Promising social entrepreneurs can receive up to $25,000 in funding through Project Wildfire, along with a full year of hands-on business mentorship and other support.
All participants, regardless of whether they win or not, will have access to a wide range of supports, including free workshops, online podcasts and other resources, and low-interest business loans via our project partners.
1. There aren't any programs in the city of Toronto that offer the full range of support necessary to make businesses succeed. That's why we're using the F.I.R.E. model to support social entrepreneurs in Toronto:
Funding: We'll provide the winners with a significant amount of funding to help them launch their idea, and connect them with other resources for additional funding.
Inspiration: By connecting Project Wildfire winners with successful mentors from the business community, we'll inspire them and show them what it takes to succeed.
Resources: We'll provide Project Wildfire participants with access to resources that will help their business succeed: podcasts, downloads, connections within the business community, and more
Education: Project Wildfire includes many free workshops covering a wide range of business topics: social business/enterprise, identifying opportunities, how to create a compelling pitch, marketing, financial literacy, and more.
2. We feel that in order to change the world, we need to change the way the world does business. By supporting social business (ie. business that serves the greater good), we will be supporting business that has a social bottom line in additional to a financial one, and in turn make more people aware of the benefits of using social business to address society's most pressing problems.
Sometimes all it takes is the tiniest of sparks to start a wildfire.
A tiny spark to release a firestorm of energy and potential.
A tiny spark to transform the world.
In a forest, a fire sets the stage for new growth. A fire can create: heat, steel, energy, change. A fire is a gathering point, where communities come to express their shared hopes and dreams.
F.I.R.E. is Funding, Inspiration, Resources and Education – the building blocks for success.
Our Purpose is to incubate youth business ideas the serve the greater good.
Our Values are the ideals that we hold dear, the shared beliefs that guide us and inform our future
We think the status quo is not working and that our communities need new ideas and new approaches to solving our more pressing problems.
We believe all people should have access to the same opportunities to express their highest hopes and aspirations.
We value learning: the ability to grow and develop in a lifelong quest for happiness and fulfillment.
We believe that listening, true, honest, deep listening to one another, is the key to good learning.
We believe in meritocracy, that one's willingness to aim higher should be the only barrier to success.
We believe that business can and should serve the greater good.
We believe that transforming the way business is done can and will create massive positive change in the world.
Our Jury will select 10 finalists from the top 50 vote-getting ideas, and will then select 5 winners from the 10 finalists, based on their business plans and pitches to the jury.
Our 2011 jurors: coming soon.
Our mentor team is comprised of successful members of the business world with extensive experience in a wide range of fields. In addition to coming from diverse industries, they come from a wide range of ethnic and demographic backgrounds, reflecting the diversity of our great city.
Just as a spark needs the proper ingredients - flint, steel, effort - starting a wildfire is an undertaking that requires collaboration. Project Wildfire is a collaborative effort among several organizations, listed below:
The Centre for Social Innovation (CSI) is a shared workspace in downtown Toronto that is home to over 200 nonprofits, charities and social entrepreneurs. CSI’s mission is to spark and support new ideas that are tackling the social, environmental, economic and cultural challenges we face today. [visit the website]
Toronto Community Housing (TCHC) is the largest social housing provider in Canada and the second largest in North America. It is home to 164,000 low and moderate-income tenants in 58,500 households. Their mandate is to provide quality housing for low and moderate income households and to create community conditions that minimize risk and promote resiliency.
The Ryerson Entrepreneur Institute (REI) is focused on promoting and supporting entrepreneurship and enterprising initiatives through education, resources, research and outreach. REI leverages the award winning StartMeUp Program to help students and alumni turn their ideas into reality.
FileMobile is a developer of proven and flexible interactive online software. Our user generated content, social networking, video and online community-management products enable major brands, agencies, content producers, media companies and enterprise to power proven and flexible online experiences that create an opportunity to grow audiences, deepen customer engagement and monetize content.
Burning Ships is the design and strategy partner for Project Wildfire. We are a creative consultancy based in Toronto and Barcelona. We bring design thinking to communities, organizations and individuals with human-centred ambitions. Our core strength lies in approaching design challenges from a fresh perspective and offering efficient and effective solutions.