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Employment Social Enterprise Workshop – An Inclusively Good Time

Community Living Ontario partnered with the Toronto Enterprise Fund, a United Way Greater Toronto program, on a workshop to educate attendees on the different types of employment social enterprises, and how they might support people who have an intellectual disability.

Representatives from Community Living Kingston and DistrictCommunity Living TillsonburgKerry’s PlaceCommunity Living HuroniaCommunity Living Toronto, and the Ministry of Community and Social Services were among the organizations in attendance, in addition to family members and people with lived experience.

The theme around every discussion was centered on how to provide an inclusive work environment that allows people to develop the skills needed to contribute to the labour market without limiting their opportunities or integration within the community.

Attendees were pleased with the workshop, because most did not fully understand the extent of what employment social enterprises could provide to people supported. Outside of supported employment and on-the-job training, employment social enterprises can serve as a bridge to the mainstream labour market, and they often provide wraparound supports, such as transit, housing subsidies, and other forms of assistance.

People in attendance either wanted to learn how to set up an employment social enterprise or wished to partner with an existing one. For those in the former group, representatives from the Toronto Enterprise Fund explained how they support those who want to start an enterprise, which is done through a subsequent workshop that assesses entrepreneurial or organizational readiness. A variety of activities to support organizations to develop a strong business case for their ideas are also provided.

The second workshop, which is referred to as Employment Social Enterprise – 201, is ideal for those in the regions of Toronto, York, and Peel, but can be beneficial to organizations outside of those areas.

Through the Toronto Enterprise Fund’s Accelerator Program, organizations and people are given the tools needed to start planning, building, and launching their own employment social enterprise, as well as an opportunity to apply for grant funding.

Organizations wanting more information regarding employment social enterprises, whether it’s starting one or supporting an existing enterprise, can visit the Toronto Enterprise Fund’s website.

 

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