Impact Entrepreneurship 101

Two people wearing lab coats looking at a notepad in a pink-tinted lab

Are you looking to grow your entrepreneurial or intrapreneurial competencies to create positive impact and prepare for a fast-changing job market? 

As the world looks to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, now is the time for the entrepreneurially-minded to step up to address pressing social and environmental challenges, and to develop the 21st century skills needed to succeed.

CSI has teamed up with Alterna Savings to bring you Social Entrepreneurship 101: an 8-week, part-time online program that covers the foundations of social entrepreneurship, from making sure you’ve identified the right problem, to developing a solution, to turning your idea into a sustainable business model. If you’re ready to roll up your sleeves, invest in your personal and professional growth, and turn your idea into impact, this is the right course for you! 

Details

Develop a network of fellow change-makers through a series of 8 weekly 3-hour sessions. Our highly-engaging sessions meet virtually on Zoom and communicate in our Slack workspace to build a community of practice for our learning journey together. Each session includes activities, tools, case studies, breakout rooms, and cohort-wide discussions. Additionally, this course asks participants to complete 2-4 hours of Action Work outside of our live-sessions to begin putting your ideas into practice. 

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entrepreneurs served
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Recommendation Rate
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Net Promoter Score
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participants reported that SE101 has been more impactful than other entrepreneurship programs they have taken

When and Where

Classes begin September 2021
Online: Zoom Classroom and Slack workspace

What You’ll Learn

Social Entrepreneurship 101 is an 8-week program delivered in two phases:

Phase 1 (Weeks 1-4): Explore your purpose as a social entrepreneur. Discover your problem space. Map opportunities for impact.

Together, we’ll begin with some of the big questions you may be asking yourself, such as:

  • I see so many urgent problems to solve. Which should I focus on specifically, and why?
  • There are so many things to do to get started. How do I prioritize?
  • What skills, knowledge, connections, and experience can I leverage to make an impact?
  • How do I move from idea to action?

Phase 2 (Weeks 4-8): Discover stakeholders. Build your business and financial models. Understand how to measure your impact. Explore funding options.

Questions answered during this phase include:

  • I have developed a clear idea of the impact that I want my enterprise to generate. How do I design my business to reach this impact?
  • How can I generate sustainable revenue (and profit) from my social enterprise?
  • What resources am I going to need to start my enterprise?
  • What funding models and options should I explore?

By the end of the 8 weeks, you’ll gain experience, confidence, and practice with core competencies in social entrepreneurship such as critical thinking, systems thinking, active listening, storytelling, decision-making, and business modelling.

What’s Included

In addition to the 8-week Social Entrepreneurship 101 online curriculum, participants will also gain access to online CSI community perks:
  • Invitations to ongoing CSI additional learning online workshops
  • Access to a SE101 community wide #Slack channel
  • Access to valuable tools, guides and worksheets for your future use

Who you’ll meet

You will connect with a cohort of changemakers who are similarly driven and committed to making an impact. SE 101 is open to everyone interested in making the world better through entrepreneurial thinking and approaches.

Social Entrepreneurship 101 was developed in partnership with experienced social entrepreneurs, coaches, facilitators, and educators, and based on the learnings from over 10 years of training social enterprises.

Gonzalo Duarte speaking to SE101 students at CSI Annex

Roll up your sleeves, invest in your growth, and turn your idea into impact

Part of the CSI Educates Initiative

At CSI, we equip people, organizations, and systems with the skills, knowledge, and networks to evolve their leadership skills and entrepreneurial competencies. Learn more about our approach here

HELPING SMALL AND MEDIUM BUSINESSES GO LOW-CARBON COMPETITION

Small to Medium Enterprises (SMEs) make up 98.2% of businesses in Canada, and emit as much climate change-causing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions per year as Canada’s combined transportation sector, including every car, truck, train, plane, and ship.

