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Ontario Partners with Durham Region Community Innovation Lab on Poverty Solutions

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Ontario Partners with Durham Region Community Innovation Lab on Poverty Solutions

Local Poverty Reduction Fund Supports Community-Driven Poverty Solutions

Treasury Board Secretariat

Ontario is supporting the Community Innovation Lab to help at-risk youth in the Durham Region gain the skills they need to succeed in the workplace. 

Through the Local Poverty Reduction Fund, Ontario is investing up to $692,000 over three years in the organization's Not in Education, Employment or Training (NEET) Youth Incubator program, which recruits local businesses and academics to deliver customized business skills workshops, training and mentoring to at-risk youth. Youth have dedicated time and resources to build a business with a mentor, as well as access to start-up funding.

With Ontario's support, the Community Innovation Lab will extend the program to eight municipalities across Durham Region and measure its success in increasing young people's graduation rates, employability and self-sufficiency.

Evidence gathered from this project and others will be used to support poverty reduction programs across the province that have been proven to work and that can expand over time.

Fighting poverty is part of the government's 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, innovative environment where business thrives and building a secure savings plan.

Quick Facts

  • The Local Poverty Reduction Fund is a $50-million, six-year initiative that supports community-driven projects which measurably improve the lives of those disproportionately affected by poverty, including women, single parents, people with disabilities, youth, newcomers, visible minorities, seniors and Aboriginal Peoples.
  • Organizations have two more opportunities to apply for funding in 2016 and 2017.

Additional Resources


“With this funding, the Community Innovation Lab will be able to evaluate its service delivery model and help us learn more about what approaches are making a difference for at-risk youth in communities across Ontario.”

Deb Matthews

Deputy Premier, President of the Treasury Board and Minister Responsible for the Poverty Reduction Strategy

“I believe strongly in the value of mentorship. Providing this support is certain to help youth find business success.”

Granville Anderson

MPP for Durham

“I am very pleased that the Government of Ontario is providing funding to Community Innovation Lab that will help support the expansion of their NEET Youth Incubator program to the eight municipalities that make up Durham Region. This program will connect at-risk youth with local businesses that will mentor and train them to become successful entrepreneurs.”

Joe Dickson

MPP for Ajax-Pickering

“I believe that every young person, including those who are not in education, employment or training (NEET), have the potential and creativity to make change happen for themselves, societies and the world, through an inclusive entrepreneurship ecosystem. We applaud the Province for recognizing the scope of this entrepreneurship intervention through an investment that will enable us to scale the NEET Youth Incubator across eight cities in the Durham Region, while undertaking research with Trent University, to measure and evaluate the impact of the intervention on youth self-employment, employment, poverty reduction and in building sustainable livelihoods. A million thanks!”

Pramilla Ramdahani

Executive Director, Community Innovation Lab

Media Contacts



Government Jobs and Employment Children and Youth Poverty Reduction