Ontario: About SSEO

Pretty much everyone sees the world's problems and wishes things were different. And a whole lot of us have creative ideas for solutions. Sadly, most of us never bring our ideas to life, believing that “fixing the world is a job for someone better than me.”

But what if there were a place that could bring community dreamers together—and with just a little nudging and support—help them discover their talents and skills to make their breakthrough ideas a reality?

The School for Social Entrepreneurs Ontario

Founded in 1997 in London, England, the School for Social Entrepreneurs (SSE) was created to assist everyday people in launching a social purpose business, non-profit organization, cooperative, or social venture for the benefit of their community. SSE Ontario came to Canada in 2012, making it one of the newest members of a thriving international network of 18 SSE schools worldwide.

Using an alternative classroom format honed over 17 years, SSEO helps students connect deeply to themselves and others, and to let go of the false beliefs that have prevented them from following their dreams. 

We prioritize students' individual growth within the context of their projects, and connect them to a network of mentors, experts, accomplished entrepreneurs, and social investors. 

Based on the journeys of over 1,200 SSE fellows worldwide, we know that when everyday people rise to the challenges of our day, they transform the communities around them.

As SSEO enters its third year of operation, we will continue unleashing tremendous people power for a more beautiful world today.

Our Vision

A socially just, environmentally sustainable, and economically prosperous Ontario, one built upon strong, empowered, and resilient communities.

Our Mission

To catalyze social change and empower communities through the development of transformational community leaders and social ventures that produce tangible, visible, meaningful, and positive impact.

Our History

The School for Social Entrepreneurs (SSE) was founded in 1997 by Michael Young, a distinguished and passionate serial social entrepreneur. 

In early 2009, SiG@MaRS commissioned a feasibility study with support from the Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) to explore the opportunity for a School for Social Entrepreneurs to be piloted in Ontario. The study was released in 2009, and a collaborative group, consisting of Housing Services CorporationSiG@MaRSACCESS Community Capital Fund, and Toronto Centre for Community Learning and Development, worked together to establish SSEO. The School launched officially in 2012.

Today, SSEO is a project of Tides Canada Initiatives Society (TCI), a Canadian charity registered with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), BN: 130560188 RR0001. 

SSE-O is generously supported by the Ontario Trillium Foundation and RSA.