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Adopting Common Measures

Two people looking at a graphs on a piece of paper.

Unleash the impact of your social purpose enterprise

** This program has moved to Social Innovation Canada. For current information, please visit SICanada.org.

Are you interested in…

  • Clearly communicating your impact to partners, supporters, customers, and donors? 
  • Broadcasting your impact goals and achievements across Canada and globally?
  • Aligning your impact with one or more of the Sustainable Development Goals (like Good Health and Well-being, Food Security, or Decent Work and Economic Growth)?

We can help you strengthen how you communicate your impact to your stakeholders.

As part of the Adopting Common Measures program, you will get:

  • One-on-one sessions to help kickstart your impact conversation
  • Facilitated workshops on the Common Foundation Approach to Impact Measurement
  • Access to a Community of Practice with similar organizations who want to know more about the benefits of tracking their impact and aligning their goals with the SDGs

Community of Practice

Take part in a nationwide discussion around how your organization can effectively track, measure and report progress towards your impact goals.

Through facilitated conversations, content expert presentations, peer-learning, resources and software, the community is there to support your work.

The Community of Practice is free to join and membership is open to Canadian organizations wanting to learn or improve their capacity in social impact measurement.

Members who complete all sessions will receive a Professional Development Certificate: Tracking Social Impact using Common Foundations. This certificate will confirm an understanding and application of the planning, measuring and reporting efforts of your impact.

Our Adopting Common Measures Community of Practice kicks off on Wednesday, January 19, 2022. The Community of Practice will meet every two weeks from January 19 to April 27 – 8 sessions in total.

Our current Community of Practice is at capacity. We will be running another Community of Practice in Fall 2022. Please fill out the form below to get notified when the registration opens, and to receive updates about other upcoming events.

Fill out my online form.

About Adopting Common Measures

Adopting Common Measures is a national three-year project that aims to support Social Purpose Organizations as they measure and track their impact towards the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Adopting Common Measures is being led by the Centre for Social Innovation (CSI), in partnership with Canadian Community Economic Development Network (CCEDNet) and the Common Approach to Impact Measurement. This project is funded in part by the Government of Canada’s Sustainable Development Goals.

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Part of the CSI Educates Initiative

At CSI, we equip people, organizations, and systems with the skills, knowledge, and networks to evolve their leadership skills and entrepreneurial competencies. Learn more about our approach here.

Next Economy Conversations

Our monthly tête-à-tête with industry leaders 

Around the world, there are movements calling for systems change: a world that is sustainable, equitable, and prosperous for all. But what will that world look like, specifically? How are we each going to play a role in defining those specifics? Next Economy Conversations, our newest event series, brings the people building systems-level solutions into conversation so we can answer those questions, and learn from their successes and failures.

Join us at the next Next Economy Conversation

July 25, 2024

learn more about our past guests

Third floor lounge of CSI Spadina coworking lounge. People sit at tables and work, amongst soft furniture. There is a progress Pride flag handing from the ceiling.
Happy Pride, CSI! 🌈 To celebrate this year, we asked our community to share with us their favourite books, movies, TV shows, and podcasts that help to celebrate, uplift, teach, and honour 2SLGBTQIA+ stories. Below, we have an awesome roundup of recommendations from across the CSI community. Head over to your local library, tune in to watch, or plug in to listen and enjoy these diverse stories.
People sit on various soft furniture in a semi circle on the ground floor of CSI Spadina.
Welcome to Connections at CSI, a monthly recap of CSI hosted events and rituals! These community gatherings are just a few of the many events and workshops organized by the entire CSI community.
canadian-innovation-week-banner-compressed
It's Canadian Innovation Week 2024! This year's theme, "Innovate Where You Are", celebrates our members in all of their various stages, industries, and locations. And while you truly can't put our members in a box, we did our best to categorize them into this year's Innovation Week themes. Read on for a highlight on just a few of the thousands of CSI members who are innovating for a better world, and check out their advice to the next generation of innovators and changemakers.
A group of people stand and sit around a piano, which has illegible writing on the front of it.
We exist in a world with overlapping crises that we wake up and face everyday. And so the next generation of climate action must tell a different story, and reflect a different reality. A reality where climate investments meaningfully improve the lives of residents, where every community in the country feels connected to the work, where we acknowledge the stakes and get down to the hard work of building a world that breaks down the individualistic silos and shows how much better life could be.
People stand or sit together in conversation on the ground floor of CSI Annex during Innovator Drinks.
Welcome to Connections at CSI, a monthly recap of CSI hosted events and rituals! These community gatherings are just a few of the many events and workshops organized by the entire CSI community.
June Callwood sits in an archyway at Casey House.
June Callwood’s life was full of social activism and fighting for what she believed in to make Toronto a better place for all. As we celebrate Women’s History Month, we’re highlighting Callwood’s life and many achievements.
A group of people face a speaker, who is standing in front of a red curtain, in the lounge of CSI Spadina.
Welcome to Connections at CSI, a monthly recap of CSI hosted events and rituals! These community gatherings are just a few of the many events and workshops organized by the entire CSI community.
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Galloway’s work at CSI involves training AI models to identify invasive mussels on the bottom of the Great Lakes, expanding scientists’ knowledge of the density of these mussels on the vast lake beds. We spoke to Galloway to explore the impacts of invasive mussels, how AI technology can help, and how being a member of the CSI community has benefited Galloway.
A black and white photograph from the 1940s of the Roseland Theatre in New Glasgow, Nova Scotia.
You may know Viola Desmond from school lessons, from history books, from the ten dollar bill, or from the Viola Desmond room on the third floor of CSI Spadina! Desmond was an entrepreneur who helped to catalyze the Canadian Civil Rights movement.

