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Research and Innovation

The Social Enterprise Demonstration Fund (SEDF) @Ryerson is a 3-year acceleration and funding program specifically tailored for social entrepreneurs in the GTA. This program will help support the development of dynamic and sustainable high-growth social enterprises, strengthening an inclusive and growing economy while also advancing Ontario’s social developments.

This program is open to youth (between the ages of 18 and 35) who are social entrepreneurs and in the early stage of developing a high-growth social enterprise, and who are committed to operating in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA).

 

The Program

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Idea Consultation

In the Idea Consultation stage, entrepreneurs will be mentored and coached by experts, as well as evaluated and challenged by their peers. These sessions will encourage respectful but diligent assessments of each business idea, with the goal of developing a viable plan.

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Through this process, teams will be given all of the necessary resources and training to develop a thorough business plan. This process will help ensure that all participants are equipped with the tools they need to succeed, regardless of whether they are chosen to move forward in the process. This is a skills development opportunity that does include a financial award for participation.

Eligibility: Entrepreneurs must be between the ages of 18 to 35 and have an idea for a high-growth social enterprise located or operating in the GTA.

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Market Validation

Through a competitive process, applicants that have successfully completed the Idea Consultation stage (or are at an equivalent stage of development) will advance to the Market Validation stage, pitching their idea to experts to substantiate their business plan.

Awards of $5,000 will be granted to successful applicants to help them test their concept in the marketplace.

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Recipients of the Market Validation award will be required to report to their advisors to receive guidance and feedback on their progress. They will present their work to a panel of experts at the midpoint of the award term, which will give the entrepreneurs wider exposure to various business networks in the GTA, while receiving a broad range of feedback.

Eligibility: Entrepreneurs must be between the ages of 18 to 35 and have an idea for a high-growth social enterprise located or operating in the GTA. They must have a detailed business plan. Successful applicants must register their social enterprise in Ontario in order to receive project funding.

Program period: 6 months

Funding amount: $5000

Deadline to apply: Rolling Deadline 

 

DOWNLOAD APPLICATION (docx)

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Market Readiness

The Market Readiness stage supports applicants who have completed the Idea Consultation and Market Validation stages (or are at an equivalent stage of development). After demonstrating the potential of their idea, applicants will be assessed on technical feasibility and merit, innovation, marketing potential, cost and financing needs, risk mitigation, and social return on investment (SROI).

Awards of up to $15,000 will be granted to help successful applicants go to market. This funding will be provided on a 1:1 matching basis. The matching funds will need to be obtained from a different source.

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Enterprises that are accepted into the Market Readiness stage will be eligible for space in one of Ryerson’s Innovation Zones for a six-month term. This will provide enterprises with access to several Zone supports, including i) legal and business services, ii) 3D printing and other design and fabrication equipment, iii) marketing and communication support, and iv) meeting space, equipment and administrative support.

Eligibility: Entrepreneurs must be between the ages of 18 to 35 and have an idea for a high-growth social enterprise located or operating in the GTA. They must have a detailed business plan and a product/service prototype. Successful applicants must register their social enterprise in Ontario in order to receive project funding.

Program period: 6 months

Funding amount: Up to $15,000, with 1:1 matching funds.

Deadline to Apply: Aug 21st, 2017

DOWNLOAD APPLICATION (docx)

Apply Now

Please apply to the most appropriate program component based on the stage of development of your social innovation idea or project.

Application deadlines are updated regularly:

Market Validation

 

Funding Amount: $5000
 

Deadline to Apply: Rolling Deadline

 

DOWNLOAD APPLICATION (docx)

Market Readiness

 

Funding Amount: Up to $15,000 (1:1 matching from other funds)

Deadline to Apply: Aug 21st, 2017

 

DOWNLOAD APPLICATION (docx)

Please submit your application in a word/PDF file to: SEDF@ryerson.ca. Thank you for your interest in the SEDF @ Ryerson program. You will be contacted shortly after your application is reviewed.