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Past Cohorts

Cohort 1 - Fall 2018

Our inaugural Accelerator cohort brought together 25 aspiring ESE developers from across Peel, Toronto, and York Region. From Cohort 1, seven groups have received Catalyzing Grants:

  • ACBN CWA: The Creative Works Agency, pitched by the Afro-Caribbean Business Network, trains and employs Black men ages 35 to 55 years with mental health challenges to provide marketing and creative services to small businesses. 
     
  • Adda Blooms: A wholesale food and beverage enterprise, pitched by independent entrepreneur Abena Offeh-Gyimah, that sells cold-pressed juices and snacks infused with African superfoods while creating employment for racialized women who have limited employment experience.

  • Fades2Success: A full-service, mobile barbershop, pitched by East Scarborough Boys and Girls Club, which provides low-cost haircuts to members of the East Scarborough Community while creating transitional employment opportunities for youth facing barriers to labour market.

  • TransAction: A digital marketing agency pitched by independent entrepreneur Christine McGlade, that creates employment opportunities for transgender people facing barriers to the labour market.

  • Mattress S.H.A.R.E: A mattress recycling business in Peel Region, pitched by Elizabeth Fry Society of Peel-Halton, that creates long-term and transitional employment opportunities for women who have been in conflict with the criminal justice system.

  • Work It Staffing & Employment: A hospitality-focused staffing agency, pitched by independent entrepreneurs Jasmine Burns and Allison Gibson, which creates transitional employment for people facing barriers to employment in Regent Park.

  • Women’s Bakery: A wholesale bakery, pitched by Fred Victor Centre, which will sell premium baked goods, while creating employment opportunities for women facing multiple barriers to the labour market.

ESE Idea Accelerator   Cohort 1 Image

Cohort 2 - Winter 2019 - Disability Focus

Our second Accelerator cohort brought together 20 aspiring ESE developers from across Peel, Toronto, and York Region, all seeking to create ESEs that provide employment opportunities for people with disabilities facing systemic barriers to the labour market. From Cohort 2, four groups were selected to receive Catalyzing Grants:

  • Do Good Donuts: A donut shop and café, pitched by independent entrepreneur Melanie Cote, which will create employment opportunities for young adults who have developmental disabilities.

  • LEAP: A specialty research and consulting business, pitched by Surrey Place, which will create transitional employment opportunities for young adults who have autism or other developmental disabilities.

  • Paws for Compassion: A dog walking business, pitched by Montage Support Services, which will create transitional and long-term employment opportunities for adults who have developmental disabilities.

  • The Goodness Kit: A specialty gift basket business, pitched by SAAAC Autism Centre, which will create employment opportunities for adults who have autism.

ESE Idea Accelerator   Cohort 2 Image

Cohort 3 - Spring 2019

Our third Accelerator cohort brought together nearly 20 aspiring ESE developers from across Peel, Toronto, and York Region. From Cohort 3, three entrepreneurs have received Catalyzing Grants:

  • InfiniGuard: A security guard agency, pitched by independent entrepreneur Murwan Khogali, which will train and employ youth and women facing barriers to the labour market and living in Regent Park. 

  • Insight Games: An accessible board game business, pitched by independent entrepreneur Aerissa Roy-Dupuis, which will create employment for people with vision and hearing loss.

  • Snackables: A healthy snack box business, pitched by independent entrepreneur Susanna King, which will create transitional employment for youth who have been in conflict with the law. 

Cohort photo

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