it delivered just that.  It also had the added benefit of networking with colleagues around Northern BC.

Jennifer Zickerman, Proprietor, Field to Fork Herbs

Many organizations and individuals talk CED. I now know how to walk the talk.

Tabitha McLoughlin, Executive Director, Coquitlam Farmers Market

A great class once again! I am so glad I decided to take this program. It has really helped me gain a better understanding of the work that I am involved in and also given me a way to focus what I do now and in the future.

Kelly Bowman, Economic Development Intern, City of Penticton

This program is for people that recognize that something in our economy isn’t working. If you’re interested in exploring strategies and tools for successful thriving communities, this program is for you.


Lauren Warbeck, Our Community Bikes

This program enhanced and developed my thinking about community development work in ways I couldn't have imagined. I've developed tonnes of resources, made great contacts, learned powerful skills and gained a lot of confidence in my abilities. If you're a grassroots organizer who wants to amplify your capacity to do effective work, seriously consider enrolling in the SFU Certificate Program for Community Economic Development!

Tamara Vrooman, CEO, Vancity Credit Union

This training equips professionals and community leaders alike with vital skills and knowledge to effectively integrate social, economic and environmental concerns into pragmatic strategies which are not only more sustainable, but improve the well-being of all citizens.

Jocelyn Carver, Marketing Manager, Kootenay Country Store Cooperative

The bottom line for me is that I’m incredibly grateful and very inspired by the program.  I now see absolutely no reason why community economic development should not become the normative state!

Oleene Herman, Executive Director, Community Futures North Fraser

The courses centre on current community issues affecting every community, including Affordable Housing, Social Enterprise and Sustainable Development and they are relevant to the work of the Community Futures network.

Ray Gerow, CEO, Heiltsuk Economic Development Corporation

The CED courses at SFU have proven to be an invaluable asset for my staff who have participated. They not only get instruction from highly qualified instructors but, in most cases, from instructors who are still working at the grass roots level in CED.

Susan Flowers, Social Planning Manager, Town of Cochrane

We had three staff in the class and have 3 new programs.  We started a social venture involving donated renovation materials, an Artisan market with a Community Kitchen and co-created a new senior's centre. 


Maureen LeBourdais, Senior Program Manager, Fraser Basin Council

Coming to Vancouver eight times took lots of time, energy, and money, but it was worth it, because of the opportunity to learn about applied Community Economic Development.

Robert Wilmot, Manager, Broadway Youth Resource Centre

I’ve had the opportunity to use the information I gleaned into practice and observe the outcomes, and that has been very gratifying. I have recommended the program to colleagues.