We launched a competition on the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Climate CoLab platform to solicit a broad range of possible solutions to help SMEs in Ontario reduce their direct and indirect GHG emissions while helping them thrive.

“Every tonne of CO2 we emit causes at least $85 in damages, while on the other hand we know that meaningful climate action would add around $26 trillion to the global economy by 2030. The proposals in this competition demonstrated a broad range of approaches and tools that SMEs and their supporters can use to build that more resilient, flourishing low-carbon economy of the future.”

– Barnabe Geis, CSI’s Director of Programs

Many SMEs face barriers to lowering their emissions, from lacking the technical expertise to assess options for reducing emissions to not being able to afford the upfront costs of a low-carbon technology. However, once the right technologies or practices are implemented, the savings and other benefits to SMEs can be substantial.

During the application period, thirty proposals were submitted. Those proposals were voted on by the public, as well as assessed by a team of six judges for their desirability, feasibility, scalability, and impact.

Judge’s Choice Winner

The winner of the Judges’ Choice Award is Climate Smart’s project: Data drives smart decisions: Interactive BEEPs for Municipalities and Businesses. Climate Smart has built a reputation as one of Canada’s leading organizations helping SMEs reduce greenhouse gas emissions from a range of sources. Their report 200 million tons of opportunity documents the ways in which those reductions have been achieved. In their contest proposal, Climate Smart proposed Business Energy and Emissions Profiles (or a BEEP) as an innovative carbon mapping tool that unlocks SME business data to help cities and on-the-ground partners identify and prioritize opportunities to work strategically with their local businesses to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and develop data-driven storytelling on climate action. To learn more about BEEPs and to see an interactive map of North American cities that have launched a BEEP, go to beep.eco.

People’s Choice Winner

The winner of the People’s Choice Award is Pitstop Connect’s Reduce Vehicle Emissions with Predictive Maintenance. Pitstop has developed a software platform that aggregates data and uses machine learning to predict vehicle issues before they happen. This means mitigating vehicle breakdowns, informing hazardous recalls and future vehicle designs, and making drivers aware of their emissions and environmental impact. To learn more about the app and how it can help drivers solve problems before they happen, go to pitstopconnect.com.

The judges’ runners-up in the contest were Eco Business NetworkGrow Green and ioAirflow. The judges are listed on the contest page.

The winners received membership and workspace at Climate Ventures.

Part of the CSI Accelerates Initiative

At CSI, we support entrepreneurs with solutions that drive change through acceleration and incubation. Learn more about our approach here.

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Financialization of Housing

Windows on outside of apartment

BECAUSE HOUSING IS A HUMAN RIGHT

Housing is a home, the shelter, safety and comfort necessary for individuals and families to thrive, a human right, essential for social and economic wellbeing and one of the most powerful drivers of our economy. Currently, 1.7 million Canadians are in core housing need, and affordable housing is increasingly out of reach for many renters and first-time homebuyers. 

The “Financialization of Housing” is a complex system of government policies, financial instruments, individual and corporate behaviors. It is often associated with structural market changes whereby housing is increasingly being treated as a commodity, a means of accumulating wealth, and as securities that are traded and sold on local and global markets. We define the concept of ‘financialization’ as the growing influence of financial instruments, institutions, and investors in local housing markets.  

CSI Institute has partnered with Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) and MaRS on a social innovation lab to understand how the Financialization of Housing is impacting housing affordability in Canada, and support the goal of every Canadian having a home they can afford that meets their needs by 2030.

The partners wanted to understand how the Financialization of Housing, securitization and the associated  shifts in real estate investment practices are impacting  housing affordability.  

Report coming soon.

Part of the CSI Solves Initiative

At CSI, we use labs, social R&D and prototypes that identify new and improved models that can transform existing paradigms and reveal market opportunities. Learn more about our approach here.

Social Entrepreneurship 101

Two middle-aged folks looking at a laptop

Are you looking to grow your entrepreneurial or intrapreneurial competencies to create positive impact and prepare for a fast-changing job market? 

