In response to growing economic, social and environmental challenges, more Canadians are not only turning to entrepreneurship as a way to earn a living, but many are also exploring opportunities to make a positive impact as a social entrepreneur.  Using business practices to address social and environmental issues, social entrepreneurs are occupying an increasingly significant place in Ontario’s economy, and addressing the gaps in learning and application can enable youth to build on this emerging trend. 

With lead support from the Ontario Ministry of Economic Development and Innovation (formerly Ministry of Economic Development and Trade), Canada’s Public Policy Forum and TakingITGlobal (TIG) launched Change Inc.: Cultivating Young Social Entrepreneurs in September 2011 to strengthen social entrepreneurship among youth aged 16 to 25 years of age. The project involved interactive workshops, e-courses, and e-mentoring opportunities between new and established social entrepreneurs across Ontario.

Serving as a guide for aspiring young social entrepreneurs, this toolkit captures the key issues and lessons that were shared throughout the project and the first-hand experiences of young social entrepreneurs across Ontario. Considering the growth of online information on social entrepreneurship, this toolkit is intended to complement existing resources by highlighting the key challenges and success factors identified by young social entrepreneurs, profiling emerging and established social entrepreneurs across Ontario, and providing a directory of useful links as a starting point for youth interested in social entrepreneurship.

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