Strengthening Local Economies


Economic growth alone is no longer a viable indicator of progress.  Achieving more equitable wellbeing, and increasing citizens’ ability and access to engage in sustainable livelihoods is a more meaningful measure of a society’s economic success.

Economies begin at the local level where people work and live. Economies are part of culture, they are shaped by what we do and value and what we aspire to.  Inclusive economies work towards reducing inequity among citizens and allocating resources to improving human wellbeing and creating sustainable prosperity.

The Coady Institute promotes approaches to  strengthening local economies by making them more inclusive. The Institute accomplishes this through education programs that promote women’s economic empowerment, community-based microfinance and livelihoods and market strategies that enable local economies to gain greater input into, and benefits from, local production. The Institute also works with local partners on the ground to develop, test, and share innovations that can strengthen local economies around the world. These innovations continuously feed into new curriculum for our education programs.

Citizen-Led Sustainable Change


Over 150 community development practitioners, policymakers, researchers and funders from the U.S. and Canada met to share insights and explore 11 case studies of successful citizen-led and community-driven developments in both countries during a major forum hosted by StFX’s Extension Department and the Coady International Institute.

The forum, entitled Citizen-Led Sustainable Change: Innovations in North American Community Development, took place June 23-25, 2013 at StFX’s Gerald Schwartz School of Business and the Coady Institute.

Case study authors and community leaders gathered to share best practices among a wide range of development practitioners, researchers and policymakers from across North America, along with intermediaries and funders who support community-driven social and economic innovations.

For more information on the case studies, please click here.