The Government of Ontario today launched Impact - A Social Enterprise Strategy for Ontario. It represents an important new stage in the official recognition of social enterprise and accompanying policy support.
In Ontario, the social enterprise sector has witnessed rapid growth in the past decade. Over 10,000 social enterprises are currently operating in the province. Today, the Government of Ontario took a major step in recognizing triple-bottom-line businesses with the launch of a new plan that will support social entrepreneurs working to give back to their communities.
Impact - A Social Enterprise Strategy for Ontario is the province's plan to become the number one jurisdiction in North America for businesses that have a positive social, cultural, or environmental impact while generating revenue. The strategy builds on previous actions taken by the Province to support the sector, including the Ontario Catapult Microloan Fund, which provided start-up social enterprises with access to capital, services and support.
The strategy will support social entrepreneurs and attract investors by focusing on four key areas:
- Connecting, co-ordinating and communicating information to, and about, social entrepreneurs
- Building the social enterprise brand by increasing awareness of the sector using tools like an interactive web portal
- Creating a vibrant social finance marketplace through various initiatives, including exploring the launch of a new $4 million Social Enterprise Demonstration Fund to support early-stage social enterprises.
- Delivering other innovative supports, like a pilot program to help social enterprises be part of procurements related to the 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games.
Dr. Eric Hoskins, Minister of Economic Development, Trade and Employment, stated today, "This new strategy will attract entrepreneurs and a growing group of investors to do business in Ontario, helping to create jobs and grow our economy while contributing to the social good.”
See also: Inspiring Innovation - The Size, Scope, and Socioeconomic Impact of Nonprofit Social Enterprise in Ontario, CCEDNet-Ontario's 2012 profile of the sector.