Increasing employment opportunities for youth in underserved communities

The Prince’s Canadian Responsible Business Network

Tackling youth unemployment by closing the gap between business and community

The Prince’s Canadian Responsible Business Network (PCRBN) is the largest of PCC’s programs. It engages business leaders in developing and implementing initiatives to help Canada’s most disadvantaged youth get employment opportunities and pre-employment training.

We use our power as a catalyst and convenor to create innovative business and community collaborations that address youth unemployment.  Business expertise is combined with community know-how for a strong collective impact.

PCRBN has worked with more than 2,000 jobless youth, almost 600 business volunteers, and dozens of community agency staff.



“…my Seeing is Believing programme challenges Canadian CEOs to roll up their sleeves and use their business and leadership skills to help disadvantaged young people get jobs in some of the hardest-to-reach communities.”

His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales

Our signature programs: Generating employment income for youth

Skills training and work experience: A two- to six-week program that offers personal and workplace skills training, as well as workplace experience. Businesses are engaged up front and make a commitment to hire a minimum of 50% of the youth. Active and early engagement of business is the key to lowering the perceived risk in hiring jobless youth.
Watch program video

An on-line employment platform: We’re piloting an employment platform that builds on character-based hiring practices. Smart algorithms behind the platform ensure that employers are clearly communicating the skills and qualifications they require while at the same time ensuring that the qualities and character of the youth shines through.

A youth entrepreneurship initiative: Many jobless youth in underserved neighbourhoods, including First Nations communities, are emerging or aspiring entrepreneurs, but existing programs don’t always reach them. We are building a training and support program for youth seeking to build their own business or social enterprise; as well as working to create stronger links between businesses and community-based enterprises.



Youth Entrepreneurship Launchpad

Youth Entrepreneurship Launchpad is a pilot project created by PCRBN that helps young people facing barriers to traditional employment learn more about entrepreneurship and starting a business.  The program is designed to encourage participation amongst youth who face multiple barriers to employment including police records, homelessness, trauma and racial and cultural stigma.

Entrepreneurship can provide an appealing alternative means of employment to this resilient and often resourceful group.  Participants have the opportunity to use and enhance their leadership skills, build their confidence and learn about entrepreneurship through interactive and dynamic workshops designed to accommodate different learning styles and literacy levels.

Business leaders and entrepreneurs from various backgrounds act as mentors, provide the opportunity for networking and help participants build on new or existing business ideas.

Success Story

Joanne moved to Canada in 2015 from China. Although she had a post-secondary education and Canadian college degree, she was continuously rejected from jobs due to a lack of Canadian work experience. The practical training and work experience offered by PCRBN’s ‘Get Into’ program was the perfect solution. After graduation, Joanne received a job offer from Loblaws, jumpstarting her career in business administration.

I am very happy that YES, Princes Charities and Loblaws gave us this opportunity. Usually what happens when you apply for a job, your resume just gets stacked up; and you don’t really get an opportunity. I feel really lucky that I’m in a place right now where Loblaws has given us an opportunity to actually experience working in the company.” – Joanne

PCRBN’s work focuses on helping NEET youth (not in employment, education or training), aboriginal youth and youth with criminal records get the skills and experience necessary to secure sustainable employment.

The network was founded in May of 2014 by four national businesses – George Weston Limited, KPMG, RBC Royal Bank and Scotiabank. In January of 2015, Birch Hill Equity Partners joined as the fifth national business. Since then, more than three dozen other businesses have joined in the work of PCRBN.

Founding partners

ScotiabankRBCKPMGBirch Hill EquityGeorge Weston Limited

Additional supporters

CIBCPricewaterhouseCoopersThe Winnipeg Foundation