Program powered by the Centre for Social Innovation

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

Join us for Social Enterprise 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.

We are offering a limited number of local innovators the opportunity to participate in this program through the Markham Small Business Centre. This program is offered in partnership with York Region, the Richmond Hill Small Business Enterprise Centre and the Vaughan Business and Entreprise Centre.  ​All applicants based in Markham are eligible to apply through our office.

Spots are limited and although not mandatory for acceptance, applications will be prioritized based on:

  • Applicants with clear business ideas, and ideas that (at face value) are appropriate solutions to the problem they’ve identified
  • Applicants with some entrepreneurship, intrapreneurship or volunteer experience
  • Applicants who will be able to commit to attending all 8 classes

Thank you for your interest, applications for the program are now closed but please email us if this programming is something of interest to you in the future. msbc@markham.ca

The details:

  • All classes will be held on online using Zoom and SLACK workspace:
  • Mondays, 5:30pm to 8:30pm
  • Monday, February 22nd, 2021 to Monday, April 19th, 2021
  • Note: There is no class on March 22


What you’ll learn

Social Enterprise 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. Identify funding options and enterprise impact.

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.


Who you’ll meet

You will connect with a cohort of changemakers from across York Region 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 Enterprise 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.

Participants who start a for-profit social enterprise upon completing the program will also be invited to apply for a $5,000 Starter Company Plus grant through our office.


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