WOSEN’s Start Program

Are you interested in exploring your purpose as a social entrepreneur?

Do you have an early-stage idea that will create positive social or environmental impact?

Join the Start program, a 9-week online program for women identified and gender non-binary aspiring entrepreneurs 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!

Applications for the final Start cohort are now open. Apply by August 29, 2021!

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Classes will run:
September 29, 2021 to December 1, 2021
Wednesdays: 5:30 – 8:30 PM ET
Online: Zoom Classroom and Slack workspace


We’ve designed this program to foster a collaborative, supportive and inclusive virtual community for our cohort. Together, we will explore social entrepreneurship and various tools and resources to help refine your social enterprise idea, while gaining valuable skills that will give you the confidence to move your idea forward.

Throughout the 9-week program, you will:

  • Explore your purpose as a social entrepreneur within a supportive online community
  • Discover your problem space
  • Map opportunities for impact & discover your key stakeholders
  • Build your business model
  • Identify funding options

By the end of the 9 weeks, you’ll gain experience, confidence and practice in core areas such as critical thinking, systems thinking, active listening, storytelling, decision making and business modelling.


In addition to the 9-week Start Program online curriculum, participants will also gain:

  • Four one-to-one coaching sessions with an experienced social enterprise coach
  • Access to online CSI Community perks: CSI Community Membership & invitations to additional online workshops
  • Extra support through weekly (virtual) peer engagement sessions
  • Access to valuable tools, guides and worksheets for your future use


You will form deep connections with a diverse cohort of 15 women-identified and gender non-binary changemakers who are passionate, driven and committed to making a positive impact. In this program you will also have an opportunity to connect with a coach from our diverse community of social enterprise coaches, because we believe representation is important and highly valuable.

The Start Program was developed in partnership with the Women of Ontario Social Enterprise Network. WOSEN is dedicated to equity and inclusion, and seeks to support women-identified and gender non-binary social entrepreneurs including those from underrepresented and underserved communities.

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

Folks networking at CSI's Women with Purpose event, held in The Garage at CSI Annex

Explore your future as a social entrepreneur


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