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Rural  SE ResearchRural  SE ResourcesRural  SE Stories

Rural and northern areas across Ontario face unique challenges when it comes to harnessing economic development, funding and resources. Community builders outside city centres still face barriers to accessing the supports they need to increase SE skills training and capacity development. We know that policy and practice leading to rural prosperity needs to be rooted in rural and northern contexts and perspectives. Yet the distinct voices and innovative stories of rural nonprofit resilience and social enterprise are often eclipsed by the interests of those more familiar with the urban landscape.
This has been the rationale for projects such as the Rural Social Enterprise Constellation (RSEC) and the reason for this rural space on SEontario.org. The portal directly links to all rural content on the site, particularly case studies and research created through the RSEC Trillium funded project and the RSEC New Directions Research Grant. Social enterprise plays a key role in supporting communities in Ontario. This portal shares some of what we know about how social enterprise is thriving in rural and northern Ontario.

 

Rural  SE Research

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Rural Social Enterprise Project: Documenting the Learning
Rural Social Enterprise Project: Documenting the Learning
The Rural Social Enterprise Project sought to contribute to the resilience and resource development capacity of rural nonprofits by promoting knowledge, skills and supports for social enterprise development.
Rural Social Enterprise in Ontario: RSEC Learning Report
Rural Social Enterprise in Ontario: RSEC Learning Report
The report that follows outlines the rationale and theory of change that have informed RSEC’s
work. It shares project accomplishments, key learning, and the voices of rural stakeholders
who were involved in RSEC project activities from 2012 to 2015.
This Venn diagram explains the social economy in Ontario, Canada. Public Sector [PUS.], Private sector [PVS], and Civil Society Organizations [CSO] are the three main circles. Public Sector nonprofits are where PUS and CSO overlap. Social Economy Businesses are where PVS and CSO overlap. Community Economic Development are where all three sections overlap. The social economy is found within Public sector Nonprofits, CSO, Community Economic Development, and Social Economy Businesses.
Social Enterprise in Ontario Report
An overview of the development of social enterprise within the context of the Social Economy and a summary of key supports for social enterprise in the province of Ontario.

Rural  SE Resources

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Rural Social Enterprise Constellation
Rural Social Enterprise Constellation
Connecting, supporting, and growing social enterprise (SE) in rural Ontario.
What Makes it Rural?
What Makes it Rural?
A process to help organizations articulate rural ‘assets’ and rural ‘wants’ and ‘make their case’ to decision-makers
SEontario's Resource Archive
SEontario's Resource Archive
SEontario's collection of resources for Social Enterprises (As well as Co-operatives and B-corps). Includes information on what a Social Enterprise is, how to start one, marketplaces, communities, policies, and more.
Innovation Pathways
Innovative Rural Communities Tools (Innovation Pathways)
Great tools for rural innovation that will benefit any rural community thinking of developing social enterprise

