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Sault research institute partnering on women’s enterprise initiative

NORDIK one of four partners leads provincewide Women of Ontario Social Enterprise Network (WOSEN) Project
The NORDIK Institute in Sault Ste. Marie will guide the Northern Ontario portion of a new initiative to increase the number of Ontario businesses owned by women. (Stock photo)

Sault Ste. Marie’s NORDIK Institute is one of four partners chosen to lead a new federal initiative to increase the number of Ontario businesses owned women.

NORDIK will guide the development of the Northern portion of the provincewide Women of Ontario Social Enterprise Network (WOSEN) Project.

Other partners include the Pillar Nonprofit Network, Okwaho Equal Source and the Centre for Social Innovation.

A social enterprise is characterized as a business that generates enough revenues to help solve a social problem.

Together, the partners are receiving up to $3.6 million for the following goals:

  • support 150 new and expand 75 existing women-led social enterprises,
  • offer 10 Women-Centered Innovation Trainings to 250 people, and
  • provide training for 45 business coaches and connect to investment opportunities through the Women Impact Investor Network.

The project is part of the Women Entrepreneurship Strategy Ecosystem Fund, announced in 2018. It includes a federal investment of $2 billion to increase the number of women-owned businesses by 2025.

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“We are excited to build on our past work in social enterprise and our efforts to make a more just and inclusive economy here in Northern Ontario,” said Sean Meades, director of NORDIK Institute, in a Sept. 3 news release.

“We have worked with Pillar Nonprofit for several years on province-wide projects promoting social enterprise and social entrepreneurship, and we look forward to the next phase and new partners we’ll be working with in the process.”

Based at Algoma University’s Sault Ste. Marie campus, NORDIK – the Northern Ontario Research, Development, Ideas and Knowledge Institute – is a community-based research group committed to the practice of holistic community development and building local research capacity by working closely with its community partners and providing mentorship to new researchers and community development practitioners.