By Teri Kirk
Are you a social entrepreneur? Then you will be interested in learning more about the Ontario Social Impact Voucher (OSIV) Program, which can help your project to grow.
The OSIV Program, now in its second round of applications, is offered by the Government of Ontario in partnership with Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE). This year, OSIV will award 200 vouchers worth up to $3,000 each to eligible social entrepreneurs across the Province to access relevant training programs, such as business planning or marketing to help them scale up. These training programs will be delivered by a select number of service providers approved by OCE.
Last year, 125 vouchers were awarded within the first six months of the program’s launch. Participants in the pilot program included social enterprises from many different sectors, including health, cleantech, digital media, ICT, and advanced manufacturing.
The application process for social entrepreneurs will open on August 29 and close on July 31, 2017. Currently, OCE is accepting applications from delivery organizations seeking to participate in the program. Activities funded by OSIV may include training activities, service delivery, and the development of products that enable growth. Specifically, the services delivered should focus on identifying and implementing enterprise growth strategies, including building a customer base, raising capital, expanding to new markets, and using tools to measure economic and social impact. The deadline for service providers to apply is June 13.
The Ontario Social Impact Voucher is one of many funding programs available to social enterprises – find more programs using Funding Portal Search. If you are not familiar with social entreprises, they are hybrids of businesses and nonprofits that employ traditional business processes to generate revenues, but that also give priority to generating positive social and environmental impacts.
Teri Kirk is Founder and CEO of Funding Portal. You can reach her by email at [email protected].