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.

CSI is offering four initiatives within the WOSEN program:

One-to-one coaching to help your enterprise flourish.

An ongoing support system for women and gender non-binary entrepreneurs looking to get investment-ready!

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.

CSI Coaches

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.

  • Start Date: November 9, 2020
  • End Date: March 31, 2021
  • Applications: rolling intake until all 25 spots are filled
  • Program
  • Social Ventures

Whether you are looking to

  • 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.

Application will be based on a rolling intake until all 25 spots are filled.

Investment Readiness Sandbox

As an entrepreneur it can be hard work searching and preparing for the right grant,  loan, or investment.  You want to use your time well when looking for opportunities and being positioned to succeed.      

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

Program Dates: January 2020 –  June 2021, meeting once a month on the first Wednesday of the month.

  • Start Date: January 6, 2021
  • End Date: June 7, 2021
  • Applications: November 9 to December 18
  • 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 7, 2020
  • End Date: December 2, 2020
  • Application Period: closed
  • Program
  • Social Ventures
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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’ success with resources, mentors, expertise and connections that lead to viable enterprising solutions. Learn more about our approach here.



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