How it Works

A. Program Overview
B. How Funding Works
C. Eligibility
D. How to Apply
E. Evaluation and Assessment
F. Project Activation
G. Flow of Funds
H. Project Reporting Requirements
I. Timelines
J. Downloads

A. Program Overview

Open call for Delivery Organizations

The Ontario Social Impact Voucher (OSIV) Program will support the financial sustainability and growth of social enterprises across the province by providing access to relevant supports and services. The program will deploy up to 200 Social Impact Vouchers at a value of up to $3,000 per voucher to Ontario-based social enterprises. Social Impact Vouchers will be redeemed at selected delivery organizations with funding flowing directly from the Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE) to the delivery organization. Interested organizations should apply directly to OCE.

The application process for delivery organizations is from May 9, 2016 to June 13, 2016. Selected applicants will be responsible for delivering value-added social entrepreneurship business supports and/or services to eligible social entrepreneurs and enterprises awarded a Social Impact Voucher. Activities funded by OSIV Program vouchers may be delivered in a range of formats, which may include training activities, service delivery, and/or the development of products that enable the growth of the voucher recipients. Initiatives should focus on identifying and implementing enterprise growth strategies, including building a customer base, raising capital, expanding to new markets, and using tools to measure economic and social impact.


B. How Funding Works

  • Organizations may apply to OCE to be providers of vouchers to eligible social entrepreneurs and enterprises
  • The standard allocation per delivery organization is 25 vouchers. Each voucher is valued at $3,000. Delivery organizations may indicate capacity above or below the standard 25 voucher base when applying.
    • Social entrepreneurs and enterprises will work directly with the delivery organization to redeem the Social Impact Voucher for social entrepreneurship support, with a maximum of one voucher per social enterprise. It is primarily the responsibility of the organization delivering voucher-funded services to source social enterprises to fulfil its awarded voucher allocation.
    • Social entrepreneurs and enterprises applying for a voucher must be endorsed by a member of the ONE network. Sample endorsement form.
    • From August 29, 2016 to July 31, 2017 social entrepreneurs and enterprises will apply to a voucher-funded training program using OCE’s online application system.
    • It is the responsibility of the delivery organization and Endorser to work with the applicant social enterprise or entrepreneur to ensure an accurate and complete application. In addition, it is the responsibility of the Endorser, working with the applicant social enterprise or entrepreneur that the service provided is the most appropriate fit at the current stage of the company.
    • Delivery organizations are responsible to ensure that social entrepreneurs and enterprises participate in the programs selected and complete all required reporting. Required reports must be submitted and deemed compliant in order to maintain good financial standing with OCE. For more information refer to the reporting section below.
    • Awarded vouchers must be fully committed by July 31, 2017.

Note: OCE reserves the right to re-allocate vouchers between approved delivery organizations to ensure all 200 vouchers are fully allocated.


C. Eligibility of Applicants to Deliver Voucher-Funded Services

  • The applicant must be an Ontario-based not-for-profit organization or for-profit entity that already charges fees for their services and/or, as a direct result of delivering voucher-funded services, plans to offer services that go above and beyond its current services, including services delivered through funding from the Ontario government.
  • The applicant must demonstrate the expertise and capacity required to deliver relevant supports and/or services to help social enterprises grow and scale.
  • The applicant will be required to match the funding with a 20 per cent in-kind contribution.
  • The applicant will be required to provide a plan for coordinating with local ONE members and/or CLAs and/or OCEAs for sourcing and endorsing eligible social enterprises/entrepreneurs.
  • The applicant will be required to work with ONE members to identify and communicate to social enterprises/entrepreneurs, complementary free business skills training and mentoring services offered by SBECs, RICs, CLAs and/or OCEAs in addition to the applicant running their own training/services for the social enterprises/entrepreneur. Supports and/or services that are similar to those available free of charge from ONE members will not be eligible for funding under the OSIV Program.
  • The selection of delivery organizations must ensure representation and access across the province with online and in class programming.
  • Applicants must be in good financial and reporting standing with OCE.

Note: OCE may give special consideration for the delivery of French-language programming, and/or for diversity and inclusion programming.

