Collaborative for Innovative Social Enterprise Development

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Nov 10

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OCLF partners with Causeway Workcentre, Carleton Centre for Community Innovation (3ci), Algonquin College, the Business Innovation Centre and Vanier Community Service Centre for CISED: Ottawa’s new Collaborative for Innovative Social Enterprise Development

While the news is filled with stories about the latest bail-out packages, a new collaborative project will be focused on grass-roots projects that will have long-term impact on communities across the province.

Building on the success of Ottawa’s Causeway Work Centre, the new Collaborative for Innovative Social Enterprise Development (CISED) will help build a network to support social enterprise opportunities that improve access to jobs for traditionally hard-to-employ or disadvantaged workers.

“Local experience and research clearly show that for social enterprise to thrive, easy access to coordinated support services are needed, especially in the pre-planning and start-up phases”, said Don Palmer, Executive Director, Causeway Work Centre.

A first in Ontario, CISED will develop an integrated approach to identifying and providing services to new and established social enterprises in Eastern Ontario. The support will include initial training and orientation, technical assistance in the start-up phase, development and access to a range of financial products suited to social enterprise, business student placements in social enterprises, and mentoring and coaching from business people from the private sector. The initiative will allow for growth of existing programs and services and testing the impact of a more integrated service delivery model.

CISED is a partnership between Causeway, Ottawa Community Loan Fund, Carleton Centre for Community Innovation (3ci), Algonquin College, the Business Innovation Centre and Vanier Community Service Centre.

“Funding for this project extends over three years and I hope that by the end of it, some local ventures will occupy a shared space with a particular focus on creating a hub for social enterprise initiatives”, said Palmer.

Since 1977, Causeway Work Centre has been providing support to marginalized people and bringing them back from the outer edge of society to a meaningful participation in the core of their communities. Today through pre-employment training, employment initiatives and educational programs, over 800 people in Ottawa and outlying rural communities in Eastern Ontario are involved with the Causeway Work Centre.

The Collaborative for Innovative Social Enterprise Development is the recipient of a 2009 Future Fund grant of $342,700 over three years to provide support to emerging and established social enterprises in Eastern Ontario so that they can contribute to employment and economic needs in the community.