Rural  SE Stories

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Gateway Rural Health Research Institute
Gateway Rural Health Research Institute
Rural Canadians experience high rates of chronic diseases. By partnering with Canada’s leading academic institutions, community health centres and community organizations, Gateway will help to improve the health status and quality of life of rural Canadians.
Image of Erin Chapelle, founder, standing in front of shelves showcasing products and has one sample in her hands
Karma Marketplace
The Karma Project is an independent social enterprise operating in Huronia. Their store front, Karma Marketplace, located in Pentenguishene, ON offers unique products and services not offered anywhere else in the area.
Kitigan
Kitigan
Kitigan sells authentic, high quality, Aboriginal handmade goods online. Its name is an Ojibway word, meaning “garden” and symbolizing growth, prosperity and the nurturing aspect of Mother Earth.
CR logon
The Common Roof
The Common Roof is a community-based social enterprise providing sustainable and professional work and program space for human-service nonprofit organizations. This SE is a multi-tenant nonprofit centre that provides quality, affordable space for human service organizations in Simcoe County.
Market vegetables
Waterloo Region Neighbourhood Market Initiative
The Waterloo Region Neighbourhood Market Initiative operates 2 farmers’ markets in Kitchener & Cambridge. The purpose of these markets is to provide people in the Kitchener-Cambridge communities, and the surrounding area, with fresh local vegetables and fruits throughout the summer and fall months.
This is an image of a person pouring some tea.
True North Community Cooperative
True North Community Co-operative (TNCC) is an incorporated, non-profit co-op run by a volunteer board of directors elected by and from the membership. As a community co-op, they foster a sense of togetherness, encourage networking, and share knowledge and resources throughout Northern Ontario.
Entrance to the Forge
The Forge
The Forge is a co-working space in Greater Sudbury managed by the environmental non-profit network reThink Green. The Forge provides flexible and professional office space and services, and fosters an ease of networking that can grow business and extend social and environmental participation.
This is an image of two men doing interior construction of a new house.
La Maison Verte
La Maison Verte Inc. has been in the production of conifer seedlings for the province's reforestation program since 1983. Based in Hearst, La Maison Verte is owned and operated by a non profit women's group whose objective is to provide full time and seasonal employment to local women.
Link2Feed Inc
Link2Feed Inc
Link2Feed is a social purpose (for-profit) business that aims to ensure “everyone gets a meal”, by proving food banks with software solutions to more effectively manage operations and resources in order to increase their level of accountability and overall community impact.
COIN
COIN Community Opportunity and Innovation Network
COIN is a non-profit community economic development (CED) corporation and has been serving the Peterborough area of Central Ontario for over 20 years. COIN promotes equality, wellness and empowerment through innovative and sustainable economic development.
Hatch Ptbo
Hatch Ptbo
Hatch Ptbo is a COIN social enterprise that builds a more vibrant and inclusive local economy by providing workspace, community, and resources to social purpose business and enterprising non-profits.
Peterborough EATS
Peterborough EATS
Peterborough EATS is a social enterprise located in Peterborough. They provide training to people that face barriers to employment; run a café in the Peterborough Public Library that offers quality foods at affordable prices and is open to all members of the community; and run a catering business.
Fusion Youth Activity And Technology Centre: Case Study Report
Fusion Youth Activity and Technology Centre
Fusion Youth Activity and Technology Centre is an organization that provides youth with opportunities to explore their interests, enhance their employment skills and experiences, and develop livelihoods.
Willow Springs Creative Centre
Willow Springs Creative Centre
Willow Springs Creative Centre is a social enterprise that promotes individual and community development through opportunities for creative expression. The organization offers inclusive, accessible, and custom-designed art, therapeutic gardening and food programming delivered by professional artists, gardeners and facilitators.
Aron Theatre Co-operative Inc.
Aron Theatre Co-operative Inc.
The Aron Theatre Co-operative Inc. is a not-for-profit co-operative that aims to transform the historic Aron Theatre in Campbellford, Ontario, into a sustainable cultural hub. The Co-operative is owned and managed by community members for community members.
TeamWerks
TeamWerks
TeamWerks is a social enterprise in Thunder Bay which is structured as a worker co-op providing employment options and opportunities for consumers of mental health services. TeamWerks provides individualized employment supports and services based on a holistic approach.
Four images in a grid. Two people working on a carpentry project. One person picking fruit. Another individual working on wood projects. Final image of person trimming trees.
Groupe Convex
Groupe Convex incubates and manages social enterprises. Their 9 social enterprises employ local residents who face employment challenges and provides them with meaningful jobs. These enterprises generate over $4 million in annual sales and employ 120 people.
three people in a woodworking room with tools and wood pictures. Two of them are students being trained by a third individual.
Train-a-Youth Enterprises Inc.
Train-a-Youth Enterprises Inc. provides a personalized training program to youth, adapted for the needs of each participant and the community they live in.
More SEontario Stories
Social Enterprise stories told from the perspectives of the organizations themselves. Learn important lessons, history, community growth stories, and more from SE, Co-ops, and B-Corps in the province of Ontario.

This is the logo for the Government of Ontario.This rural SE portal is made possible with the generous support of the Ministry of Agriculture and Food, the Ministry of Rural Affairs and the Agricultural Institute of Ontario.