Ontario: SEF Overview
If we want to create lasting positive social change in our communities, we need to support not only social ventures, but also the social innovators leading these ventures. That’s why the School for Social Entrepreneurs-Ontario (SSE-O) is excited to launch the second cohort of our Social Entrepreneur Fellowship in March 2014. Unlike similar programs across Canada, the fellowship prioritizes your individual personal growth, within the context of your project, and enables you to connect to a network of mentors, experts, innovators and social investors.
After SSE-O’s very successful first year, seeing 19 outstanding fellows graduate in May 2013, we’re looking for similarly ambitious and passionate individuals to join our second cohort. If you’re ready to launch or grow your project and are looking for a dynamic and action-based learning experience to support you in this journey, we want to hear from you.
In our second year of operation, SSE-O will continue to tailor the SSE learning approach to the Canadian context. We’ll draw on over 16 years of experience from our network chapters across the UK and Australia. Reflecting on lessons from our first year, we look forward to an increased focus on the unique needs of our fellows to identify and develop their strengths as leaders and innovators. New learning methodologies including training in human-centered design and innovative play-based learning will be integrated alongside the technical and business support pieces of the program.
What is SEF?
SEF is a 6-month program offered from March to September 2014. Class sessions typically take place on Saturdays to accommodate fellows’ employment during the week; however, students are expected to commit at least 2-3 days per week towards their project. SEF is about action, impact and unleashing long-term potential for our entrepreneurs, as best demonstrated in independent evaluations of SSE’s UK schools:
1) 97% of our students said they would recommend the program;
2) SSE-backed ventures have a 20% better chance of surviving after 5 years than traditional ventures; and
3) SSE-backed ventures experience annual growth rates of 17% versus the average 6% for conventional start-ups.
The fee for SEF is $1,500 plus HST (covers all course materials and fees). While every student is expected to make a minimum contribution towards the fee, flexible payment plans and financial assistance are available. SSE-O commits to making sure fees aren’t a barrier to attendance.
Who are you?
You are currently developing an idea for how to improve things in your community and you’re ready to take it to the next level. Not only is your idea exciting, with lots of potential, but you as a social entrepreneur have the drive, enthusiasm, and curiosity to make this and future ventures you’re a part of as high impact as possible.
SSE-O is a non-traditional school and its admissions process is equally non-traditional. We care primarily about the personal characteristics you bring to your venture and to the classroom. If you have won academic prizes or achieved great grades, that's wonderful. But if you haven't, no worries. We find that many of the best social entrepreneurs never completed or enjoyed formal schooling; in fact, usually, the most important qualification for social entrepreneurs is to have personal experience with the issues they’re trying to address.
Who are we?
SSE-O is a non-profit focused on developing transformative leaders. We do this by providing action-based and practitioner-led learning for social entrepreneurs and innovators in Canada. SSE-O is based on a model developed by the School for Social Entrepreneurs in London, England by celebrated social entrepreneur Michael Young. Following on the immense success of their programs and the impact of their 1000+ fellows, SSE has now scaled to 14 schools across the UK, Australia, and now Canada.
SSE-O works with leading social entrepreneurs, strategy and leadership consultants, business and not-for-profit coaches, corporations and universities to provide highly tailored programs to social entrepreneurs and social innovators from all walks of life.