Part of the CSI Connects Initiative

CSI Connects helps you build the relationships and collaborations to make change happen. Come to learn, share, make friends and allies. It’s as much about learning as it is about fostering belonging, cohesion and community resilience.

Financialization of Housing

Windows on outside of apartment

BECAUSE HOUSING IS A HUMAN RIGHT

Housing is a home, the shelter, safety and comfort necessary for individuals and families to thrive, a human right, essential for social and economic wellbeing and one of the most powerful drivers of our economy. Currently, 1.7 million Canadians are in core housing need, and affordable housing is increasingly out of reach for many renters and first-time homebuyers. 

The “Financialization of Housing” is a complex system of government policies, financial instruments, individual and corporate behaviors. It is often associated with structural market changes whereby housing is increasingly being treated as a commodity, a means of accumulating wealth, and as securities that are traded and sold on local and global markets. We define the concept of ‘financialization’ as the growing influence of financial instruments, institutions, and investors in local housing markets.  

Fill out my online form.

CSI Institute has partnered with Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) and MaRS on a social innovation lab to understand how the Financialization of Housing is impacting housing affordability in Canada, and support the goal of every Canadian having a home they can afford that meets their needs by 2030.

The partners wanted to understand how the Financialization of Housing, securitization and the associated  shifts in real estate investment practices are impacting  housing affordability.  

Part of the CSI Solves Initiative

At CSI, we use labs, social R&D and prototypes that identify new and improved models that can transform existing paradigms and reveal market opportunities. Learn more about our approach here.

Social Entrepreneurship 101

Two middle-aged folks looking at a laptop

Are you looking to grow your entrepreneurial or intrapreneurial competencies to create positive impact and prepare for a fast-changing job market?

As the world looks to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, now is the time for the entrepreneurially-minded to step up to address pressing social and environmental challenges, and to develop the 21st century skills needed to succeed. CSI has teamed up with Alterna Savings to bring you Social Entrepreneurship 101: an 8-week, part-time online program that covers the foundations of social entrepreneurship, from making sure you’ve identified the right problem, to developing a solution, to turning your idea into a sustainable business model. If you’re ready to roll up your sleeves, invest in your personal and professional growth, and turn your idea into impact, this is the right course for you! 
Details

Develop a network of fellow change-makers through a series of 8 weekly 3-hour sessions. Our highly-engaging sessions meet virtually on Zoom and communicate in our Slack workspace to build a community of practice for our learning journey together. Each session includes activities, tools, case studies, breakout rooms, and cohort-wide discussions. Additionally, this course asks participants to complete 2-4 hours of Action Work outside of our live-sessions to begin putting your ideas into practice. 

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participants reported that SE101 has been more impactful than other entrepreneurship programs they have taken

When and Where

Classes begin September 2021
Online: Zoom Classroom and Slack workspace

What You’ll Learn

Social Entrepreneurship 101 is an 8-week program delivered in two phases:

Phase 1 (Weeks 1-4): Explore your purpose as a social entrepreneur. Discover your problem space. Map opportunities for impact.

Together, we’ll begin with some of the big questions you may be asking yourself, such as:

  • I see so many urgent problems to solve. Which should I focus on specifically, and why?
  • There are so many things to do to get started. How do I prioritize?
  • What skills, knowledge, connections, and experience can I leverage to make an impact?
  • How do I move from idea to action?

Phase 2 (Weeks 4-8): Discover stakeholders. Build your business and financial models. Understand how to measure your impact. Explore funding options.

Questions answered during this phase include:

  • I have developed a clear idea of the impact that I want my enterprise to generate. How do I design my business to reach this impact?
  • How can I generate sustainable revenue (and profit) from my social enterprise?
  • What resources am I going to need to start my enterprise?
  • What funding models and options should I explore?

By the end of the 8 weeks, you’ll gain experience, confidence, and practice with core competencies in social entrepreneurship such as critical thinking, systems thinking, active listening, storytelling, decision-making, and business modelling.

What’s Included

In addition to the 8-week Social Entrepreneurship 101 online curriculum, participants will also gain access to online CSI community perks:
  • Invitations to ongoing CSI additional learning online workshops
  • Access to a SE101 community wide #Slack channel
  • Access to valuable tools, guides and worksheets for your future use

Who you’ll meet

You will connect with a cohort of changemakers who are similarly driven and committed to making an impact. SE 101 is open to everyone interested in making the world better through entrepreneurial thinking and approaches.

Social Entrepreneurship 101 was developed in partnership with experienced social entrepreneurs, coaches, facilitators, and educators, and based on the learnings from over 10 years of training social enterprises.

If you want to learn the fundamentals of creating a social enterprise, and ensure you make the right decisions and set the right priorities this course is for you!

The program was developed in partnership with experienced social entrepreneurs, coaches, facilitators, and educators, and based on the learnings of over a decade of training social enterprises.

