Evelyne Verrette

Evelyne Verrette

Evelyne Verrette is a second year International Political Economy student from Trois-Rivières, Quebec who is completing a second degree at Bishop’s. She worked with a Sherbrooke-based non-profit organization to enhance regional economic and social welfare initiatives and to identify programs and policies that can support these efforts.

Evelyne spent 10 weeks working with the Corporation de développement de l’entrepreneuriat collectif (CDEC) Sherbrooke. CDEC Sherbrooke promotes community, social and economic development by supporting social economy enterprises and mobilizing communities to develop innovative projects aimed at creating collective wealth and improving quality of life in the region.

Evelyne’s responsibilities during her internship allowed her to see how the organization functions out in the community as well as the work done behind the scenes to develop new programs and secure funding for them.

One such project was a needs assessment in which Evelyne worked on the collection, analysis and presentation of survey data for the not-for-profit and social economy sectors in Sherbrooke.

“The goal was to assess the needs of organizations in sharing resources to eventually create an economic structure that will help them access resources that they normally cannot access at all, or access them at a lower cost,” Evelyne explains. “To learn about these new types of economic models, and the social economy in general, was a great addition to my more traditional economic and business knowledge learned in the classroom.”

Evelyne also worked with her supervisor and local organization Commerce Sherbrooke to inaugurate a community fridge, called Frigo Free Go, in downtown Lennoxville. Community fridges combat food waste and food insecurity by providing users with unsold food collected from neighbouring restaurants and grocers. Managing most of the project’s implementation herself, Evelyne found this part of the internship particularly valuable and rewarding. She was able to build connections with another economic development organization in Sherbrooke as well as partners in the community, social economy and food sectors.

Despite working mostly remotely due to the pandemic, Evelyne was able to meet other young professionals and recent graduates working in community economic development (including a fellow Bishop’s graduate!).

At the end of her internship, Evelyne was hired on by CDEC Sherbrooke for the remainder of the year. She has been developing her entrepreneurship and data analysis skills further through work on a market survey for a project on food insecurity with the Pôle d’entrepreneuriat collectif de l’Estrie. Evelyne has also been coordinating another community-based initiative called the Café de reparation, the goal of which is to offer a repair service for items that might otherwise be thrown away.

Evelyne sees opportunities for more Bishop’s students to participate in local economic development initiatives, explaining that students from a variety of backgrounds can get involved. “I highly recommend a project like this to any student who is interested in project management, entrepreneurship, economics or sociology and who wants to use the power of innovative and collective projects to help find solutions to society’s problems,” she says.