As the world looks to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, now is the time for the entrepreneurially-minded to step up to address pressing social and environmental challenges, and to develop the 21st century skills needed to succeed.

CSI has teamed up with Alterna Savings to bring you Social Entrepreneurship 101: an 8-week, part-time online program that covers the foundations of social entrepreneurship, from making sure you’ve identified the right problem, to developing a solution, to turning your idea into a sustainable business model. If you’re ready to roll up your sleeves, invest in your personal and professional growth, and turn your idea into impact, this is the right course for you! 

Details

Develop a network of fellow change-makers through a series of 8 weekly 3-hour sessions. Our highly-engaging sessions meet virtually on Zoom and communicate in our Slack workspace to build a community of practice for our learning journey together. Each session includes activities, tools, case studies, breakout rooms, and cohort-wide discussions. Additionally, this course asks participants to complete 2-4 hours of Action Work outside of our live-sessions to begin putting your ideas into practice. 

0 +
entrepreneurs served
0 %
Recommendation Rate
0 +
Net Promoter Score
0 %
participants reported that SE101 has been more impactful than other entrepreneurship programs they have taken

When and Where

Classes begin September 2021
Online: Zoom Classroom and Slack workspace

What You’ll Learn

Social Entrepreneurship 101 is an 8-week program delivered in two phases:

Phase 1 (Weeks 1-4): Explore your purpose as a social entrepreneur. Discover your problem space. Map opportunities for impact.

Together, we’ll begin with some of the big questions you may be asking yourself, such as:

  • I see so many urgent problems to solve. Which should I focus on specifically, and why?
  • There are so many things to do to get started. How do I prioritize?
  • What skills, knowledge, connections, and experience can I leverage to make an impact?
  • How do I move from idea to action?

Phase 2 (Weeks 4-8): Discover stakeholders. Build your business and financial models. Understand how to measure your impact. Explore funding options.

Questions answered during this phase include:

  • I have developed a clear idea of the impact that I want my enterprise to generate. How do I design my business to reach this impact?
  • How can I generate sustainable revenue (and profit) from my social enterprise?
  • What resources am I going to need to start my enterprise?
  • What funding models and options should I explore?

By the end of the 8 weeks, you’ll gain experience, confidence, and practice with core competencies in social entrepreneurship such as critical thinking, systems thinking, active listening, storytelling, decision-making, and business modelling.

What’s Included

In addition to the 8-week Social Entrepreneurship 101 online curriculum, participants will also gain access to online CSI community perks:
  • Invitations to ongoing CSI additional learning online workshops
  • Access to a SE101 community wide #Slack channel
  • Access to valuable tools, guides and worksheets for your future use

Who you’ll meet

You will connect with a cohort of changemakers who are similarly driven and committed to making an impact. SE 101 is open to everyone interested in making the world better through entrepreneurial thinking and approaches.

Social Entrepreneurship 101 was developed in partnership with experienced social entrepreneurs, coaches, facilitators, and educators, and based on the learnings from over 10 years of training social enterprises.

Gonzalo Duarte speaking to SE101 students at CSI Annex

Roll up your sleeves, invest in your growth, and turn your idea into impact

Part of the CSI Educates Initiative

At CSI, we equip people, organizations, and systems with the skills, knowledge, and networks to evolve their leadership skills and entrepreneurial competencies. Learn more about our approach here

CSI Coaches

Two smiling women, one pointing at a computer monitor to demonstrate something to the other

Mentorship for women entrepreneurs

Creating a resilient, sustainable social enterprise model involves community – not only those who support your business, but also those who support YOU, the entrepreneur. Through CSI Coaches, we offer one-on-one coaching to help you create long-lasting positive impact.

