With Canada becoming the New World that beckons migrants seeking better opportunities in the past few years, there has been a need for the service of experts to guide immigrants about the reality of the Canadian society and on how to integrate into the North American country.
Victor Beausoleil has been one of the beacons that have been of help to the African Canadian community. Born and raised in Toronto, he has worked and volunteered in the broader equity seeking communities across Ontario for over ten years.
Aside from co-founding Redemption Reintegration Services, one of the largest youth-led, youth justice agencies in Canada, he has also worked with the Premiere of Ontario in 2013 as a member of the Premiere’s Council on Youth Opportunities (PCYO).
Among others engagements, he is presently director, board of Toronto Community Benefits Network, Board President, The Canadian Community Economic Development Network (CCEDnet) and a member of the loan review committee for the Fair Finance Fund.
According to him: “I have been supporting community development work in Ghana since I was twenty-one years old. I was the Co-Chair of the Manya Krobo Youth Coordinating Committee established by Nene Kwasi Kafele. My connection to Africa began at the age of nineteen when I co-founded African Educators of Toronto in 2003 with my wife and a few of my colleagues. We established the African Book Collaborative (ABC), which provided door-to-door service from our vehicles with books on the history, spirituality, politics and nations of Africa to our subscribed members.”
Africa Educators of Toronto has convened hundreds of workshops and lectures featuring prominent speakers from the global Pan-African community.
Victor Beausoleil is also Co-Founder and Executive Director, Social Economy Through Social Inclusion (SETSI), a forum that seeks economic development for the African Canadian community.
“My colleagues and I aim to ensure peoples of African descent in Canada are engaged as full citizens with political, and economic power and sovereignty,¨ he explained.
He expatiated further on how SETSI caters to its target community: “We facilitate an incubator and accelerator for African Canadian businesses and start-ups. We advocate for greater inclusion, diversity, equity and access within the social finance, social economy, and community economic development sectors within Canada. We also facilitate weekly capacity building webinars for community members seeking to scale innovation and cultivate greater impact in the entrepreneurial initiatives.”
As a social entrepreneur, he avowed that he derived satisfaction whenever he is successful at helping to scale a business to employ, partner or collaborate with African Canadian and subsequently generate revenue for families and or develop a product or service that changes lives.
“Nigeria, for example, has some of the most successful entrepreneurs and I want to add my expertise and experience to bridge the gap for some of those Nigerians that need just a bit of support to get funding or other assistance in order to get their business concepts to the stage of reality,” he stated.
Speaking with the benefit of his vast experience, Victor Beausoleil averred that what Nigerians and Africans need to do to make their countries better is simple: “Be the change you want to see in the world”—that is also his philosophy of life.
“I strive daily to be the best Husband, Father and community leader I can be,” he said.