In an effort to advance the Canadian economy, Premier Kathleen Wynne has announced that Ontario government funding will be provided to 11 organizations that support early-stage social enterprises through the Social Enterprise Demonstration Fund. Social enterprises are organizations that apply business/commercial strategies to capitalize on improvements in social, environmental and economic fields. Social enterprises do not have, or limit the distribution of profits and assets to their individual shareholders.
“The social and economic aspects of our government’s plan are interconnected. A society where everyone has the opportunity to contribute in a positive way is the foundation of our future prosperity. We’re proud to invest in savvy entrepreneurs who will improve life for people in Ontario, while driving economic growth and creating jobs.”
— Kathleen Wynne, Premier of Ontario
Social Enterprise Demonstration Fund Ontario Government Funding Details
The Social Enterprise Demonstration Fund is a $4M initiative that financially supports provincial social finance projects. Upon receiving the Ontario government funding, the aforementioned recipients will offer financial incentives to early stage social enterprises, ensuring that their businesses are able to develop and prosper effectively.
Ontario Government Funding Benefits
A province with sustainable social enterprises yields employment opportunities for youth, women, newcomers, Aboriginal people, persons with disabilities, and individuals faced with mental health and addiction obstacles. The employment of these individuals will positively influence the province’s economy, while also helping to reduce crime and homelessness rates. Ontario’s 10,000 existing social enterprises are estimated to employ 10,000 individuals, with these numbers on the rise (Ontario Government).
It is anticipated that the $4 million dollar contribution will garner $6M in additional investments from external sources and private investments. As part of the provincial government’s economic plan for Ontario, building its social enterprise sector is a priority. The Social Enterprise Demonstration Fund:
- Encourages collaboration with not-for-profit intermediary organizations to obtain value-for-money in program delivery.
- Using intermediaries, provides Ontario government funding to eligible social enterprises to develop their businesses via grants, loans, equity investments, royalties, or with other financial modalities.
- Acts as a learning platform for demonstrating innovative social finance agreements.
- Leverages government contributions through private sector expertise and investments.
This program will cover up to 50% of eligible costs to a maximum of $500,000 in Ontario government funding. Eligible costs include administration costs, professional fees, telecommunication, staff training, wrap-around supports expenses, research activities, planning & development, production, consulting fees, marketing, and outreach costs. Please note that no more than 50% of the project can be funded through government funding grants, loans, tax credits, or other incentives.
Social Enterprise Fund Eligibility
Please note that the Social Enterprise Demonstration Fund is currently not accepting applications. The following intermediary organizations are considered eligible applicants for future applications:
- Organizations incorporated on a provincial or federal level as a not-for-profit;
- Aboriginal organizations that are not a legal entity;
- Campus linked accelerators or incubators; and
- Municipal development corporations.
Utilizing Government Funding for Professional Growth
You can learn more about government funding opportunities by attending one of our free workshops or webinars. For weekly updates on government funding and business funding opportunities, sign up for weekly updates via our funding e-newsletter. For more detailed information, connect with one of our business funding experts to discuss your funding goals.