NORDIK Institute, Algoma University’s community based research institute, announced today that they have recently been awarded $250,000 to lead a Northern Region Social Enterprise Partnership initiative funded by Ontario’s Ministry of Economic Development and Growth.
Announced by the province last week, Ontario is investing $1 million in Regional Social Enterprise Partnerships across Ontario.
NORDIK, together with the Northwest Regional Innovation Centre in Thunder Bay, the Timmins Economic Development Corporation’s Business Enterprise Centre, YouLaunch with the Sault Ste. Marie Innovation Centre in Sault Ste. Marie and PARO Centre for Women’s Enterprise in Thunder Bay will partner to support social enterprise development in northern Ontario.
“Through this project, we will demonstrate that social enterprises are a viable opportunity to expand the Northern economy,” says Dr. Gayle Broad, director of NORDIK. “Not only will it assist in overcoming challenges to launching and/or expanding Social Enterprises but it will also address providing culturally appropriate services. Many communities and economic development services are looking for more resources to assist them in better serving social enterprises and entrepreneurs, and this program is designed to do that.”
Social Enterprises engage citizens and spark change through developing innovative ideas and employment opportunities while meeting communities’ social, cultural and environmental needs.
Social enterprises differ from other small businesses in that they use the “triple bottom line” (People, Planet, Profit) to assess their success and their governance structure often reflects community and/or collective control, e.g., cooperatives, non-profits.
“As a partner in the Northern Region Social Enterprise Partnership, we are excited to continue to help pave the way for Social Enterprises in Northern Ontario,” says Maggie Matear, director, Community Economic Development of the Timmins Economic Development Corporation. Through this regionally-tailored approach, we are able to ensure the unique environment of Northern Ontario is adequately covered in scaling-up and growing Social Enterprise.”
The Northern Region Social Enterprise Partnership project catchment area stretches throughout Northern Ontario from Parry Sound to the Manitoba border and all areas in between.
NORDIK is Algoma University’s community based research institute whose goal is to build Northern Ontario’s capacity to conduct research that contributes to social, economic and environmental justice in rural, Indigenous and northern communities and provides evidence for informed policy and decision making.