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ESE Idea Accelerator


Interested in exploring the development of an employment social enterprise idea? Three times a year, TEF runs the ESE Idea Accelerator program, which supports individuals and organizations in developing early-stage employment social enterprise ideas. The Accelerator provides four experiential workshops, which support participants to strengthen both business and social aspects of their ESE idea. 

For Fall 2019, TEF's Accelerator will focus on supporting early-stage ESE ideas that create employment opportunities for youth facing barriers to employment - for example: RainscapeTO (picture below) is an ESE that employs Indigenous youth to offer eco-landscaping services with a focus on the installation of rain gardens and other beautiful Earth-friendly landscapes. The application to participate in the Fall Accelerator program has closed. 

accel promo

Program Description

The ESE Idea Accelerator program supports individual entrepreneurs and organizations to develop new, high-potential, employment social enterprises ideas. Employment social enterprises are businesses that create inclusive employment opportunities for people facing barriers to the labour market. The program offers participants the chance to strengthen their ESE ideas through four interactive workshops and peer support. Participants may also have the opportunity to pitch for a 'Catalyzing Grant'.

Workshop Overview

  • Workshop 1 – Employment Model: During this workshop you’ll explore the employment needs of your ‘target population’ and refine the various aspects of your employment model and employment intervention.
  • Workshop 2 – Business Idea: During this workshop you’ll strengthen your product or service idea, learn about conducting market research, and gain the tools you need to develop a strong understanding of your target markets.
  • Workshop 3Operational Plan: During this workshop, you’ll learn about your options for business structure and corporate forms, be introduced to key aspects of operations, such as human resources and supply chain management, and get the basics of insurance, taxes, regulations and permits.
  • Workshop 4 – Financial Projections: During this workshop, you’ll be introduced to financial planning, and learn how to price your products and services, forecast sales and cash flow and use TEF’s Business Cost Recovery model for budgeting.

ESE Participant Testimonial


Individuals and organizations in Peel, Toronto and York Region with an interest in exploring the development of an employment social enterprise that will create employment opportunities for people facing barriers to the labour market are eligible to participate in the Accelerator program. Additionally, to be eligible to participate:

  • A member of your team must be able to attend all four workshops of the Accelerator, in-person. Each workshop will be hosted at United Way Greater Toronto, 26 Wellington St. E in Toronto.
  • You must be applying to participate in the Accelerator to work on a new ESE idea

Please contact Courtney at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you have any questions about participating in a future Accelerator cohort. 

Fall Accelerator

TEF is currently running a Fall cohort of the ESE Idea Accelerator program. The Pitch Night for this cohort will Thursday, December 5 from 6:00pm to 9:00pm in at 87 Elm Street in downtown Toronto - register here.

Past Cohorts

Interested in learning about the entrepreneurs and organizations who have participated in our previous cohorts, and the ESE ideas that have been selected to receive catalyzing grants? Find more information here.

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