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CSI Network News: Pitch Better publishes the first national market study of Black women founders in Canada



Every Sunday, we curate solutions, stories, community events, jobs, and funding opportunities in our weekly newsletter. Here’s this week’s CSI Network News.

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Next Economy

ALT TEX Takes Home 1st Place Audience Choice Award at Our Earth Tech Pitch Night

On June 30, supporters from across Canada and beyond tuned in to meet the next generation of Canadian cleantech entrepreneurs helping to build the Next Economy. 

Sixteen startups from our 2021 Earth Tech cohort presented their work and progress to over 160 people.To make it interesting, we let the audience vote live on which five entrepreneurs would move to the final round, and, of those, which three would win a total of $10,000. 

FoundHers Report

The first and largest ever national market study of Black Women founders in Canada
WOSEN coach Amoye Henry’s firm, Pitch Better, just published the FoundHers Research Report. They surveyed 1500+ Black women founders to identify the cost of overlooking Black women, gaps in entrepreneurial support, and the regionality of Black women founders in Canada.

Stories from
the Network

These Women are Sharing What it Takes to Run an Internationally-Recognized Social Enterprise 

When Adrianna Couto and Erika Reyes met at CSI, they instantly felt an “incredible connection,” largely ignited by their passion for sustainability. Neither of them could have predicted that just a couple years later, they would join forces as co-founders of Inwit, a social enterprise working to make the takeout industry circular and zero waste. 

Julia Wakeling, outreach specialist for Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup, a conservation partnership of Ocean Wise and World Wildlife Fund Canada.

Single-use food packaging litter nearly doubled during COVID-19
For the first time in 27 years, volunteers reported finding masks and other personal protective equipment (PPE) on their cleanups, said CSI Member Ocean Wise, about their Shoreline Cleanup initiative.

Daniel Bida, director, ZooShare biogas, stands beside the new processing plant.

Biogas plant at Toronto Zoo turning zoo manure and food waste into power
After 11 years, CSI Alumni Zooshare brought their dream of a functioning, community-owned biogas plant to life! The plant, located right next to the Toronto Zoo (their energy source), has producing power since April 1.

It reached its 500-kilowatt capacity, enough to power 500 homes, on April 12. We are so proud to have supported them through a Catapult microloan, and to have seen them adopt our community bonds model to finance their work.

Just Be Woodsy

Local company turns Toronto’s dying trees into artisanal household items
Climate Ventures alumni Just Be Woodsy has a contract with the City of Toronto to give trees taken down in the core a new life, turning them into one-of-a-kind pieces. (P.S. We have a few in our Climate Ventures space in CSI Spadina!)

CSI Educates

Start your social entrepreneurship journey! Explore your purpose as a social entrepreneur, connect to a supportive community, build your business model, and map opportunities for impact.

Applications are now open for our final WOSEN Start cohort! Over 9 weeks, you’ll refine your social purpose idea, build a business model, and develop an action plan to help you move forward alongside a supportive group of early-stage women and gender non-binary entrepreneurs. Start your social impact journey with us!

CSI Connects

Ignite Your Career: Envision, Craft, And Collaborate, a 3-session series co-hosted by Challenge Factory and the Centre for Social Innovation.

Ignite Your Career: Envision, Craft, And Collaborate | 3 Session Series
Thursdays, July 15, July 29, August 12, 2:30 – 4:00 PM ET
Are you looking to make a stronger connection between the work you do and the world around you? Join CSI Member Challenge Factory for a three-part curriculum-based program designed for people just like you. You’ll envision the best, most audacious version of yourself and create a collaborative action plan to turn that into reality. Discounted tickets available for CSI Members!


Want to get your events on our events calendar? Find out what membership could look like for you!

Sixth Annual Community Innovation and Social Enterprise Conference

Community Innovation and Social Enterprise 6th Annual Conference
Thursday, July 8, 9:30 AM – 3:20 PM ET
Hear discussions about pandemic disruption, affordable housing, and local food security at this conference from CSI Member Cape Breton University.

