We are pleased to announce that Ryerson University has launched a new program for individuals between the ages of 18 and 35 to establish and scale non-profit and for-profit social innovation ventures operating in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA).
The program is funded by the Government of Ontario’s $4M Social Enterprise Demonstration Fund (SEDF), which supports the development of early stage, high-growth social enterprises. A social enterprise is any organization, such as a co-operative, for-profit or not-for-profit organization, that balances revenue generation/profitability or its main public mission with the goal of achieving positive social/environmental outcomes.
Individuals with an idea for a social innovation project are encouraged to apply to the SEDF @ Ryerson program to enhance their entrepreneurial skills, have access to funding and investor networks, as well as test their concept in the marketplace.
Through a competitive process, applicants can apply to two funding stages:
1) In the Market Validation stage, the applicant is expected to have conducted a preliminary scan to determine if their proposed idea already exists. They should be able to explain how their idea improves upon an existing product/service and/or how their idea compares to existing competition in the marketplace. Awards of $5,000 will be granted to successful applicants to help them test their social innovation concept.
2) In the Market Readiness stage, the applicant is expected to have conducted a thorough market analysis and have a completed business plan and a product/service prototype. Awards of up to $15,000 will be granted to help successful applicants bring their innovation to market. This funding will be provided on a 1:1 matching basis. The matching funds will need to be obtained from a different source.
Applications are accepted on a rolling basis, with adjudication occurring regularly. Upcoming deadlines include February 19, 2016 and March 16, 2016.
As an existing resource for social entrepreneurs, we invite you to reach out to your network to pass on the information about our funding and skills development opportunity.
For more information about the program, please visit: http://www.ryerson.ca/research/sedf/.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact the team at: SEDF@ryerson.ca.