Whether you are looking to…

  • Develop and validate your business model;
  • Establish your value proposition;
  • Build a sustainable financial model;
  • Create an engaging and effective marketing strategy;
  • Fundraise or secure investment;
  • Hone your pitch and narrative;
  • Refine your leadership style;
  • Pivot or adapt your organization as the impact of COVID-19 continues to develop;

…or want support in starting or growing your venture, we can help!

CSI, in partnership with Lean4Flourishing and WOSEN, is offering social entrepreneurship coaching spots to 25 women-identified & gender non-binary social entrepreneurs that are creating social and/or environmental impact.

Through this program, we will match you with an expert coach  to support you in navigating the challenges of social entrepreneurship.

Applications are now closed.

Two people sitting at a table and chatting. Focus is on hands with blank notepad.

One-on-one coaching to help you create lasting impact

About WOSEN

The Women of Ontario Social Enterprise Network (WOSEN) offers a suite of programs for women interested in starting or growing their own ventures that seek to have a positive social, cultural or environmental impact through their operations, and/or the sale of their products or services.

Although collectively the term ‘women’ is used throughout this page, WOSEN is dedicated to equity and inclusion, and seeks to support women-identified and gender non-binary entrepreneurs from underserved and underrepresented communities. This includes Indigenous women, women in rural or remote regions, racialized women, newcomer women, LGBTQ2+, women with disabilities, and those who identify as gender non-binary.

WOSEN works to unleash the entrepreneurial energy and capacity of women who have solutions that put people and the planet first. Together, we are redesigning how business supports are provided so these entrepreneurs can build the skills, make the connections, and receive the coaching needed to achieve their missions.

See all the initiatives within the WOSEN program here!

Partners and Funders

WOSEN is funded in part by the Government of Canada through the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario. The Government of Canada is advancing gender equality, women’s economic empowerment, and supporting women entrepreneurs through the new Women Entrepreneurship Strategy, announced in the Budget 2018. It is a $2-billion investment that seeks to double the number of women-owned businesses by 2025.

Fed Dev Ontario

Women of Ontario Social Enterprise Network

Part of the CSI Educates Initiative

At CSI, we equip people, organizations, and systems with the skills, knowledge, and networks to evolve their leadership skills and entrepreneurial competencies. Learn more about our approach here

WOSEN’s Investment Readiness Supports

People pointing at printed charts

As an entrepreneur it can be challenging to find and prepare for the right grant, loan, or investment opportunity.

We are here to help!

The Women of Ontario Social Enterprise Network (WOSEN) is hosting Investment Readiness Supports for trans women, cis women, and Two-Spirit, non-binary, and genderqueer individuals who lead established social ventures, who have a defined capital need, and who are preparing for funding or investment in the coming year.

Registration is open, with no end date.

Where

Meet us online: Zoom Classroom and on the Common Platform.

What You’ll Gain

As a participant, you’ll…

  • Improve your venture story and presentation
  • Get to know the funding landscape
  • Map out a clear and actionable funding and capital plan
  • Understand when a grant, a loan, or an investment is best for your venture
  • Prepare for current funding opportunities matched to your needs

What’s Included

Participate in one 3-hour program orientation where you will begin to develop your funding and capital plan for your venture.

You then can choose to participate in the following offerings:

  • Join a monthly workshop that dives deep into investment readiness with special guests and exercises that help you to develop a funding and capital plan
  • Meet with us one-to-one to review your plan, or your funding submissions
  • Participate in monthly peer circles where your peers share back valuable insights and peer support
  • Our team will research funding opportunities matched to your needs
  • Find funding and opportunity updates on The Common Platform

We aim to provide a tailored approach to meet the needs of your venture and industry.

Investment Readiness Supports is brought to you by the Women of Ontario Social Enterprise Network (WOSEN), a collaboration with the Centre for Social Innovation, SVX, Pillar Nonprofit Network and the NORDIK Institute. Funding isprovided through the Women’s Entrepreneurship Strategy, Canada.