You will feel more capable of driving your social enterprise idea forward with increased confidence. Come to connect with your peers and learn the building blocks of creating a viable social enterprise

PHASE 1: PROBLEM DISCOVERY, SOLUTIONS MAPPING, AND OPPORTUNITIES FOR IMPACT

Together, we’ll help answer some of the questions you may be asking yourself, such as:

  • I see so many problems. Which should I focus on specifically, and why?
  • Do I have the right skills and enough knowledge to do this?
  • How do I move from idea to action?
  • There are so many things to do to get started, how do I prioritize?

WEEK 1

  • Topic: What are my motivations for wanting to start a social enterprise?
  • Outcomes: I understand why starting my own social enterprise is a good fit for me.

WEEK 2

  • Topic: What problem am I passionate about finding a solution to and why?
  • Outcomes: I have a framework to help me learn more about the ecosystem in which my problem exists.

WEEK 3

  • Topic: Why are the current solutions to this problem not working?
  • Outcomes: I have learned techniques to help me connect with those affected by the problem so that I deeply understand what is not working and why.

WEEK 4

  • Topic: Identifying opportunities for impact (new solutions)
  • Outcomes: I know (or am closer to knowing) where I can start to focus the efforts of my enterprise and with whom so that I can generate real impact.

PHASE 2: STAKEHOLDER DISCOVERY, BUSINESS AND FINANCIAL MODELS, SOCIAL ENTERPRISE FUNDING OPTIONS AND EXPLORING ENTERPRISE IMPACT

Together, we’ll help answer some of the questions you may be asking yourself, such as:

  • I have developed a clear idea of the impact that I want my enterprise to generate, how do I design my enterprise to reach this impact?
  • How can I generate sustainable revenue (and profit) from my social enterprise?
  • How do I move from idea to action, what areas of my enterprise should I focus on building first?
  • What resources am I going to need to start my enterprise?
  • What funding models should I explore?

WEEK 5

  • Topic: What is the vision and impact goals for my enterprise and who are its stakeholders?
  • Outcomes: I have a first draft of my enterprise’s compelling vision statement and I know all of the stakeholders that I will need to engage with in order to start testing my ideas.

WEEK 6

  • Topic: What is a business model?
  • Outcomes: I can start to get creative in imagining how my enterprise could deliver and generate value in order to achieve impact.

WEEK 7

  • Topic: What resources will I need to start my enterprise?
  • Outcomes: I can do a basic financial model to determine what I will need in the short term to get my enterprise off the ground.

WEEK 8

  • Topic: How could I get my enterprise funded, what options are available and what should I focus on doing next?
  • Outcomes: I understand some of the funding options available and have a clear idea of what I should focus on next in order to get my enterprise off the ground.

Core Entrepreneurial Competencies You’ll Learn

You will leave this training with some core entrepreneurial competencies that will support you in building an inclusive, meaningful and impact-driven enterprise. These include:

  • Critical thinking (the objective analysis and evaluation of an issue in order to form a judgment)
  • Systems thinking (understanding the numerous factors that contribute to a problem you are wanting to solve)
  • Decision making (selecting the best course of action that will bring about authentic impact).
  • Listening (giving one’s attention in order to learn new things without bias or judgment)
  • Storytelling (crafting and telling stories to better understand the impact that you want to generate)
  • Business Modelling (how to design an enterprise)

Tools and Guides You’ll Use

Some of the tools and guides we will be using include: Impact Gaps Canvas, Flourishing Business Model Canvas, Research Plan Template, Research Findings Template, Theory of Change, Evaluating Opportunities Worksheet, Enterprise Golden Circle.

We are offering this program at the significantly reduced rate of $100+pay what you can (PWYC)*, discounted from $450. We are also offering five fully-funded scholarships. These scholarships are intended to unlock access, opportunity, and impact for program participants who may face financial constraints to their involvement. All applicants (CSI Members, Non-CSI members, DECAs and PECAs) are eligible to apply. Find details below!
Pricing table for January 2021 Social Entrepreneurship 101 cohort
COVID-19 Considerate Pricing Option 1: $100. Thanks to our sponsor, we’re offering this program at the greatly reduced rate of $100 + Pay What You Can. Regular course price and value at: $450 Option 2: +pwyc. If you are able to pay more than $100, the difference will go towards subsidizing spots for others who may not be able to afford it. Thanks for helping to pay it forward. Option 3: Scholarship. We’re offering five, fully-funded scholarships. Please see details below and apply if you could otherwise not afford to participate.
*Why PWYC? If you are able to pay more for this course than the $100 minimum, your contribution will help others access the program for whom the cost would otherwise be prohibitive. Thanks for helping pay it forward!

Scholarships 

In an effort to reduce financial barriers to SE 101 program participation, we are delighted to offer five fully-funded participant scholarships sponsored by Alterna Savings and Credit Union. All applicants (CSI Members, Non-CSI members, DECAs and PECAs) are eligible to apply.  Please note that scholarship recipients are expected to attend all 8 Social Entrepreneurship 101 Sessions (other than in extenuating circumstances). Scholarship recipients are also expected to complete all course surveys and commit to a post program interview for Alterna’s internal reporting use.

Our course curriculum and learning outcomes are available in the Program Overview tab!