Youth Impact Challenge Workshops: Writing Proposals and Developing a Prototype
Tuesday, July 6 and Friday, July 9, 5:00 PM ET
Get tips for writing proposals and learn the design basics when mocking up a product, like a website or mobile app in these two workshops from Youth Climate International.

Policy Matters: Hackathon

Policy Matters: Hackathon
July 10-11, 1:00 – 4:00 PM ET
Join CSI Member OCIC for a two-day hackathon: youth will have the opportunity to hear from sector experts on this topic and will spend the weekend working in teams to create policy recommendations based on various relevant case studies on these topics.

Virtual ProPride: Beyond Equity Towards Justice

Beyond Equity Towards Justice
Wednesday, July 14, 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM ET
Hear from a panel of community leaders and businesses about how to create a just working environment for LGBTQ2+ employees where they feel not only tolerated, but actively celebrated, in this Virtual ProPride event from CSI Member Pride at Work.

Woman entrepreneur putting a packing slip on a box.

Business Seminars from Enterprise Toronto
All Summer
Enterprise Toronto and its partners offer year-round learning opportunities for entrepreneurs and small business owners on topics like eCommerce, tax literacy, sales and marketing, and more!

It’s Up To Us

Green Thumbs Growing Kids Matching Campaign

Founding CSI Regent Park Member Green Thumbs Growing Kids is currently running a matching campaign out asking for support to help extend the contracts of summer students through the end of the summer and harvest season. Your donation will support youth jobs and ensure that their beautiful learning gardens are well-cared for, producing food, and free of weeds when teachers and students return in September.


Job Board

Want to post your opportunities to our job board? Find out what membership could look like for you!

Digital Marketing and Communications Coordinator | CSI (that’s us!)
Deadline: July 4 (TODAY)
Are you a great visual storyteller? A sharp copywriter? A data nerd? We’re looking for someone to help us strengthen our brand, increase our membership, and recruit ventures for our world-class programs.

BUILD Program Lead | Apathy is Boring
Deadline: July 5
This CSI Member is looking for someone to lead their new, national BUILD program.

Project Manager, WOSEN | Pillar Nonprofit Network
Deadline: July 12, 5:00 PM ET
Pillar is our partner in the Women of Ontario Social Enterprise Network (WOSEN). They’re seeking someone to support these programs.

Senior Policy AnalystManager of Strategic LitigationCaseworker and Housing Rights Educator | Centre for Equality Rights in Accommodation (CERA)
Deadline: July 19, 5:00 PM ET
This longtime CSI member is searching for folks passionate about rights in housing to fill three new positions on their team.

Bilingual Customer Help Desk Representative | TechSoup Canada
Deadline: Rolling
Our friends at TechSoup Canada are looking for someone to help their members request products and find relevant resources.


Go For It

Pow Wow Pitch is a pitch competition for Indigenous entrepreneurs across Turtle Island to shine the spotlight on pow wow vendors, artists, business builders and innovators from all backgrounds and industries, whether just starting or looking to grow to the next level. Participants may win cash prizes ranging from $500 to $25,000 CAD. Deadline: July 15

The Youth Impact Challenge is a competition for young innovators who have ideas that tackle environmental or social issues. Two winning teams will take home a grand prize of $10,000 to support their idea. Deadline: July 16

The Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) has opened up the second round of their Housing Supply Challenge. They’re looking for ideas to address existing barriers in the pre-development phase of building housing. Winners will share a pool of up to $38 million to implement their solutions! Deadline: August 25 (+ Systems and Design Thinking Workshop for prospective applicants on July 7)

As Seen At CSI

Anesh, Founder of On the Spot Language, with his students at CSI Annex

A throwback from a CSI Annex Salad Club in December 2019: Anesh, Founder of On the Spot Language, with his students. 

This week, On the Spot Language was recognized as a Top 50 Organization in Education by the Global Forum for Education and Learning. Congratulations! We’re so proud of this CSI-er!

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