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Ontario Investing $4 Million to Help Social Enterprises Grow

Archived News Release

Ontario Investing $4 Million to Help Social Enterprises Grow

Fund Creates Opportunities for Social Entrepreneurs

Office of the Premier

To help create jobs and build a fairer, more prosperous province, Ontario is providing funding to 11 organizations that support early-stage social enterprises.

Premier Kathleen Wynne announced these investments today at the Economic Club of Canada. Through the Social Enterprise Demonstration Fund, Ontario will support 11 social finance organizations across the province. These organizations will, in turn, provide loans or grants to early-stage social enterprises, helping them start or grow their businesses. Ontario's $4 million contribution is expected to leverage more than $6 million in investment from other sources, including the private sector.

The government wants to make Ontario the leading jurisdiction in North America for social enterprise. Sustainable social enterprises provide jobs for youth, women, newcomers, Aboriginal people, persons with disabilities, and those with mental health or addiction challenges.

Growing the province's social enterprise sector is part of the government's economic plan for Ontario. The four-part plan is building Ontario up by investing in people's talents and skills, building new public infrastructure like roads and transit, creating a dynamic, supportive environment where business thrives, and building a secure retirement savings plan.

Quick Facts

  • Social enterprises are ventures that use business strategies to drive social, environmental and economic change.
  • The Social Enterprise Demonstration Fund is one of the key commitments in Ontario’s Social Enterprise Strategy.
  • Ontario has about 10,000 social enterprises that employ an estimated 160,000 people.
  • Over the next decade, the global social finance market is expected to generate up to $1 trillion in new impact investment capital.
  • It is estimated that 68 per cent of social enterprises in Ontario have a poverty reduction focus.

Additional Resources


“The social and economic aspects of our government’s plan are interconnected. A society where everyone has the opportunity to contribute in a positive way is the foundation of our future prosperity. We’re proud to invest in savvy entrepreneurs who will improve life for people in Ontario, while driving economic growth and creating jobs.”

Kathleen Wynne

Premier of Ontario

“Social enterprises present a huge opportunity for all parts of the economy in areas that matter to Ontarians, such as creating a fairer society. This new social finance fund will help connect high-potential, early-stage social enterprises with the capital they need to grow and create jobs. It will also help position Ontario as a global impact investment leader.”

Brad Duguid

Minister of Economic Development, Employment and Infrastructure

“The Social Enterprise Demonstration Fund will help in tackling some of Ontario’s pressing social issues. It provides a chance for collaboration between the government, private and not-for-profit sectors. It will connect capital to good ideas that are designed to make a positive difference for people and their communities, and the fund will also contribute to building interest and investment in this important sector.”

Tonya Surman

Co-founder and CEO, Centre for Social Innovation



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