About WOSEN

The Women of Ontario Social Enterprise Network (WOSEN) offers a suite of programs for women interested in starting or growing their own ventures that seek to have a positive social, cultural or environmental impact through their operations, and/or the sale of their products or services.

WOSEN is dedicated to equity and inclusion, and the term “women” is used collectively throughout this page. We serve trans and cis women, and our programming is inclusive of Two-Spirit, non-binary, and genderqueer individuals. We prioritize those from underserved and underrepresented communities, including Indigenous folks, folks in rural or remote regions, racialized folks, newcomer folks, LGBTQ2+, and folks with disabilities.

Our programming works to unleash the entrepreneurial energy and capacity of women who have solutions that put people and the planet first. Together, we are redesigning how business supports are provided so these entrepreneurs can build the skills, make the connections, and receive the coaching needed to achieve their missions.

See all the programs within the WOSEN initiative here!

Partners and Funders

WOSEN is funded in part by the Government of Canada through the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario. The Government of Canada is advancing gender equality, women’s economic empowerment, and supporting women entrepreneurs through the new Women Entrepreneurship Strategy, announced in the Budget 2018. It is a $2-billion investment that seeks to double the number of women-owned businesses by 2025.

Fed Dev Ontario

Women of Ontario Social Enterprise Network

Part of the CSI Invests Initiative

At CSI we take on early experiments to invest, incubate, fund and finance the Next Economy. Learn more about our approach here

CSI Invests

WOSEN’s Grow Program

Smiling woman about to draw on whiteboard

Do you want to move your business forward with confidence?

Are you looking to build traction, expand your partnership and network opportunities, and develop yourself further as a social entrepreneur?

We’re here to help!

CSI and the Women of Ontario Social Enterprise Network (WOSEN) have designed a twenty-week program to support a cohort of ten women social entrepreneurs as they build, refine, and test their business models, and learn new skills to help them succeed. We serve trans and cis women, and programming is inclusive of Two-Spirit, non-binary, and genderqueer individuals.

You will collaborate with a supportive community of facilitators, experts, coaches, and a cohort of peers as you explore two main themes throughout the program: 1) business model development and 2) leadership. We will support you through an immersive learning journey with a hands-on, practical approach to refining and validating your business model. You will engage in focused research to identify the key market gaps you want to address and conduct interviews with potential clients and partners to help you validate your business model and test critical assumptions.

Our team will support you in developing emergent strategies to refine and differentiate your product or service based on your research insights. You will gain leadership skills and competencies required to better understand your market and build your business strategy with intention and impact. Participation is free, we take no equity, and your intellectual property remains your own!

Applications for the first Grow cohort are now open. Apply by September 12!

Icon showing two people and a squiggly line to signal knowledge transfer
INDIVIDUAL COACHING
Illustration of circles with three dots meant to represent peer circles
PEER ENGAGEMENT SESSIONS
Illustration of three people meant to represent coaching
ONLINE WORKSHOPS AND EXPERT SESSIONS
Icon of notebook meant to represent tools and resources
TOOLS AND RESOURCES
Icon meant to represent networking opportunities
NETWORKING OPPORTUNITIES AND FREE CSI MEMBERSHIP

When and Where

Weekly on Tuesdays until March 1, 2022. No workshops on December 21 & 28. Our programming will take place on Zoom and Slack. 

Onboarding & Orientation: Week 0 (Oct 12)

Get to know your cohort and how to navigate our online program.

Part I

Business Model Refinement & Implementation: Weeks 1-7 (Oct 19 – Nov 30)

Engage in hands-on, practical research to identify the key market gaps you want to address. Learn the process of creating a sustainable business model and apply your learnings in real time towards your business. Connect with experts to learn how to conduct market research and interviews on a budget to iterate your business model based on your stakeholder needs. Get support with networking and creating effective partnerships.

