The purpose of this survey is to provide a snapshot-in-time profile of Ontario’s social enterprise sector, in order to increase awareness and inform actions to support its development.
This survey builds on previous research that the Canadian CED Network conducted in 2012, titled Inspiring Innovation. It also contributes to the national profile being created through similar surveys which have been conducted across the country to develop a better understanding of a national social entrepreneurial movement within the Canada. Specifically, the research captures key societal and financial dimensions of the social enterprise sector by highlighting the size, scope, and nature of their activities. The survey of social enterprises in Ontario was conducted in the summer of 2015, and respondents were asked to report on their activities during their previous operating period in 2014.
This profile and the final report were created by staff of the Canadian CED Network in Ontario and MaRS Centre for Impact Investing with Peter R. Elson, Mount Royal University and Peter V. Hall, Simon Fraser University and support by CLSEW-OISE/UofT and CEPC-Georgian College.
Financial support was received from these organizations and the Government of Ontario, the Ontario Trillium Foundation and the Government of Canada. The authors thank these supporters and all those who participated in the survey. The Government of Ontario states that "a social enterprise is an organization that uses business strategies to maximize its social or environmental impact". This survey is unique in that it is the first in Canada to include for-profit social enterprises as well as many nonprofit child care and housing providers. The findings from this survey are based on the participation of 597 respondents representing 1,271 entities.