The Centre for Innovative Social Enterprise Development (CISED) was established in 2009 with a mandate to build a continuum of supports for social enterprise development in Ottawa including access to technical expertise, financing, learning communities, training and cross-sector partnerships. Since then, CISED has developed training curriculum, delivered events and workshops, consulted with hundreds of organizations, mapped the landscape of social enterprise in Ottawa, issued technical assistance grants, and worked with a constellation of partners – from volunteer trainers to experts in the field and from other incubators to educational partners – to provide value to social entrepreneurs.
Offering an array of services, CISED focuses on:
- Knowledge mobilization
- Consulting and capacity building
- Business ideation and acquisition
- Procurement and supply chain development.
Through the provision of these services, CISED supports nonprofit organizations and social entrepreneurs to develop greater capacity to undertake and grow social enterprises in all stages of development and aspects of management, ultimately increasing social impact and community good.
1. Knowledge Mobilization
CISED offers a mix of pro-bono and fee-based services to support social enterprise development.
One-on-one coaching is available to assist organizations with various aspects of social enterprise planning and development such as business ideation, legal structures, organization and board readiness, and options to finance business development, launch and growth.
The Impact Academy is an interactive learning experience for social entrepreneurs that is unique to Ottawa. Offered through a partnership between CISED and Hub Ottawa, it includes:
- five 1/2 day sessions (20 hours in total) of interactive workshops/presentations by subject matter experts in business modelling, social finance, branding, incorporation structure, accounting and design
- peer learning groups with other social innovators
- coaching hours from CISED
- access to the growing, vibrant and supportive environment at HUB Ottawa
- access to other learning opportunities at HUB Ottawa
“The Impact Academy is a mini-MBA for social entrepreneurs without the frustrations and the excess…affordable, concise and cool!” – Past Participant of the Impact Academy
Impact Sustainability Champions:
The Natural Step, The Co-operators, The Otesha Project, Hub Ottawa and CISED have partnered to offer the IMPACT! Sustainability Champions Training PLUS in Ottawa. This program is geared to students ages 19-25 who care about sustainability and want to make a difference in their community. Participants will deepen their sustainability understanding, enhance their confidence as young leaders, and be empowered with the tools and support to develop and launch successful sustainability projects and social enterprises, and take on leadership roles to scale-up existing opportunities.
Each student receives top-notch training, project development tools, and mentorship for 4 months following the workshop to ensure their community projects have the highest chances of success. Program participants also have an opportunity to apply for project seed funding from The Co-operators IMPACT! Fund. This inspiring program builds the capacity of young leaders to act strategically to address the environmental, social, and economic challenges facing the region, and help build healthy and vibrant communities.
A variety of resources can be downloaded from CISED’s website
2. Consulting and Capacity Building
Fee-based consulting services are offered by CISED in all aspects of social enterprise development such as ideation, entrepreneurial /organizational readiness, market research, feasibility, market testing, business planning, financing, marketing and sales, procurement, and designing social impact metrics.
Training and Technical Assistance Grants in conjunction with Enp:
Build Your Social Enterprise Workshop:
Enterprising Non Profits (Enp) is a collaborative program that was launched in 1997 in British Columbia and has since expanded to other Canadian cities including Ottawa. Enp-Ottawa at CISED offers the informative full-day Build Your Social Enterprise workshop for non-profit organizations wishing to start or expand a social enterprise. It is ideally suited for senior fundraising staff, executive directors and board members. This workshop introduces the concept of social enterprise, and provides examples of how non-profit organizations can use social enterprise to diversify their revenues, increase the effectiveness of their community work, and creatively engage the public. The workshop also supports participants in analyzing their organization’s readiness by looking at opportunities and risks of operating a social business. Note that non-profit organizations with a senior staff or board member attending this workshop are eligible to apply for the Mission Multiplier Grant offered through CISED.
Mission Multiplier Grants:
Non-profit organizations can apply for a Mission Multiplier Grant to gain the technical assistance they need to start or grow a social venture. Funds can be used for a variety of activities such as market research, feasibility study, business plan preparation, marketing plan, communications strategy, or expansion planning (click here for more information). Businesses designed to address the needs of children, youth, families and disadvantaged populations are encouraged to apply. To be eligible to apply, organizations must be a provincially or federally incorporated non-profit organization and have its base, activities, and benefits in Ottawa; attend the Building Your Social Enterprise Workshop; have the organizational capacity (budget and staff) to meet the grant objectives; and commit matching funds (cash and/or in-kind).
Innoweave is an initiative of The J.W McConnell Family Foundation, in collaboration with Social Innovation Generation (SiG), thought leaders, academics, and partners from the private, public, and not-for-profit sectors. The program is organized into a series of independent modules, each including three elements: a website, workshop, and coach and grant. The social enterprise module aims to increase each participant’s knowledge about social enterprise, explore the value it can bring to their non-profit organization, and consider if the timing is right for their organization. CISED is working with McConnell to offer workshops and related coaching services to Ottawa based organizations.
3. Business Ideation and Acquisition
In addition to compiling market research which will support organizations to identify viable opportunities for start-up and growth based on market needs, CISED provides assistance to existing business owners seeking to sell or transfer their business to a non-profit organization to operate as a social enterprise.
4. Procurement Support
CISED is looking to increase social value purchasing by implementing a strategy to engage local institutions in public benefit purchase decisions and by providing coaching and brokering to increase purchasing within the social enterprise sector and the community.
Leave a Reply