Once you complete your Eventbrite registration, we will send you a compilation of ‘Pre-Course Work’ materials that will help you prepare for the 8 weeks of course work to come. Make sure to take the time to complete the work and invest in your journey ahead. Pre-Course Work will include a personal and professional values evaluation, a written reflection of your story of self and entrepreneurial motivations, and pre-course research topics on Social Entrepreneurship.

No, it is not required that you have a clear business idea to participate in SE 101. In fact, many participants use the first 4 weeks of the program to further research and discover the full breadth of their business ideas and potential solutions within the current landscape.

You will need to dedicate on average approximately 3 hours outside of class per week towards completing the work for the following class.

It is important that you show up on-time and ready to engage with the material, facilitator and other participants, having already completed your out of class work.

As a perk to this course, you will receive a complimentary day pass to work from CSI Annex for the remainder of your workday. You’re also invited to connect with CSI members and community at Salad Club on Wednesdays after class. Use this time to get to know your fellow classmates and colleagues and further develop your network.

This 8-week course is dedicated to sharing the tools of how to build a successful social enterprise. Upon completion of SE101, you will have developed working models of your social enterprise that will help you to understand how to structure your business for success!

There is a wonderful amount of research and modelling that must be done prior to completing your first business plan. Once you complete SE 101, you will have the foundational pieces to begin putting together a successful business plan!

The Centre for Social Innovation is a community, catalyst, and launch pad for social entrepreneurship and innovation. Accessing the entrepreneurial experience of facilitators, guest speakers, and the community at large offers a more meaningful opportunity for networking and deeper learning. SE101 also uniquely focuses both on personal and professional development.

You will need a laptop/ computer and access to an internet connection to be able to download and read through weekly materials. It is suggested that you keep a detailed journal to track your weekly progress and enterprise research. Come to class prepared to capture information shared through worksheets and slide shows. Please also bring pen, scratch paper, and post-it notes for your in-class time.

This course offers the most value to entrepreneurs who are in the “Ideation” and “Discovery” phases of their businesses.

Ideation: Entrepreneur with an idea, initial market and technology exploration

Discovery: Value proposition established, testing ideas, proof of concept achieved, identifying customers

This course is extremely useful to individuals wishing to learn more about what it means to be a social entrepreneur. You will learn how to holistically understand the roles and driving motivations of a thriving social enterprise and what it means to generate meaningful entrepreneurial impact.

Many successful social entrepreneurs begin as socially and environmentally aware citizens who are passionate and in search of meaningful solutions to the communities they are a member of or intending to generate solutions for. This is a great opportunity to gain access to incredible tools and learnings towards those outcomes!

Yes, it can be. If you are a part of a company where you want to generate impact for meaningful change, even within your own corporate culture, this is a great place to begin. SE101 gives you the opportunity to develop your storytelling skills, research abilities, and systems thinking approaches to understand and address complex challenges.

Get in touch with the SE 101 course facilitator, Peggy Sue Deaven, at PeggySue[at]socialinnovation.ca.​

“Ever wondered how to turn your professional and academic experience, personal values and ideas of social change and impact into action? This course is the place to start! You’ll be inspired and encouraged into action!” – Astrid Arumae – Réseau d’Entraide Covid-19 Help Hub – Montréal, QC

“Amazing course that allows all users to feel supported and comfortable sharing and encourages individual and group learning of self and business. You are thoroughly guided along a well lit path and emerge a stronger and more confident entrepreneur on the other side. Complete with resources and learning tools and a network of like minded business people that become friends.” – Tim O’Hara – Hulpr – Kingston, ON

Social Entrepreneurship 101 has laid the groundwork for ongoing self development in an optimistic and promising realm. It has helped me begin to build the muscle of financial thinking and offered a vocabulary that honors both my values and my needs.” – Siddan Chandra – Kidocracy – Toronto, ON

“My experience in the SE101 course was awesome! I was able not only to learn new things but also to get outside of my comfort zone. This course allowed me to understand how to transform ideas into feasible projects. I would recommend this course to any person that is looking forward to building connections or that is also starting a new project and would like to share their ideas with others. This course was one of my highlights of the year 2020 amids the COVID-19 pandemic! This was an opportunity for me to get outside of Ecuador and learn with an international cohort from my house!” – Mateo Tobar – LAB-XXI – Ecuador

“Social Enterprise 101 is about more than the nuts and bolts of building your social enterprise – don’t be surprised if you find yourself (pleasantly) challenged to do a lot of looking inside yourself, understanding your story and seeing how that is a major lever to achieving your dreams.” – Lee Weiler – Edmonton, AB

“Social entrepreneurs are going to be essential to help author a new social contract and reset the economy. If you’re looking to make your mark on the universe, using business as a tool, SE 101 is a great place to start.” – Michael Szego – Third Party – Toronto, ON

“As SE 101’s instructor, Peggy’s consistent energy during weekly classes and proactive effort to keep attendees engaged was commendable! In terms of various topics covered, I felt that storytelling exercises sprinkled through the 8 weeks was a solid way to help build/hone this critical business skill. Other than that, my favorite course topics based on coverage and discussions were – Desk Research, Discovery Interviews, Gaps Canvas, Enterprise Golden Circle, FBCanvas, Business Models, and Financial Models. Behind-the-scenes, Peggy was always available to address queries, offer follow-up discussions and reviews, and go above and beyond my making introductions to other entrepreneurs (or aspiring ones) in the same ecosystem and creating a Slack channel specifically for the ecosystem I plan to be in. Keep up the good work!” – Vishal Asthana – Toronto, ON (CSI DECA)

