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Catalyze New ESEs

TEF provides Workshops, Accelerators and Grants to support the start-up of new employment social enterprises.

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Employment Social Enterprise 101 - A one-hour workshop that will provide you with an overview of the employment social enterprise model, including: key features, outcomes, best practices and more. ESE 101 is well-suited to entrepreneurs, agencies, educators, policy makers, funders and others interested in employment social enterprises. 

  • To view a pre-recorded webinar of ESE 101, please click here. To view the recording, enter password Xr2FR9pp. The webinar will launch in a new window. It may take a few seconds to launch; please be patient.
  • If you encounter technical difficulties, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Once you have finished viewing ESE 101, please complete our 2-minute Evaluation Survey to provide feedback on the value of the webinar. 

Employment Social Enterprise 201 - A three-hour workshop that will provide you with an opportunity to explore your readiness to launch an employment social enterprise, and begin to generate business ideas. The workshop is well-suited for entrepreneurs and agencies in Peel, Toronto or York Region interested in exploring ESE business development. Upcoming ESE 201 Workshops: 

  • ESE 201 - Disability FocusDecember 6, 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. hosted at United Way Greater Toronto, 26 Wellington St. E, 12th Floor, Boardroom A. Please register here


TEF operates Employment Social Enterprise Idea Accelerators to support individuals and organizations to develop early-stage employment social enterprise ideas. All participants in the Accelerator programs will have an opportunity to pitch for a Catalyzing Grant of $5,000 - $10,000 to conduct a feasibility study and develop a business plan to advance their ESE idea. Applications for the winter ESE Idea Accelerator (Disability Focus) are open and are due December 14. For more information on the ESE idea Accelerator program, please visit this page.  

Catalyzing Grants

Graduates of the ESE Idea Accelerator program have the option of applying for a Catalyzing Grant. The goal of Catalyzing Grants is to support the development of new employment social enterprises (ESE) in Peel, Toronto, or York Region through funding services that enable the applicant to complete a feasibility study and business plan to test the market and employment demand for their employment social enterprise idea.

Catalyzing grants can be used to cover human resources costs, coach/consulting costs, costs to participate in entrepreneurship support programs and administrative costs incurred to develop the feasibility study and business plan. Grants are not intended to cover all costs related to the development of a feasibility study and business plan.

Grants range from $5,000 to $10,000, and are disbursed in two parts. The first disbursement occurs upon the signing of the grant contract, and provides funding to support the applicant to complete a feasibility study. The second disbursement is after TEF has reviewed the feasibility study. Should the feasibility study result in a 'go' recommendation, the second disbursement is used to complete the business plan.

If you are interested in applying for Catalyzing Grant funding but missed an Accelerator cohort and are unable to participant in the next one, please reach out to Courtney (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).

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