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ESE Idea Accelerator


Interested in exploring the development of an employment social enterprise idea? Biannually, TEF runs the ESE Idea Accelerator program, which supports individuals and organizations in developing early-stage employment social enterprise ideas. The accelerators provides four experiential workshops, which support participants to strengthen both business and social aspects of their ESE idea. The Accelerator program culminates in a pitch competition, during which participants will have the chance to pitch for $5,000 to $10,000 ‘Catalyzing Grant’ to conduct a feasibility study and develop a business plan for their ESE idea.

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Winter Cohort - Disability Focus:

This winter, TEF will run an ESE Idea Accelerator, focused on catalyzing the development of employment social enterprises that create employment opportunities for people with disabilities. The program will offer participants the chance to strengthen their ESE ideas through four interactive workshops, peer support, and the opportunity to pitch for a 'Catalyzing Grant'.

Workshop Schedule: 

  • Workshop 1 – Employment Model: During this workshop you’ll explore the employment needs of your ‘target population’ and refine the various aspects of your employment model and employment intervention.
  • Workshop 2 – Business Idea: During this workshop you’ll refine your product or service idea, and develop a stronger understanding of your target markets.
  • Workshop 3Operational Plan: During this workshop, you’ll develop a high-level operational plan, and learn about key aspects of building a great team, advisory board, and operational plan.
  • Workshop 4 – Financial Projections: During this workshop, you’ll gain an introduction to financial planning, including developing an initial budget for your employment social enterprise idea.

Winter Cohort Eligibility:

Individuals and organizations in Peel, Toronto and York Region with an interest in exploring the development of an employment social enterprise that will create employment opportunities for people with disabilities are eligible to participate in the Accelerator program. Additionally, to be eligible to participate:

  • You must be able to attend all four workshops of the Accelerator, in-person. Each workshop will be hosted at United Way Greater Toronto, 26 Wellington St. E in Toronto.
  • For the Catalyzing Grant, you must be able to attend the ESE Idea Accelerator Pitch Night on March 7, 2019 from 6:00 - 9:00 p.m.
  • You must be applying to participate in the Accelerator to work on a new ESE idea

Key Dates:

  • Accelerator Applications Close: Friday, December 14, 5:00 p.m.
  • Workshop 1: Tuesday, January 15, 9:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
  • Workshop 2: Thursday, January 24, 1:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.
  • Workshop 3: Thursday, January 31, 11:15 a.m. - 4:15 p.m.
  • Workshop 4: Monday, February 11, 12:15 pm. - 4:45 p.m.
  • Accelerator Pitch Competition: Thursday, March 7, 6:00 - 9:00 p.m.

Information Session

Keen to learn more about employment social enterprises and our winter ESE Idea Accelerator? We encourage you watch our pre-recorded Information Session webinar: 

  • To access the webinar click here and enter password: uJdmymd7. It may take a few seconds to load. Please be patient. 
  • If you encounter any technical difficulties, please email Bronwyn at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Winter Cohort Application:

The application for the winter cohort is available here. Applications are due Friday, December 14, 2018 at 5:00 p.m. EST. 

To prepare yourself to apply for the program, we encourage you to watch the webinar Information Session (see above) and participate in the Employment Social Enterprise 201 workshop, occuring in-person at United Way Greater Toronto on December 6. RSVP here.   

If you have any questions about the program, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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