Eligible Activities and Use of Funds

Applicants can propose current or new initiatives and/or enhancements to existing initiatives that provide targeted, value-added supports and/or services to encourage the growth of social enterprises receiving vouchers.

Specific Initiatives May Focus On, But Are Not Limited To, The Following Business Growth Needs:

  • New customers:
    • Sales.
    • Marketing, including digital strategies, social media, and customer acquisition.
    • Design.
    • Procurement support.
    • Certification (e.g. B Corp certification).
  • New markets:
    • Export strategies.
    • Social franchising or other affiliate models.
    • Other growth strategies.
  • New capital:
    • Raising capital from impact investors.
    • Crowdfunding.
    • Impact measurement/data.

For eligible expenses under the OSIV Program refer to the Eligible Expenditures document for full details.


D. How to Apply

  • Online applications will be accepted between May 9, 2016 and June 13, 2016. Applications are only accepted through OCE’s online system where full application requirements are listed. A large portion of the application is the Proposal Questions, available for download.
  • To initiate an online application, please contact OCE and provide the following initial information to receive your username and password:
    • Organization Name
    • Contact Name
    • Position/Title
    • Mailing Address
    • Work E-mail

Note: Please ensure that you initiate your online application at least one week prior to the deadline (June 13, 2016), in order to have a username and password created by June 6, 2016.


E. Evaluation and Assessment 

Decision-Making Process:

  • Applications will be internally reviewed by OCE for completeness, eligibility and use of funds.
  • Applications will then be reviewed by a Review Committee that may be composed of internal OCE staff and external experts. OCE’s Internal Review Panel (IRP) will make final decisions based on recommendations from the Review Committee.
  • The application will be assessed on:
    • Track record of delivering the proposed supports and/or services and anticipated outcomes resulting from the service provided.
    • The type of supports and/or services offered and if they are fulfilling a gap in the existing social entrepreneur training options available to social entrepreneurs.
    • Plan for deploying Vouchers and engaging the Ontario Network of Entrepreneurs (the “ONE”).
    • Accessibility of the service options offered.
    • Use of funds and feasibility of milestones.


F. Project Activation

  • Successful applicants must execute OCE’s Funding Agreement, within 30 days of notification of award.
  • A copy of the agreement will be generated by OCE’s Project Accounting and Administration Team and sent to successful applicants upon approval only.


G. Flow of Funds

  • OCE funds will flow directly to the delivery organizations.
  • Payment of an amount of 30 per cent of total award, upon execution of an Agreement between both parties.
  • Reimbursement based on delivery of vouchers valued at $3,000 each (March 31, 2017, September 30, 2017).
  • 10 per cent holdback upon receipt, to the satisfaction of OCE, of the final report and survey responses from all recipients on or before June 29, 2018.


H. Project Reporting Requirements

Delivery organizations are responsible for ensuring recipient social entrepreneurs and enterprises complete two surveys: one immediately after receiving service and one six months post-completion.

Interim Progress Reports:

Interim reports, including progress and financials, will be required on March 1, 2017 and September 1, 2017. The delivery organization will receive notification and a link from OCE’s AccessOCE system to submit the report. The report must be received and approved by OCE prior to the delivery organization being reimbursed for funds spent during that reporting period.

Final Progress Report:

On June 1, 2018 the delivery organization will receive a notification from OCE’s AccessOCE system with a link to the final reporting documentation. Final reporting documentation must be completed, returned and approved by OCE in order to maintain good financial standing with OCE.


I. Timelines

Organizations Delivering Voucher-Funded Services

Application Intake

May 9, 2016 to June 13, 2016

Notification of Results

August 26, 2016

Interim Report 1

March 1, 2017

Interim Report 2

September 1, 2017

Final Report

June 1, 2018

Social Enterprises Receiving Vouchers

Application Intake

August 29, 2016 to July 31, 2017

The Ontario Social Impact Voucher (OSIV) Program is a non-entitlement discretionary program with limited funding.


J. Downloads

For more information about the program please contact:

For application initiation or general inquiries, including budget, please contact:

Application Support Team
(416) 861-1092 x2400

For eligibility inquiries, please contact:

Natalia Lobo
Program Lead
(416) 861-1092 x1061