WOSEN

SUPPORTING WOMEN SOCIAL ENTREPRENEURS

START OR GROW  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 venture, that seeks to have a positive social, cultural or environmental impact through its operations, and/or the sale of their products and 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 build skills that match their potential and help them succeed.

CSI is offering three initiatives within the WOSEN program:

Four Funding and Capital strategy sessions for women-led social ventures.

A free, 9 week program for women and gender non-binary people who are at an ideation stage.

Support for women entrepreneurs and changemakers navigating the competing demands of a growing venture.

Funding and Capital: Four Strategy Sessions

WOSEN is hosting four strategy sessions for women and gender non-binary people who lead establish social ventures who have a defined need and are preparing for funding or investment in the coming year.

Program Dates: September 16 – October 7 on Wednesday mornings over Zoom

Applications for the Funding and Capital Strategy Sessions are now closed.

  • Start Date: September 16th, 2020
  • End Date: October 7th, 2020
  • Application Period: TBD
  • Program
  • Social Ventures

The Start Program

Trying to figure out whether or not you want to be a social entrepreneur?

Join the Start program to explore an area that matters to you and your community and uncover the possibilities of what your social impact can look like. If you’re ready to invest in your personal and professional growth and motivated to learn new skills, this is the program for you!

Applications to the Fall 2020 cohort are now closed. Sign up here to be the first to know when applications for the Winter 2021 cohort open.

  • Start Date: October 7th, 2020
  • End Date: December 2nd, 2020
  • Application Period: December 2020 (Winter Cohort)
  • Program
  • Social Ventures
Illustration of three people meant to represent coaching

INDIVIDUAL AND GROUP COACHING

Illustration of circles with three dots meant to represent peer circles

PEER CIRCLES

Icon of notebook meant to represent tools and resources

TOOLS AND RESOURCES

Icon meant to represent networking opportunities

NETWORKING OPPORTUNITIES

We’ve designed this program to allow you to explore whether social entrepreneurship is right for you, while gaining valuable skills that will help your career regardless of the path you choose.

After the 9-week program is done you will have a deeper understanding of social entrepreneurship and will have:

  1. Explored an issue that matters to you
  2. Engaged in a deep dive to understand why it matters to you and your community
  3. Unraveled what your social impact could look like as you develop your enterprise idea.

You will also be connected to an experienced coach that will help you with the next steps of your journey.

Applications to the Fall 2020 cohort are now closed. Sign up here to be the first to know when applications for the Winter 2021 cohort open.

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

The Grow Accelerator

Ready to take your social purpose business to the next level? This program is for you!

Grow is a three-month accelerator launching in 2021 designed to support women-led, validation-stage social enterprises. Participants will benefit from one-to-one coaching with experienced coaches, in-class learning opportunities, and workspace at the Centre for Social Innovation.

To qualify for Grow you will need to meet the following criteria:

  • You are woman-identifying or gender non-binary
  • 50% or more of your business is women-owned
  • Your business or start-up is a for-profit or a nonprofit
  • You have a social purpose business with some initial traction
  • You are motivated and open to learning, feedback, and new ideas
  • You want to be part of an outstanding community of women
  • You are available to join daytime programming in Toronto held at CSI Annex (720 Bathurst Ave.) or online programming

Canadian citizenship is not required to participate.

Interested in Grow? Sign up to be notified when applications open!

  • Start Date: TBD
  • End Date: TBD
  • Application Period: TBD
  • Accelerator, Program
  • Social Ventures

More About WOSEN

The Women of Ontario Social Enterprise Network (WOSEN) is a collaborative led by Pillar Nonprofit Network alongside Centre for Social Innovation (CSI), SVX, NORDIK Institute and Lean 4 Flourishing. WOSEN proposes to broaden and diversify the entrepreneurial ecosystem supporting women through inclusive program design. This will support 150 new women-led social enterprises across Ontario and help grow 75 existing ones, as well as offer 10 women-centred innovation training sessions to 250 people in 12 communities. CSI, along with members of the WOSEN partnership are committed to moving forward a set of key design principles in our Start program & Grow accelerator.

Our programs are designed to be:

  • Inclusive and accessible
  • Systems-informed
  • Decolonized
  • Responsive
  • Human-centred

Inclusion and Diversity

CSI is dedicated to equity and inclusion, and encourages participation of women entrepreneurs from underserved and underrepresented communities – including Indigenous and two-spirit women, trans women, women with disabilities, racialized women and newcomer women, and all other women-identified people experiencing systemic barriers to success.

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 with solutions that drive change through acceleration and incubation. Learn more about our approach here.