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What is Community Economic Development?

Community Economic Development involves the local community taking charge of its economic future based on its own objectives and priorities. It is economic development of the community, by the community, and for the community, aimed at systemic revitalization and renewal. It is a long-term, inclusive and comprehensive planning and management process whereby communities take responsibility for influencing the economic aspects of their own future well-being.

It is long-term in that it emphasizes strategic planning, monitoring and evaluation of the achievement of community goals over a number of years. It is inclusive in that it involves all sectors of the community’s economy, builds partnerships and seeks participation by a wide range of groups with an interest or stake in the development process. It is comprehensive in that in integrates social, cultural, environmental and other dimensions of community life in addition to economic concerns such as income levels and jobs.

At the root of Community Economic Development is the development of human capital, businesses, institutions and other assets to develop individual and organizational capacity to purposefully influence and participate in the local economy. In other words, it is greatly accepted that Community Economic Development is a process rather than a product or end result.

Strategic planning is an organization’s process of defining its strategy or direction and making decisions on allocating its resources – financial, capital, human – to pursue this strategy.

Strategic Planning is used to:

  • Set priorities
  • Focus energy and resources
  • Strengthen operations
  • Assess and adjust direction in response to changes in the environment
  • Establish agreement around intended outcomes/results,
  • And ensure employees and other stakeholders are working toward common goals.

The strategic plan is a document used to communicate with the organization and its stakeholders the organization’s goals, the actions needed to achieve those goals and all of the other critical elements developed during the planning exercise.

An effective plan is a living document that is constantly being adapted to an ever-changing environment.


  • Emergency Succession Planning For Not for Profits
    • Focused on educational content and encouraging organizations to develop an Emergency Leadership Plan which provides an organization with a 3 - 12 month operating plan in the event of a sudden, temporary loss of its senior staff leader;
  • Renfrew County Local Food and Farming Forum, an Agricultural Value Chain Networking Event
    • Hosted in partnership with the Ottawa Valley Food Co-op, the Food Forum focused on engaging local food producers, distributors, retailers and other interested parties in order to build business alliances and further develop the local value chain and value-added business opportunities.
  • Powernoodle: Strategic Decision Making Tool
    • Training on the Powernoodle software platform in order to become a centre of influence and recognized leader with respect of organizational and community strategic planning, consensus building and decision making.
  • Pembroke Welcome Centre
    • Promoting tourism in Renfrew County
  • Grant Funding Opportunities
    • Information held for local businesses and organizations looking for opportunities for government funding programs to support their business.
  • Exporting to the US
    • Provided a working knowledge of the practical cross border aspects of doing business in the United States for companies in Renfrew County considering or presently engaging in exporting to the US.
  • Bridges to Better Business 2014
    • Hosted by Enterprise Renfrew County, Bridges to Better Business is a learning and networking opportunity packed with great ideas to help entrepreneurs succeed. The event provides entrepreneurs with the opportunity to develop valuable networking contacts and share innovative ideas with their peers.
  • Cultural Workers Gathering
    • A forum for discussing ways in which the Ottawa Valley Culture Initiative and the cultural framework for Renfrew County can be enhanced and strengthened to better represent the needs of organizations, communities and cultural workers in the county. Held in partnership with the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport.
  • Ontario Arts Council Cultural Information Sessions
    • Information series provided by Ontario Arts Council regarding types of programs available by the OAC, eligibility and application process. Followed by Community Forum regarding reinvigorating and celebrating the cultural sector in Renfrew County. Held in partnership with the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport.
  • BGSY Event
    • (Business, Government. Services and You) Business information and networking event highlighted topics Revisiting Relationship Marketing, an overview of economic benefits, successful collaboration and Building Your Relationship Marketing Plan.
  • Site Web Franco Comté Renfrew Marketing et le Journal francophone de l'ACFO Champlain
    • Supporting the French Community in Renfrew County as Francos Comté Renfrew redevelops a website and newsletter aimed at informing the businesses and services offered in French, bilingual jobs available, the various activities, training sessions and events in the region. Promotional tools such as posters and bookmarks were developed and distributed throughout Renfrew County to promote the Website.
  • Dîner-causerie femmes entrepreneures francophones
    • Francophone women were brought together to mark International Women's Day, while strengthening the sense of belonging to the Francophonie.
  • Women in Business 2015
    • Bringing together the women in Renfrew County for a full day event consisting of networking activities, morning workshop, and keynote speakers. Hosted by Enterprise Renfrew County.


