Toronto Enterprise Fund (TEF) Catalyzing Grant


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 labor market

Comments on Funding:

Grants range from $5,000 to $10,000 and are mainly aimed at supporting human resources costs, coach/consulting costs, costs to participate in entrepreneurship support programs and administrative costs.

Most of the applications receive $7,500.


Applicants must:

  • apply to complete a feasibility study and business plan for a high-potential, eraly-stage employment social enterprise;
  • intend to operate their ESE in Peel, Toronto or York Region;
  • work on a new ESE idea (not an existing employment social enterprise);
  • be one of the following:
  •  individual entrepreneurs / groups of entrepreneurs;
  • registered non-profit organizations;
  • registered charities;
  • First Nation Band Councils.

For-profit businesses incorporated with share capital and for-profit co-operatives are not eligible.

Documentation Needed:

Applicants must provide:

  • pitch deck and speaking notes (using TEF templates);
  • one letter of reference, if the applicant is an individual entrepreneur;
  • financial statements, if the applicant is an organization;
  • Catalyzing grant budget (using TEF template).

Applicants must submit two reports during the lifetime of the grant:

  • Report 1: completed feasibility study;
  • Report 2: completed business plan and expense report, details of progress on the employment social entreprises’ development, and planned next steps. 

Other Things to Note:

  1. Graduates of the ESE Idea Accelerator program have the option of applying for a Catalyzing Grant. Entrepreneurs who have not completed an Accelerator program can also apply for a Catalyzing Grant, if they have a sufficiently strong ESE idea. If you are interested in applying for Catalyzing Grant funding but have not participated in an Accelerator, please reach out to Courtney Ayukawa ( for application details. 
  2. TEF is not currently accepting applications for an Accelerator cohort. The next Accelerator cohort is expected to be in Spring 2022, with applications opening in January 2022. 

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