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Impact Entrepreneurship 101

Two people wearing lab coats looking at a notepad in a pink-tinted lab

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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entrepreneurs served
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Recommendation Rate
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Net Promoter Score
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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.

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

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. 

0 +
entrepreneurs served
0 %
Recommendation Rate
0 +
Net Promoter Score
0 %
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.

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

Agents of Change: SDGs

Multi-coloured wheel graphic representing the Sustainable Development Goals.

Want to make a difference in the world? Are you between 18 and 30 years old?

In these uncertain times, anything is possible – and we need budding change makers like you now, more than ever.

Join this free, virtual social entrepreneurship program and learn how you can help drive progress towards the world’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)!

Social entrepreneurs tackle important issues like climate change, plastic pollution, accessibility, employment training, and much more, all while generating revenues. Interested in learning what it takes to be a social entrepreneur? All you need to participate is some passion, commitment and a reliable internet connection.

The 100 selected participants will begin an 8-week, impact-driven social entrepreneurship journey, and will work on creating their very own social enterprise aligned with the SDGs. Put your ideas into action with 24 hours of live, virtual class time, 4 hours of specialized coaching, and a library of tools!

Agents of Change: Sustainable Development Goals is a national program run by the Centre for Social Innovation and made possible by the Government of Canada. Our Eastern Canada cohort launched March 2020 and concluded in April 2020. Our Western Canada cohort began in June 2020 and concluded in July 2020.

You can create meaningful change in the world!

From making sure you’ve identified the right problem to turning your solution into a sustainable business model, if you’re ready to roll up your sleeves, invest in your personal and professional growth, and learn how to turn an idea into impact, this is the right program for you!

We will meet virtually once a week for class time, and you will meet with either your coach or your peer group weekly. By the end of 8 weeks you will feel knowledgeable and confident to begin your own entrepreneurial journey.

What You’ll Learn

Weeks 1–4: Explore your purpose as a social entrepreneur. Discover your areas of interest. Map opportunities for impact.

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

  • What are the SDGs and how can social enterprises play their part?
  • 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?

Weeks 5–8: Discover stakeholders. Build your business and financial models. Identify funding options and enterprise impact.

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?
  • How will I measure its impact and report its contribution towards the SDGs?

By the end of the 8 weeks, you will have a deeper understanding of the SDGs and how to create social enterprises that drive progress towards one or a number of the SDGs!

Certificate of Completion

Participants who complete the course will receive a Certificate of Completion from the Centre for Social Innovation. A certificate of completion from this program will signify that participants understand the building blocks of Social Entrepreneurship, and how to generate meaningful impact and progress toward the Sustainable Development Goals.

Part of the CSI Accelerates Initiative

At CSI, we support entrepreneurs with solutions that drive change through acceleration and incubation. Learn more about our approach here.

WOSEN

Illustration of the faces of five women on light blue background

Support for your women-led social enterprise

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.

Three women posing for photo (one of them WOSEN program manager, Mitalie)

Read the Report

The Interim Report captures the story of WOSEN, from launch to mid-way through its three-and-a-half-year initiative (2019-2023). It conveys the collaborative’s intentions, progress, learnings and impact in meeting its goals. It offers a deeper understanding of the complexity of issues that the collaborative lives with in undertaking this work, i.e., its co-management, emerging challenges and future direction in service of continuing to enhance practices that create a more equitable and inclusive women’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. It also provides an opportunity to celebrate WOSEN’s innovative approaches and successes.

Download the WOSEN Interim Report (Full)

Download the WOSEN Interim Report (Summary)

The WOSEN Programs

CSI offers three free programs within the WOSEN initiative:

An ongoing support system for women entrepreneurs looking to get investment-ready.

A 9-week program for women entrepreneurs at the ideation stage.

A 20-week program for women entrepreneurs looking to refine their business model and build leadership skills.

WOSEN News

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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Agents of Change: Community Health

Woman holding up vegetables

Tackle health challenges head-on

With an aging population, rising healthcare costs and increasing levels of chronic disease, the world needs new innovations that improve health outcomes for individuals, families and communities. Here at the Centre for Social Innovation, we know that great challenges also present opportunities to make the world a better place. We set out to find innovators tackling health challenges head on for Agents of Change: Community Health.

In 2016, CSI and Green Shield Canada Foundation created the Agents of Change: Community Health program to give dreamers, doers and innovators in Toronto a helping hand in developing solutions to health problems affecting various communities.

Each agent received a $10,000-grant, a one-year membership at the Centre for Social Innovation, acceleration supports from leading advisors and educators in organizational and business development, and took part in special programming such as Peer Circles and events to support their work. They achieved a 195% increase in revenues, and a 97% increase in the number of people impacted.

What is Community Health?

Imagine riding home from work along a freshly painted bike lane where Cycle TO is offering a cycling workshop. You watch a local running club training in the park as a group of seniors pass by on a walking tour led by Building Roads Together. You stop at a farmers market to purchase some local produce from Fresh City Farms. You pick up a few extra things for your neighbour, recently diagnosed with Stage 2 breast cancer. You’re worried but feel relieved knowing that her friends are taking turns bringing her meals using the TYZE Personal Networks online platform. You make one last stop at the local Health Centre to pick up some brochures on how to be a caregiver.

What Participants Got

Agents gained access to workspace, meeting space and CSI’s dynamic, multidisciplinary community of more than 1,000 organizations and 2,500 individuals. Agents of Change winners also benefited from CSI programs.

Part of the CSI Accelerates Initiative

At CSI, we support entrepreneurs with solutions that drive change through acceleration and incubation. Learn more about our approach here.

Logo for CSI Principle - CSI Accelerates