Part II

Integrate Insights & Develop Your Strategy: Weeks 8-9 (Dec 7-14)

Assimilate data you’ve collected and integrate insights from your research and interviews to develop your strategy moving forward.

NOTE: No workshops on December 21st & 28th

Part III

Build Traction: Weeks 12-19 (Jan 4 – Feb 22)

Continue to iterate your business model and learn more about financial modelling to make better informed financial decisions. Meet our marketing, sales, and communications experts to help you develop more effective strategies for communicating your offering to your target audience. You will also have the opportunity to participate in a WOSEN Pitch Showcase & Networking Event! Deliver your pitch and connect with potential partners and funders in the entrepreneurship sector.

Offboarding: Week 20 (March 1, 2022)

Connect to relevant resources and explore your next steps for growth and support.

After the Grow program is done, you will have 1) gained confidence in knowing how to refine and validate your business model, 2) improved your leadership skills to support your team and 3) developed a clear strategy as you grow your enterprise and navigate forward.

Questions? For more information, please contact Mitalie Makhani, Senior Programs Manager & WOSEN Central Ontario Program Lead, at mitalie[at]socialinnovation[dot]ca.

Two women smiling at the camera
Two women speaking to one another
Three women from the WOSEN team smiling at the camera

About WOSEN

The Women of Ontario Social Enterprise Network (WOSEN) offers a suite of programs for women interested in starting or growing their own ventures that seek to have a positive social, cultural or environmental impact through their operations, and/or the sale of their products or services.

WOSEN is dedicated to equity and inclusion, and the term “women” is used collectively throughout this page. We serve trans and cis women, and our programming is inclusive of Two-Spirit, non-binary, and genderqueer individuals. We prioritize those from underserved and underrepresented communities, including Indigenous folks, folks in rural or remote regions, racialized folks, newcomer folks, LGBTQ2+, and folks with disabilities.

Our programming works to unleash the entrepreneurial energy and capacity of women who have solutions that put people and the planet first. Together, we are redesigning how business supports are provided so these entrepreneurs can build the skills, make the connections, and receive the coaching needed to achieve their missions.

See all the programs within the WOSEN initiative here!

Partners and Funders

WOSEN is funded in part by the Government of Canada through the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario. The Government of Canada is advancing gender equality, women’s economic empowerment, and supporting women entrepreneurs through the new Women Entrepreneurship Strategy, announced in the Budget 2018. It is a $2-billion investment that seeks to double the number of women-owned businesses by 2025.

Fed Dev Ontario

Women of Ontario Social Enterprise Network

Part of the CSI Accelerates Initiative

At CSI, we support entrepreneurs’ success with resources, mentors, expertise and connections that lead to viable enterprising solutions. Learn more about our approach here

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Climate Ventures

Door to the Climate Ventures space in CSI Spadina

Proving Climate Solutions Are possible

Located in the CSI Spadina in downtown Toronto, Climate Ventures is a unique space dedicated to climate entrepreneurs, innovators, leaders, and their teams.

Climate Ventures is not just about the climate and carbon emissions, it’s fundamentally about our profound relationship to the earth, air, and water. Our vision is to turn the climate crisis into an opportunity for human transformation. Climate Ventures members are collaborating to build the low-carbon economy that puts people and planet first. 

Climate Ventures Coworking Membership

With coworking packages to fit your needs, you’ll get:

  • 24/7 access to office space
  • networking + advisory services
  • goal-oriented peer circles and online groups (in GHG quantification, business modelling, pitching, and other areas)
  • introductions to funders and investors
  • exclusive events and programs
  • member rates on meeting rooms and event spaces
  • free coffee and tea
  • high-speed internet
  • photocopiers and printers
  • mailboxes
  • option to join shared health and dental plan

You’ll gain immediate access to Climate Ventures members, advisors, community of 2,500 social entrepreneurs and innovators, exclusive programs, and networking and training opportunities.

