THUNDER BAY – The Ontario Government is taking a proactive approach toward boosting youth in the province.
The Ontario government is launching the country’s first microloan fund to help social enterprises — businesses that have a positive social, cultural, or environmental impact while generating revenue — create more jobs and strengthen local communities.
The program is a public private partnership. Thunder Bay has taken leadership in this area as well forming similar public private partnerships with community betterment as the goal.
Proactive Plan for Youth
The province has partnered with the Centre for Social Innovation, TD Bank Group, Microsoft Canada, Alterna Savings, KPMG and Social Capital Partners to launch the Ontario Catapult Microloan Fund. Under the fund, social enterprises that help solve a social, environmental, cultural or economic problem, such as youth unemployment, may qualify for a loan of $5,000 to $25,000 and support services like mentorship.
Ontario is also launching a new Office for Social Enterprise led by Special Advisor Helen Burstyn. The office will promote social entrepreneurship across Ontario, partnering with the private, not-for-profit and public sectors to coordinate and expand the tools available to social entrepreneurs.
Providing the right climate to attract investment, create jobs and grow the economy is part of the new Ontario government’s plan to build a prosperous and fair province for all.
- The Ontario Catapult Microloan Fund is open to Ontario-based social enterprises and will begin accepting applications in June. It will be managed by the Centre for Social Innovation.
- An example of a social enterprise is Toronto’s Evergreen Brick Works, which uses revenue generated through paid activities, donations, event rentals, and even onsite parking meters, to deliver accessible and inclusive community programs that bring nature back to cities — improving the environment and promoting health and wellness.
- Ontario’s 2013 Budget introduced the government’s Youth Jobs Strategy to help more young people find jobs or start their own businesses, while helping employers find the skilled workers they need to thrive in the global economy.
- The government is holding consultations on the Youth Jobs Strategy across the province throughout May and June.
- Ontario has created 401,900 jobs since June 2009, exceeding the number of jobs lost in the recession by 136,100.