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Social Ventures Zone
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It’s one thing to have an idea about how to make the world a better place. It’s another to turn that idea into reality.

Our goal at the SocialVentures Zone is simple: give extraordinary individuals and teams access to the resources they need to create innovative projects and ventures that will have a positive impact on our local and global communities. It is about passion and purpose.

Cultivating zone participants’ drive, energy and determination to create change, the SocialVentures Zone supports students and alumni who want to discover their passions, accelerate their ideas for social change, and take their ideas to the next level by developing them into sustainable and viable initiatives.

We support individuals and teams directly. Investing in social entrepreneurs’ journeys creates long lasting impact. 

The SocialVentures Zone is powered by the humanities and social sciences in the Faculty of Arts, and fueled by social innovators across the university and in the broader Toronto community.

Located in a collaborative space in the heart of downtown Toronto, the SocialVentures Zone is the newest addition to Ryerson’s growing zone network, which was inspired by the success of the DMZ, one of Canada’s largest business incubators and co-working space for entrepreneurs. The SocialVentures Zone is part of Ryerson’s thriving multidisciplinary innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem, which was designated by the Ashoka Foundation as Canada’s first “Changemaker Campus,” where social innovation extends across research, classroom and student activities.

The SocialVentures Zone incorporates curriculum, just-in-time modules, and opportunities to collaborate with other campus learning zones and community organizations. The result is innovative hands-on learning that is open to students and alumni from all faculties.

How does the SocialVentures Zone work? 

It starts with you; someone who wants to create social change. Here’s what we do:

Start-up Funding
Each project has access to seed funding. Initial incubation grants of up to $1,500/project are available through the Faculty of Arts Student Project Grants. Check out this site for information on how to apply. Access to additional start-up grants may also be available. 

Coaching and Mentors
Uniquely matched, one-on-one coaching is available to encourage and advise participants as projects move from one stage to another. Mentors who are community leaders and social entrepreneurs have personal experience and are available to assist you with very specific technical knowledge. Alex Gill, Social Innovator in Residence, is also there to support and guide you. 

The SocialVentures Zone offers introductions to community and industry networks.

Participants in the Zone are required to attend a minimum of four workshops over a semester from a list of topics of interest to you. There are no papers to write and no grades given. Each workshop is no more than 2-3 hours. A notation will be added to your transcript. 

As part of the zone learning community you will meet peers that will become lifelong friends.

and have access to a collaborative work space.

Co-Working Space

A collaborative co-working space is at the centre of the zone experience. The Zone Resource Centre in the architecture building is available 24/7. 

Projects are given a 12-month timeframe (with an option for extension). Our changemakers are energetic and determined to create change today.

Bring your idea to life and watch change happen!

Open Call for Application

The SocialVentures Zone gives you the edge that you want and need. We are looking for creative ideas and transformative projects.

Apply Now!

We are Here to Support You!

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