Part of the CSI Accelerates Initiative

At CSI, we support entrepreneurs with solutions that drive change through acceleration and incubation. Learn more about our approach here.

Every One Every Day: TO

Every One Every Day

Making our neighbourhood better, one project at a time!

The CSI Institute has teamed up with Every One. Every Day. in London, England to share the Our Neighbourhood project. 

Our Neighbourhood Workshops and Project Starter Kits help you build practical projects in your neighbourhood, like planting trees or planning a community celebration. Each kit is focussed on practical project ideas, like planting trees or planning a community celebration. These projects enable neighbours to gather and learn from each other.

Download the Our Neighbourhood Program Booklet for more information.

About Our Neighbourhood Starter Kits

There are four project starter kits that you can work on with your neighbours, while remaining at a safe physical distance, and in your own home.

These kits are perfect for a group of neighbours who want to participate in something, make social connections, and work on projects that strengthen our neighbourhood.

Each of the Our Neighbourhood Starter Kits include materials, equipment, training, support, and helpful hints and tips! Materials can include anything from soil and pots, to bee hives, to seed packets.

The starter kits are a way for you to join with a mini-neighbourhood social ecosystem to plan and execute projects that will help make our community better and stronger.

There are different-sized kits for different-sized groups of people. Each of these kits have a minimum of 3 people, and can accommodate groups of up to 15 (depending on the kit). If you want to join but don’t know other people who would like to start these projects, we can help you find more people in your neighbourhood.

Kit List

Our Neighbourhood Pollinates: build beehives and plant pollinator gardens

Our Neighbourhood Reads: children’s stories and activity programming

Our Neighbourhood Blooms: beautifying our community with bulbs and blooms

Our Neighbourhood Stories: collect and share stories of our vibrant neighbourhood

Download the Our Neighbourhood Booklet now for more information!

Making our neighbourhood better, one project at a time.

Illustration of person using a laptop

Part of the CSI Solves Initiative

The CSI Institute Create helps creates labs, Challenges, and prototypes that demonstrate new models & solutions are possible. Learn more about the approach here.

Desk Exchange Community Animator Program

Smiling people holding fruit skewers over a chocolate fountain at the 192 Spadina housewarming party

Are you a social entrepreneur or innovator looking to be part of a dynamic community?

Do you love meeting new people and solving new problems every day? Would you exchange eight hours a week for a fantastic free workspace?

If the answer to these questions is a resounding “YES!” then the DECA program is perfect for you.

WHAT IS A DECA?

To literally spell it out, DECA stands for:
Desk (the welcome desk of one of the CSI locations)
Exchange (you volunteer in exchange for unlimited desk hours and 10 meeting room hours)
Community (you are the heart of the CSI community)
Animator (you are a connector of ideas and people)

So a “DECA” is someone who welcomes people as they arrive at a CSI building. They are the first faces people see when they arrive at a CSI location, and they set the tone for the rest of that experience.

WHY BECOME A DECA?

No pressure, but DECAs are the glue that keeps the CSI community together. This program is perfect for anyone wanting to learn about social innovation by immersing themselves in it. CSI is a network of networks with over 2,500 members. On any given day you could meet someone who will change your life. Some DECAs have gone on to start their own companies. Others have joined organizations working out of CSI. A handful have even become full-time CSI staff.

WHO BECOMES A DECA?

DECAs are diverse in every way. They have varied backgrounds including race, ethnicity, gender and gender identity, age, socio-economic status, national origin, sexual orientation, ability and religion. But they all have excellent customer service, organization, communications, and problem solving skills. (And an commitment to approaching tasks with sincerity, care, fun and goodwill.)

Part of the CSI Catalyzes Initiative

At CSI, we support entrepreneurs with solutions that drive change through acceleration and incubation. Learn more about our approach here.

Pink circle with "CSI Catalyzes" in white font. "Next Economy" curves around the top left of the circle.