  • Algonquin College Spring Business and Leadership Conference
    • In response to the County’s growing need for local, affordable, quality professional development opportunities, Algonquin College’s Pembroke Waterfront Campus and the Renfrew County Community Futures Development Corporation partnered to present this new conference opportunity.
  • Business Bistro
    • Series of networking sessions held by the County of Renfrew geared towards creative and artistic individuals, business operators and managers, entrepreneurs, community and political leaders, and software, engineering and technical innovators.
  • Succession Planning
    • Renfrew County has a higher aging population than urban Ontario and SMEs make up 98% of business in Renfrew County. There are only three things (sell, transfer ownership, or close) a business owner can do with their business and it is important they start planning in advance of that day. The Renfrew County CFDC and BDC hosted a series of presentations regarding Succession Planning aimed at business owners starting to consider what they will be doing with their business as they near the end of their working life.
  • Les 400 ans de francophonie en Ontario
    • On September 25, Francophone communities in Ontario celebrated the Day of the Franco- Ontariens. The celebrations this year also highlighted the 40th anniversary of the Franco- Ontarien flag and the 400th anniversary of French presence in Ontario. As part of the celebration, the Franco-Ontarian flag was raised at Riverside Park by Samuel de Champlain (played by Jacob Gilbert), as it was 400 years earlier. This project was identified by the francophone community as it serves to engage both youth and support francophone businesses to be proud of their heritage.
  • Economic Summit
    • This one-day business development event hosted by the County of Renfrew was attended by a wide and participative audience of business leaders, entrepreneurs, municipal councillors, Chambers of Commerce members, community economic development volunteers and municipal staff.
  • Selling Food to Ontario Forum
    • Developed for producers or small processors so they can access new market channels. Held in partnership with OMAFRA and the County of Renfrew, this all day session was designed to create new opportunities for the participant’s farm or food business as they learned how to expand into new markets such as restaurants, foodservice food retailers, institutions and other wholesale buyers.
  • Women in Business
    • An outstanding opportunity to recognize our women entrepreneurs and celebrate their contribution and achievements to Canada’s economic prosperity. They are one of the fastest growing segments of the Canadian economy and represent a growing economic force creating new businesses and new wealth at accelerating rates. This interactive program was designed to assist women in advancing their strategy toward strong and prosperous business with leadership lessons from the inside out. Hosted by Enterprise Renfrew County.
  • Festival of Outdoor Rinks
    • The Festival of Outdoor Rinks is a celebration of this unique part of our culture and tradition. The pilot year of the Festival had something for everyone in our area, with the ultimate goal of drawing new people to the outdoor rinks. With 26 rinks participating, it was a weekend to travel with skates or without, and take part in a free weekend worth of fun and activity to beat the winter blues.
  • BGSY Event
    • The Business, Government, Services and You event was held in partnership with Canada Business Ontario to develop business information and networking events with representatives from various federal, provincial and municipal government organizations. Presentations were made by Community Futures, Concierge Service, The Ministry of Labour, and the Canadian Intellectual Property Office.
  • Manufacturing Business Tours
    • Developed by the Renfrew Industrial Commission, this was a pilot project in Renfrew to bring out economic development professionals and town council to manufacturing plants located in Renfrew and the surrounding area. The goal of the project is to introduce the businesses by providing a history of the business, where the business is today, and where they are looking to be in the future.
  • Small Business Forum
    • Hosted by Enterprise Renfrew County, the Small Business Forum provided participants with a greater knowledge base on not only understanding their financial statements but using them effectively for better decision making, the virtual sales force, and getting more life out of your business.
  • Les 23es Jeux Franco-Ontariens
    • The Franco-Ontarian Games are the largest annual gathering of francophone youth in Ontario. Since 1994 roughly 800 young people from 99 French language high schools from all corners of the province have come together annually to celebrate their common identity. This unique event was conceived by a group of youth and continues to be organized by the Fédération de la jeunesse franco-ontarienne (FESFO) every year with the help of sponsors such as municipalities, local businesses and service groups. The Games are held in a different city each year, where the host city can receive the Games once and only once. This year the Games were held in Pembroke from the 20th to 23rd of May 2016.
  • Culture Talks
    • An initiative led by RCCFDC in partnership with the Ministry of Tourism Culture and Sport, to host a Culture Talks session in Renfrew County. The session was organized to create a unified, collaborative response to the MTCS’s first ever Cultural Strategy, launched in September 2015. The event provided an opportunity to bring together local cultural stakeholders, elected officials and municipal staff to discuss the status of culture in Renfrew County, as well provide an update on the status of the OVCC.


  • Heritage Designation for Municipalities
    • This series delivered essential information about the Heritage Conservation Tools available to Ontario Municipalities. This one day session provided sessions covering topics that will address the issues and questions municipalities have regarding heritage designations, while providing training in how to make effective decisions at the local level based on legislation. This was a very highly anticipated opportunity, as the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport rarely provides a workshop of this nature.
  • PARO
    • The CFDC in partnership with PARO are supporting women in Renfrew County by providing start-up or expansion micro grants and loans, business counselling, networking, training and peer support. PARO is primarily focused on delivering programs to enhance enterprise development and to provide for the creation and support of peer lending circles of women. The goal is to develop these local peer lending circles through information sessions, then provide support for the growth of local female entrepreneurs and their businesses.

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