Ontario to Invest $4M in Businesses With Social Conscience

Friday, February 20, 2015

Premier Kathleen Wynne says the Liberal government is putting up $4 million to finance 11 socially conscious enterprise projects across the province.

“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,” Wynne told the Economic Club of Canada Thursday.

The premier said the $4 million contribution from the Social Enterprise Demonstration Fund is expected to leverage more than $6 million in investment from other sources, including the private sector.

Wynne said it is her government’s goal is 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, she said.

Social Enterprise Council of Canada describes socially conscious enterprise projects as businesses owned by non-profit organizations directly involved in the production and or selling of goods and services for the blended purpose of generating income and achieving social, cultural, and/or environmental aims.

Wynne to pointed to the example of Jennifer Fischer, who founded Soul Roots, which used alternative farming practices to create large yield crops on contaminated land sites or Rudhra Persad’s Suit Up For Success, which has provided free interview clothing for more than 50 Ryerson students. Both businesses are affiliated with Ryerson Univeristy.

Source: Toronto Star (link opens in a new window)

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