Government of Ontario Support for Social Enterprise
Office for Social Enterprise
In 2012, Ontario created the Office for Social Enterprise (OSE). The Government also engaged Helen Burstyn, former Chair of the Ontario Trillium Foundation, to serve as a Special Advisor, in connection with the new Office.
Situated in the Ministry of Economic Development, Trade and Employment, the OSE is helping to deliver the Ontario government’s social enterprise agenda by coordinating existing activities across several provincial ministries and agencies.
The OSE is also leading the creation and implementation of new programs and policies to support Ontario social entrepreneurs as they start-up and grow their ventures.
Impact – A Social Enterprise Strategy for Ontario 2013
Download Impact – A Social Enterprise Strategy for Ontario 2013 [PDF Format]
In Impact, the government outlines ways it will support social enterprise in Ontario over the next three years. There are four pillars supporting the strategy:
Pillar 1, Connecting, Coordinating, Communicating, will see the OSE playing a catalytic role by bringing the public, private and not-for-profit sectors together.
Pillar 2, Building the Social Enterprise Brand, is about increasing the awareness of Ontario social enterprises both nationally and internationally, which includes developing a focused Web portal for social entrepreneurs.
Pillar 3, Creating a vibrant social finance marketplace, involves working to establish Ontario as a leading, global social finance hub and magnet for impact investment. This will include a global-scale impact investing conference in early 2014, and work across government to make new social finance tools available, including crowdfunding and a new Social Enterprise Demonstration Fund.
Pillar 4, Delivering service, support and solutions, focuses on how the government will sponsor innovative solutions to complex societal problems, including piloting new strategic social procurement approaches, as well as providing focused support for youth and Aboriginal social entrepreneurs.
Making an Impact: Ontario’s Social Enterprise Progress Report 
Download Impact Making an Impact: Ontario’s Social Enterprise Progress Report  [PDF Format]
Impact: A Social Enterprise Strategy for Ontario was released in September 2013. The multiyear strategic plan was launched with the long-term goal of making Ontario the best place in North America to start, grow and invest in social enterprises. The Progress Report, “Making and Impact – Ontario’s Social Enterprise Progress Report”, provides updates on activity to date relating to the 2013 Strategy.
The report highlights the outcomes and key deliverables that have been achieved, including the Social Enterprise Demonstration Fund, which enables 11 non-profit intermediaries to provide support and funding to social enterprises across the province.
Learn more about the progress Ontario has made in supporting social enterprise across the province.
Recent Government Initiatives
- The Ontario Catapult Microloan Fund for Social Enterprises
- The School for Social Entrepreneurs Ontario
- Studio Y
Resources for Social Enterprises
You’ll find information here about the government’s supports for social entrepreneurs, educators and impact investors:
- SiG@MaRS: Social Innovation Generation (SiG) is a national collaboration venture. It aims to advance new approaches to social and environmental problems. SiG works closely with MaRS, an innovation centre in Toronto, to host workshops, courses and events that aim to promote social entrepreneurship.
- Ontario Network of Entrepreneurs: ONE is a network of innovation organizations. It aims to grow entrepreneurship across the province, with an increasing focus on social entrepreneurship.
- Infrastructure Ontario: The Ontario Loan Program provides long-term financing to renew infrastructure in social enterprises. These include community health and social services hubs, Aboriginal health access centres and not-for-profit (NFP) sports and recreation organizations.
- MaRS Solutions Lab: This collaborative space enables teams to examine complex problems, explore new ideas and develop solutions.
- The SVX: The Social Venture Connexion is an impact-first investment platform. It connects community-focused social enterprises with investors and service providers.
- The Partnership Project: This project aims to strengthen Ontario’s not-forprofit sector. It is funded by the government of Ontario.
- Ontario Trillium Foundation’s Future Fund: The Ontario Trillium Foundation distributes grants to charities and not-for-profit organizations via three programs, including the Future Fund.
For more information go to: www.ontario.ca/socialenterprise