“SE101 strikes a thoughtful balance between the ‘whys’ and ‘hows’ of social entrepreneurship. The deep knowledge of the facilitator and the thoughtful support and engagement with the other participants was invaluable. I highly recommend it to anyone interested in social entrepreneurship.” – Ashley Goff – Raising Giants – Edmonton, AB

“I started with a vague idea and throughout the SE101 course, it got more focussed and clear. I don’t know whether I’ll see my idea grow into a real social enterprise or a charity, but I’m committed to it becoming SOMETHING. It made me aware of opportunities for connection and collaboration with others that I probably wouldn’t have noticed. It gave me the confidence to talk about my idea in a short and snappy elevator pitch, and articulate a connection to my deepest values. I felt honoured to be with so many passionate, dedicated and visionary people developing their own ideas to make the world a better place.” – Edelweiss D’Andrea – Occupational Therapist – Ottawa, ON

“Ògo Tàwa Inc., would not have the successes that attract strategic alliances, partners, influencers, and funders towards our organization today without the help of Social Entrepreneurship 101, CSI staff, and my fellow Social Entrepreneurship 101 comrades. The Social Entrepreneurship 101 course is a game changer, a venture booster, the essential preparation and nurturing environment for any intelligent-minded, ambitious social entrepreneur. It is best in class. Take it from me, a Harvard trained professional, this course is of Ivy-League standard, with leadership training skills, hands-on interactive learning, and competitive edge to propel social entrepreneurs towards exponential business successes that solve society’s pressing problems while ferreting out rewarding financial resources. Overcome your business woes with this course! Guidance from Peggy Sue Deaven the CSI program facilitator is like having access to a business super-power! I really have been more impactful with her guidance.” – Khalidah Bello – Ògo Tàwa Inc. – Toronto, ON


Alterna is guided by a commitment to support the well-being of their members, employees and communities. They promote community economic development through micro-lending initiatives, financially literacy training, charitable activities and by continually strive to be transparent at every level of their operation. We are grateful to have their sponsorship for CSI’s Social Entrepreneurship 101 Program!

Gonzalo Duarte speaking to SE101 students at CSI Annex

Roll up your sleeves, invest in your growth, and turn your idea into impact

Part of the CSI Educates Initiative

At CSI, we equip people, organizations, and systems with the skills, knowledge, and networks to evolve their leadership skills and entrepreneurial competencies. Learn more about our approach here

CSI Coaches

Two smiling women, one pointing at a computer monitor to demonstrate something to the other

Mentorship for women entrepreneurs

Creating a resilient, sustainable social enterprise model involves community – not only those who support your business, but also those who support YOU, the entrepreneur. Through CSI Coaches, we offer one-on-one coaching to help you create long-lasting positive impact.

Whether you are looking to…

  • Develop and validate your business model;
  • Establish your value proposition;
  • Build a sustainable financial model;
  • Create an engaging and effective marketing strategy;
  • Fundraise or secure investment;
  • Hone your pitch and narrative;
  • Refine your leadership style;
  • Pivot or adapt your organization as the impact of COVID-19 continues to develop;

…or want support in starting or growing your venture, we can help!

CSI, in partnership with Lean4Flourishing and WOSEN, is offering social entrepreneurship coaching spots to 25 women-identified & gender non-binary social entrepreneurs that are creating social and/or environmental impact.

Through this program, we will match you with an expert coach  to support you in navigating the challenges of social entrepreneurship.

Applications are now closed.

Two people sitting at a table and chatting. Focus is on hands with blank notepad.

One-on-one coaching to help you create lasting impact

About WOSEN

The Women of Ontario Social Enterprise Network (WOSEN) offers a suite of programs for women interested in starting or growing their own ventures that seek to have a positive social, cultural or environmental impact through their operations, and/or the sale of their products or services.

Although collectively the term ‘women’ is used throughout this page, WOSEN is dedicated to equity and inclusion, and seeks to support women-identified and gender non-binary entrepreneurs from underserved and underrepresented communities. This includes Indigenous women, women in rural or remote regions, racialized women, newcomer women, LGBTQ2+, women with disabilities, and those who identify as gender non-binary.

WOSEN works to unleash the entrepreneurial energy and capacity of women who have solutions that put people and the planet first. Together, we are redesigning how business supports are provided so these entrepreneurs can build the skills, make the connections, and receive the coaching needed to achieve their missions.

See all the initiatives within the WOSEN program here!

Partners and Funders

WOSEN is funded in part by the Government of Canada through the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario. The Government of Canada is advancing gender equality, women’s economic empowerment, and supporting women entrepreneurs through the new Women Entrepreneurship Strategy, announced in the Budget 2018. It is a $2-billion investment that seeks to double the number of women-owned businesses by 2025.

Fed Dev Ontario

Women of Ontario Social Enterprise Network

Part of the CSI Educates Initiative

At CSI, we equip people, organizations, and systems with the skills, knowledge, and networks to evolve their leadership skills and entrepreneurial competencies. Learn more about our approach here

WOSEN’s Investment Readiness Supports

People pointing at printed charts

As an entrepreneur it can be challenging to find and prepare for the right grant, loan, or investment opportunity.

We are here to help!

