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News & Events

Social Enterprise for Northern Ontario (SENO) Introduces CoStarter for Change Recipients

December 1, 2015

Social Enterprise for Northern Ontario (SENO) Introduces CoStarter for Change Recipients

Six social entrepreneurs across Northern Ontario to receive funding and support to launch their social enterprise

SAULT STE. MARIE – Following the launch of Social Enterprise Northern Ontario (SENO) CoStarter for Change this past June and an extensive application process, SENO representatives are pleased to introduce the six successful applicants who will participate in the new program.

Led by PARO Centre for Women’s Enterprise, CoStarter for Change supports the development of early-stage, high-growth social enterprises in Northern Ontario by offering social entrepreneurs access to capital, educational and support programs, workspace, and other services to help launch and grow their non-profit and for-profit ventures.

Over the next twelve weeks, participants will receive mentorship, funding, and business education from SENO program partners in an effort to grow and diversify social enterprise in Northern Ontario. Those partners include NORDIK Institute (lead partner in the Northeast), Thunder Bay Community Economic Development Commission, Sault Ste. Marie Community Development Corporation, Northwestern Ontario Innovation Centre, Sault Ste. Marie Innovation Centre, Social Entrepreneurship Evolution (SEE), BDC, RBC, United Way, and Copperfin Credit Union.

Social enterprises are broadly defined as organizations that make money and deliver social or environmental benefits. Rosalind Lockyer, PARO Executive Director, says; “At the SENO launch this past summer, we unveiled a blueprint to build a bigger and stronger social enterprise in the region. Today, we are introducing Northern Ontario to the people who will be taking this blueprint and turning it into reality. These six, carefully chosen entrepreneurs have extremely diverse business plans that strive to solve big-picture problems, ranging from community rejuvenation to job creation and self-discovery, through social enterprise.”

The six SENO CoStarter for Change recipients are as follows:

Cindy Crowe
Blue Sky Social Enterprise
Through Blue Sky’s Indigenous Worldview Training, One Tribe, the organization supports self-healing and self-discovery. Blue Sky also offers nine formal workshops which can accommodate industry, government, organizations, or individuals.

Minna Koskela-Wild
Wild Blue Mar 4 Change
There is so much good when individuals come together with community spirit and take steps for positive change. Weaving together these people and their stories is really what Blue Mar 4 Change is all about – a collaborative effort for a brighter and kinder planet.

Karen Kerk
Willow Springs Creative Centre
Willow Springs is utilizing the SENO grant to develop the social enterprise ‘arm’ of the organization. The generated revenue will be re-invested into programming and training/employment opportunities for those with developmental and other disabilities.

Paul Amano
Boreal Journeys Sled Dog Kennel
Boreal Journeys Sled Dog Kennel fosters two-way relationships between our guests and our dogs, centered on adventure experiences and personal growth. Through the SENO program, we are seeking to strengthen our programming in the social realm by expanding capacity and providing corporate sector services and partnership opportunities.

Dean Benham & Roger Griffiths
Cloverbelt Local Food Co-op/Cloverbelt Country Meats
Through the joint efforts of Cloverbelt and the current abattoir operator, and through the support of SENO funding, the local abattoir will remain open, and allow for greater food access and security in the area as well as allowing the hunting tourism industry to thrive. Creating a unique partnership between a non-profit lead Co-operative “Cloverbelt” and local area butcher puts this business into the hands of the community and will allow its continued, successful operation.

Brenda McConnell
The Beehive Cuisine
The Beehive is a consumer driven program. Our goal is to reduce and overcome stigma and assist those living with mental health & addictions difficulties.

The recipients will report to the program partners as business resources for up to one-year after their initial incubating education period. “PARO and the program partners will be available to the SENO recipients throughout the entire process to help troubleshoot and ultimately get their social enterprises off the ground as fast and successfully as possible,” says Aleksa Shermack, SENO CoStarter for Change Program Manager. “The goal is to turn challenges into opportunities and foster social and public partnerships.”

“Social entrepreneurs in the region often identify accessing funds and financing as a barrier to getting their idea off the ground. This program will help social enterprise start-ups access capital, while also receiving wrap-around supports through community partners and resources,” said Dr. Gayle Broad, Director of Research at NORDIK Institute, “We are very proud to announce the first in-take of Northern Ontario participants and encourage Changemakers across the region to apply for the next round.”

The deadline for the next round of applicants is January 29, 2016. For further information about the Social Enterprise Northern Ontario (SENO) Costarter for Change program, upcoming workshops and the application process, please visit seethechange.ca/costarter4change www.paro.ca or contact Katie Elliott at 705-949-2301 ext. 1037.

Quick Facts:

SENO defines social enterprises as a revenue generating organization with primarily social objectives, whose surpluses and products or services are reinvested for that purpose in the community, rather than being driven by the need to deliver profit to shareholders and owners. A social enterprise can be for for-profit or not-for-profit.


Social Enterprise for Northern Ontario (SENO)

Led by PARO Centre for Women’s Enterprise, SENO is a non-profit organization that brings together communities, First Nations, organizations and businesses committed to the purpose of igniting innovation, securing investment, providing education for and financing social enterprise and social entrepreneurship in Northern Ontario.

SENO Co-Starter for Change

CoStarter for Change is a program of SENO that supports the development of early-stage, high-growth social enterprises in Northern Ontario by offering social entrepreneurs access to capital, educational and support programs, workspace, and other services to help launch and grow their non-profit and for-profit ventures.

PARO Centre for Women’s Enterprise

PARO Centre for Women’s Enterprises is one of Canada’s most successful business support and networking organizations. As a not-for-profit social enterprise, PARO collaborates to empower women, strengthen small business and promote community economic development across the North of Ontario. For more information, visit: www.paro.ca

NORDIK Institute

NORDIK is Algoma University’s community based research institute whose goal is to build Northern Ontario’s capacity to conduct research that contributes to social, economic & environmental justice in rural, Indigenous and northern communities and provides evidence for informed policy and decision making. For more information, visit www.nordikinstitute.com.

This program is proudly supported by the Government of Ontario Social Enterprise Demonstration Fund.

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For more information, please contact:
Katie Elliott
Project Coordinator
Social Entrepreneurship Evolution (SEE)
705-949-2301 ext. 1037