While convinced of the value of social-economic projects to community preservation and development, Franco-Ontario's experience with them over the last 15 years has often been discouraging. The Development Wheel, a professional yet popular model for planning community enterprise, arrived at just the right time, especially in Niagara and Hearst. In these two regions the tool acted as a keen instrument for identifying local leadership, capacities, and strategies of social enterprise development.
"This 31-month project confirmed that social enterprise is becoming a more and more realistic option for many franco-Ontarian groups, communities, and organizations that want to do things differently. Proud of having met and even exceeded the objectives of this project, the francophone leadership commenced a process of strategic reflection in order to put in place a permanent system of support for social enterprises."
"The Development Wheel was successfully integrated into Niagara region's community economic development strategy. People have a better understanding of the nuts and bolts and methodology for success in social enterprise. The Development Wheel answered the concerns of the organizers and their partners while telling them more about the scale of the task at hand. I found it a flexible tool that I could adapt to different workshops and thereby connect with the target groups. That enabled me as a trainer and resource person to understand clearly the various roles of the partners and organizers and to confirm that people will succeed when they do their homework." (Léo Odette, Development Officer, RDÉE)