The Women of Ontario Social Enterprise Network (WOSEN) is hosting Investment Readiness Supports for trans women, cis women, and Two-Spirit, non-binary, and genderqueer individuals who lead established social ventures, who have a defined capital need, and who are preparing for funding or investment in the coming year.

Registration is now closed.

Where

Meet us online: Zoom Classroom and on the Common Platform.

What You’ll Gain

As a participant, you’ll…

  • Improve your venture story and presentation
  • Get to know the funding landscape
  • Map out a clear and actionable funding and capital plan
  • Understand when a grant, a loan, or an investment is best for your venture
  • Prepare for current funding opportunities matched to your needs

What’s Included

Participate in one 3-hour program orientation where you will begin to develop your funding and capital plan for your venture.

You then can choose to participate in the following offerings:

  • Join a monthly workshop that dives deep into investment readiness with special guests and exercises that help you to develop a funding and capital plan
  • Meet with us one-to-one to review your plan, or your funding submissions
  • Participate in monthly peer circles where your peers share back valuable insights and peer support
  • Our team will research funding opportunities matched to your needs
  • Find funding and opportunity updates on The Common Platform

We aim to provide a tailored approach to meet the needs of your venture and industry.

Investment Readiness Supports is brought to you by the Women of Ontario Social Enterprise Network (WOSEN), a collaboration with the Centre for Social Innovation, SVX, Pillar Nonprofit Network and the NORDIK Institute. Funding isprovided through the Women’s Entrepreneurship Strategy, Canada.

About WOSEN

The Women of Ontario Social Enterprise Network (WOSEN) offers a suite of programs for women interested in starting or growing their own ventures that seek to have a positive social, cultural or environmental impact through their operations, and/or the sale of their products or services.

WOSEN is dedicated to equity and inclusion, and the term “women” is used collectively throughout this page. We serve trans and cis women, and our programming is inclusive of Two-Spirit, non-binary, and genderqueer individuals. We prioritize those from underserved and underrepresented communities, including Indigenous folks, folks in rural or remote regions, racialized folks, newcomer folks, LGBTQ2+, and folks with disabilities.

Our programming works to unleash the entrepreneurial energy and capacity of women who have solutions that put people and the planet first. Together, we are redesigning how business supports are provided so these entrepreneurs can build the skills, make the connections, and receive the coaching needed to achieve their missions.

See all the programs within the WOSEN initiative here!

Partners and Funders

WOSEN is funded in part by the Government of Canada through the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario. The Government of Canada is advancing gender equality, women’s economic empowerment, and supporting women entrepreneurs through the new Women Entrepreneurship Strategy, announced in the Budget 2018. It is a $2-billion investment that seeks to double the number of women-owned businesses by 2025.

Fed Dev Ontario

Women of Ontario Social Enterprise Network

Part of the CSI Invests Initiative

At CSI we take on early experiments to invest, incubate, fund and finance the Next Economy. Learn more about our approach here

CSI Invests

WOSEN’s Grow Program

Smiling woman about to draw on whiteboard

Do you want to move your business forward with confidence?

Are you looking to build traction, expand your partnership and network opportunities, and develop yourself further as a social entrepreneur?

We’re here to help!

CSI and the Women of Ontario Social Enterprise Network (WOSEN) have designed a twenty-week program to support a cohort of ten women social entrepreneurs as they build, refine, and test their business models, and learn new skills to help them succeed. We serve trans and cis women, and programming is inclusive of Two-Spirit, non-binary, and genderqueer individuals.

You will collaborate with a supportive community of facilitators, experts, coaches, and a cohort of peers as you explore two main themes throughout the program: 1) business model development and 2) leadership. We will support you through an immersive learning journey with a hands-on, practical approach to refining and validating your business model. You will engage in focused research to identify the key market gaps you want to address and conduct interviews with potential clients and partners to help you validate your business model and test critical assumptions.

Our team will support you in developing emergent strategies to refine and differentiate your product or service based on your research insights. You will gain leadership skills and competencies required to better understand your market and build your business strategy with intention and impact. Participation is free, we take no equity, and your intellectual property remains your own!

Applications for Grow cohort are now closed.

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INDIVIDUAL COACHING
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PEER ENGAGEMENT SESSIONS
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ONLINE WORKSHOPS AND EXPERT SESSIONS
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TOOLS AND RESOURCES
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NETWORKING OPPORTUNITIES AND FREE CSI MEMBERSHIP

When and Where

Weekly on Tuesdays until March 1, 2022. No workshops on December 21 & 28. Our programming will take place on Zoom and Slack. 

Onboarding & Orientation: Week 0 (Oct 12)

Get to know your cohort and how to navigate our online program.

Part I

Business Model Refinement & Implementation: Weeks 1-7 (Oct 19 – Nov 30)

Engage in hands-on, practical research to identify the key market gaps you want to address. Learn the process of creating a sustainable business model and apply your learnings in real time towards your business. Connect with experts to learn how to conduct market research and interviews on a budget to iterate your business model based on your stakeholder needs. Get support with networking and creating effective partnerships.

Part II

Integrate Insights & Develop Your Strategy: Weeks 8-9 (Dec 7-14)

Assimilate data you’ve collected and integrate insights from your research and interviews to develop your strategy moving forward.

NOTE: No workshops on December 21st & 28th

Part III

Build Traction: Weeks 12-19 (Jan 4 – Feb 22)

Continue to iterate your business model and learn more about financial modelling to make better informed financial decisions. Meet our marketing, sales, and communications experts to help you develop more effective strategies for communicating your offering to your target audience. You will also have the opportunity to participate in a WOSEN Pitch Showcase & Networking Event! Deliver your pitch and connect with potential partners and funders in the entrepreneurship sector.

Offboarding: Week 20 (March 1, 2022)

Connect to relevant resources and explore your next steps for growth and support.

After the Grow program is done, you will have 1) gained confidence in knowing how to refine and validate your business model, 2) improved your leadership skills to support your team and 3) developed a clear strategy as you grow your enterprise and navigate forward.

The Grow program will allow you to develop core entrepreneurial competencies as you work on validating your social enterprise model. Here are some of the business and leadership skills you will learn from this course: 

  • Business Model Refinement & Implementation: Learn the process of refining and implementing your business model through an iterative design process.
  • Financial Modeling: Forecast the financial performance of your business and make better informed choices and financial decisions.
    Strategy & Decision Making: Select the best course of action that will bring about authentic change.
  • Design & Systems Thinking: Understand the numerous factors that contribute to a problem you want to solve.
  • Critical Thinking & Research Skills: Learn how to collect, organize, analyze, and interpret data to make informed decisions and iterations to your business model.
  • Networking & Creating Partnerships: Build your network and transform your network connections into collaborations and partnerships.
  • Interviewing Skills: Learn how to connect with key stakeholders to gather important insights.
  • Active Listening: Learn how to listen deeply and effectively in order to build strong relationships with stakeholders.
  • Storytelling: Craft and tell stories to understand the impact you want to make, and learn how to connect with audiences.
  • Confidence & Awareness: Gain inner strength to connect to your values and goals.

Important Timelines

  • Applications Close – September 12 (by 11:59pm)
  • Selected Participants Notified – September 20
  • Orientation & Onboarding: Week 0 – Tuesday October 12
  • Program Workshops – Online, Weekly on Tuesdays until March 1, 2022
  • NOTE: No workshops on December 21 & 28

Applicant Requirements

  • You are a woman, Two-Spirit, non-binary or genderqueer individual
  • You live in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) or the Central Ontario region
  • You are actively working on your business and are looking to refine and validate your business model
  • You have developed or are developing a product or service that will create measurable positive impact, and you currently have little or no customer traction
  • You are at least 18 years old
  • You are motivated and open to learning, feedback, and new ideas
  • You want to be part of and contribute to an outstanding community of women
  • You are available to join weekly workshop programming (Tuesdays from 1pm – 3:30pm ET)

Canadian citizenship is not required to participate in the Grow program. 

Participant Commitment

  • Attend weekly workshop sessions on Tuesdays from 1pm – 3:30pm ET
  • Be able to commit a minimum of ten hours per week
  • Participate in a weekly peer support session (throughout the program)
  • Complete relevant action work & interviews to refine your business model
  • Attend eight one-hour, one-to-one coaching sessions (an eight hour commitment outside of class)
  • Complete participant program evaluation surveys (baseline & post-program)
  • Always show respect and empathy towards your fellow participants, and support WOSEN’s commitment to inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility

Please note that we only have capacity to support 10 participants for this Grow program. Once you apply for this program:

  • Applicants will be screened based on eligibility criteria
  • We will reach out to a select number of applicants to conduct a thirty-minute outreach phone call to learn more about your goals and needs, and to assess program fit
  • Selected candidates will be notified on September 20 (via email) and will need to confirm their spot by September 24

Confirmed participants will receive an onboarding package by October 5 and will start orientation and onboarding on October 12.

Apply for Grow!

Questions? For more information, please contact Mitalie Makhani, Senior Programs Manager & WOSEN Central Ontario Program Lead, at mitalie[at]socialinnovation[dot]ca.

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Three women from the WOSEN team smiling at the camera

About WOSEN

The Women of Ontario Social Enterprise Network (WOSEN) offers a suite of programs for women interested in starting or growing their own ventures that seek to have a positive social, cultural or environmental impact through their operations, and/or the sale of their products or services.

WOSEN is dedicated to equity and inclusion, and the term “women” is used collectively throughout this page. We serve trans and cis women, and our programming is inclusive of Two-Spirit, non-binary, and genderqueer individuals. We prioritize those from underserved and underrepresented communities, including Indigenous folks, folks in rural or remote regions, racialized folks, newcomer folks, LGBTQ2+, and folks with disabilities.

Our programming works to unleash the entrepreneurial energy and capacity of women who have solutions that put people and the planet first. Together, we are redesigning how business supports are provided so these entrepreneurs can build the skills, make the connections, and receive the coaching needed to achieve their missions.

See all the programs within the WOSEN initiative here!

Partners and Funders

WOSEN is funded in part by the Government of Canada through the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario. The Government of Canada is advancing gender equality, women’s economic empowerment, and supporting women entrepreneurs through the new Women Entrepreneurship Strategy, announced in the Budget 2018. It is a $2-billion investment that seeks to double the number of women-owned businesses by 2025.

Fed Dev Ontario

Women of Ontario Social Enterprise Network

Part of the CSI Accelerates Initiative

At CSI, we support entrepreneurs’ success with resources, mentors, expertise and connections that lead to viable enterprising solutions. Learn more about our approach here

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League of Social Entrepreneurs

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Building Back Better: Creating the League of Social Entrepreneurs

We all know that we need to Build Back Better, post-COVID. There are now dozens of campaigns across the globe that are calling for an economy that is intentionally regenerative, equitable and prosperous for all. One that puts people and planet first. But how do we get to that inclusive, affordable, and low carbon future? How do we get to the Next Economy?

For the past 16 years, the Centre for Social Innovation (CSI) has been honing its craft, building solutions, and accelerating thousands of nonprofit and for profit small social purpose organizations (SPO’s). These organizations are now helping to solve social and environmental challenges. In response to COVID-19, we are ready to take our work to the next level and to start building the Next Economy.

The Next Economy requires that we intentionally pursue and nourish social enterprises that work to solve pressing challenges while creating generative business models. This is where the League of Social Entrepreneurs comes in. The League will combine their entrepreneurial energy with social innovation labs and the firepower of acceleration and incubation to create enterprising solutions that ”build back better.”

Outcomes

The League will respond to Challenges issued by partners and stakeholders (government, corporate, or institutional) to help develop, pilot, validate, and incubate solutions into thriving social ventures.

Solutions Lab Process

Convene a small group of government, community, entrepreneurs, NGOs, and institutions (with a special focus on those agencies on the front lines) — to clarify, research, and better understand a specific social challenge.

Part of the CSI Solves Initiative

At CSI, we use labs, social R&D and prototypes that identify new and improved models that can transform existing paradigms and reveal market opportunities. Learn more about our approach here.

Community Animator Program

Community Animators sit in a circle on the ground floor of CSI Spadina, listening to two hosts speak from the center couch.

Are you a social entrepreneur, an innovator, or seeking to gain new networks and community?

7 hours a week. Unlimited Hot Desk coworking access. We are recruiting our next cohort of Community Animators (formerly known as our DECA Program) for CSI Annex and CSI Spadina. Applications for the spring/summer 2024 Community Animator Program cohort are now closed. If you’d like to apply for the waitlist, please send us a note: info[at]socialinnovation[dot]ca

Are you looking for a community who values changing the world and having fun doing it? Do you love meeting new people, solving new problems every day, and making sure our spaces flow? Does the idea of engaging in community building sound right up your alley?

Would you exchange 1 day a week for a fantastic free workspace and access to an incredible community? If the answer is a resounding YES, the Community Animator Program is perfect for you.

WHAT IS A Community animator?

Our Community Animators (CA) used to be known as DECAs (Desk Exchange Community Animator), but we thought that this was a more accurate name to reflect our secret sauce!

CAs welcome people as they arrive and are the first faces people see when they arrive at a CSI location. They foster a welcoming culture and they set the tone for the rest of their experience. They work with our members to help build and create connection and collaboration.

You exchange your time as a CA for unlimited access to CSI’s coworking locations and full access to membership resources – a $500+ value! You are a connector of ideas and people, helping to build and foster an incredible community – you are the heart of the CSI community.

The commitment: Exchange 7 hours on a dedicated day, once per week, for a 6 and a half month term.

The benefit: Free CSI membership, including unlimited hot desking and 10 meeting room hours, and inclusion to a vibrant, innovative community. You’ll also have access to training, development, networking and events.

CAs have the opportunity to develop and experience community engagement efforts, develop and contribute skills, and deepen their connections with their cohort and the CSI community, all while learning the behind-the-scenes magic of almost two decades of social innovation and the art of animation. 

WHY BECOME A Community Animator?

No pressure, but CAs are the glue that keeps the CSI community together and the glitter that makes it sparkle. This program is perfect for anyone wanting to learn about social innovation by immersing themselves in it. CSI is a network of networks with over 2,500 members. On any given day, you could meet someone who will change your life. Some CAs have gone on to start their own companies. Others have joined organizations working out of CSI. Some have found their next big opportunity and create their own network. A handful have even become full-time CSI staff. CAs have used their experience as Animators to support their goals. Where will your CAP experience lead you? 

WHO BECOMES A Community Animator?

CAs are diverse in every way. They have varied backgrounds including race, ethnicity, gender and gender identity, age, socio-economic status, national origin, sexual orientation, ability, and religion. But they all have excellent customer service, radical hospitality, organization, communications, and problem solving skills. And perhaps most importantly, a commitment to approaching tasks and projects with sincerity, care, fun, and goodwill.

CSI Amplifies

Spread the good work

We want to tell the world about you! 

One of the perks of being a CSI Member is the ability to broadcast on CSI’s content channels. We’re happy to share your news, events, and opportunities on our social media platforms, newsletter, and blog!

Please note that this form is only for CSI Members and alumni. If you haven’t joined CSI yet, take a look at our membership options.

Submit Your Work to Our Comms Team

Ready to share your opportunity with us?

Don’t forget to include a short written explanation of your shareable, relevant links, and the deadline to share by date!

This community is just bursting with social impact events, networking opportunities, jobs, learning opportunities, and more. Please share your work with us as soon as possible so that we have time to help promote you! 

A few administrative things to keep in mind:

  • It will take 5-6 business days to process your entry
  • Due to the high volume of submissions, we cannot guarantee promotion of all entries across all platforms
  • Sharing your information with us at least 2-3 weeks in advance will help ensure timely promotion