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Ontario Announce Five-Year Social Enterprise Growth Strategy

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Ontario has revealed plans for a five-year strategy to increase the growth of sustainable and scalable social enterprises. Ontario’s Social Enterprise Strategy 2016-2021 offers support for social enterprises to help them, enter new markets and create jobs. The strategy also addresses complicated social and environmental challenges and highlights commitments in three key areas.

The strategy sets out significant commitments in the following three areas:

–  Equipping social enterprises with solid business fundamentals

–  Connecting social enterprises to markets and capital to grow and scale

–  Demonstrating the value of social enterprise and social finance to investors, government, and communities

The province will leverage Ontario’s existing entrepreneurship infrastructure, impact investment capital, and a growing market opportunity to support social enterprises. Some of the feature initiatives include:

– Integrating specialized social entrepreneurship supports, such as impact measurement, into mainstream entrepreneurship programs, such as those offered through the Ontario Network of Entrepreneurs 

– Developing a Social Enterprise Procurement Action Plan to increase the Ontario government’s procurement from social enterprises

– Exploring the design of a Social Venture Investment Fund to accelerate the flow of private investment capital to growing social enterprises

– Establishing an Impact Measurement Task Force to build consensus on uniform impact measurement standards for social enterprises

– Piloting one or more Social Impact Bonds to improve social outcomes

– Establishing a Centre of Excellence in Social Enterprise and Social Finance to help government leverage social enterprises and social finance as tools to achieve policy objectives

The strategy builds on the success of the province’s first social enterprise strategy, including the launch of programs such as the Social Enterprise Demonstration Fund, the Rate Drop Rebate pilot program, Ontario’s Social Impact Voucher Program, and the Ontario – California Impact Investment Partnership that is helping to expand the SVX platform into California and encourage cross-border capital flows into Ontario-based social ventures.

Accelerating the growth of Ontario’s social enterprise sector is part of the government’s economic plan to build Ontario up and deliver on its number-one priority to grow the economy and create jobs. The four-part plan includes investing in talent and skills, including helping more people get and create the jobs of the future by expanding access to high-quality college and university education. The plan is making the largest investment in public infrastructure in Ontario’s history and investing in a low-carbon economy driven by innovative, high-growth, export-oriented businesses. The plan is also helping working Ontarians achieve a more secure retirement.

Brad Duguid, Minister of Economic Development of Employment and Infrastructure, said: “We’re excited to work with sector leaders, impact investors, academia and government to continue building strong, high-growth and scalable social enterprises. This is an area in which we can leverage our ongoing support of entrepreneurship infrastructure, a growing supply of impact investing capital and an expanding market opportunity to activate the development of sustainable and scalable social enterprises. As we help these businesses grow, so too will their positive social impact on Ontario and beyond.”

Marc Soberano, Founder and Executive Director of Building Up, said: “As a social enterprise, Building Up’s team is thrilled to see that the government is continuing its support to grow the sector and elevate it to the next level. Social enterprises like us are able to maximize our potential to create social, environmental and economic value when we have the support of our communities, customers, funders and government.”

Michelle Baldwin, Executive Director of Pillar Non-profit Network, said: “It’s essential that social enterprises across Ontario are able to access the support they need to develop a sound social enterprise business model, which includes strong revenue generating strategies and a plan for creating impact in their communities. Ontario’s plan to integrate social enterprise supports into existing entrepreneurship infrastructure will enable social enterprises to compete on the global stage.”

Economy

A Good Look At How Homes Will Become More Energy Efficient Soon

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energy efficient homes

Everyone always talks about ways they can save energy at home, but the tactics are old school. They’re only tweaking the way they do things at the moment. Sealing holes in your home isn’t exactly the next scientific breakthrough we’ve been waiting for.

There is some good news because technology is progressing quickly. Some tactics might not be brand new, but they’re becoming more popular. Here are a few things you should expect to see in homes all around the country within a few years.

1. The Rise Of Smart Windows

When you look at a window right now it’s just a pane of glass. In the future they’ll be controlled by microprocessors and sensors. They’ll change depending on the specific weather conditions directly outside.

If the sun disappears the shade will automatically adjust to let in more light. The exact opposite will happen when it’s sunny. These energy efficient windows will save everyone a huge amount of money.

2. A Better Way To Cool Roofs

If you wanted to cool a roof down today you would coat it with a material full of specialized pigments. This would allow roofs to deflect the sun and they’d absorb less heat in the process too.

Soon we’ll see the same thing being done, but it will be four times more effective. Roofs will never get too hot again. Anyone with a large roof is going to see a sharp decrease in their energy bills.

3. Low-E Windows Taking Over

It’s a mystery why these aren’t already extremely popular, but things are starting to change. Read low-E window replacement reviews and you’ll see everyone loves them because they’re extremely effective.

They’ll keep heat outside in summer or inside in winter. People don’t even have to buy new windows to enjoy the technology. All they’ll need is a low-E film to place over their current ones.

4. Magnets Will Cool Fridges

Refrigerators haven’t changed much in a very long time. They’re still using a vapor compression process that wastes energy while harming the environment. It won’t be long until they’ll be cooled using magnets instead.

The magnetocaloric effect is going to revolutionize cold food storage. The fluid these fridges are going to use will be water-based, which means the environment can rest easy and energy bills will drop.

5. Improving Our Current LEDs

Everyone who spent a lot of money on energy must have been very happy when LEDs became mainstream. Incandescent light bulbs belong in museums today because the new tech cut costs by up to 85 percent.

That doesn’t mean someone isn’t always trying to improve on an already great invention. The amount of lumens LEDs produce per watt isn’t great, but we’ve already found a way to increase it by 25 percent.

Maybe Homes Will Look Different Too

Do you think we’ll come up with new styles of homes that will take off? Surely it’s not out of the question. Everything inside homes seems to be changing for the better with each passing year. It’s going to continue doing so thanks to amazing inventors.

ShutterStock – Stock photo ID: 613912244

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Economy

IEMA Urge Government’s Industrial Strategy Skills Overhaul To Adopt A “Long View Approach”

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IEMA, in response to the launch of the Government’s Industrial Strategy Green Paper, have welcomed the focus on technical skills and education to boost “competence and capability” of tomorrow’s workforce.

Policy experts at the world’s leading professional association of Environment and Sustainability professionals has today welcomed Prime Minister Teresa May’s confirmation that an overhaul of technical education and skills will form a central part of the Plan for Britain – but warns the strategy must be one for the long term.

Martin Baxter, Chief Policy Advisor at IEMA said this morning that the approach and predicted investment in building a stronger technical skills portfolio to boost the UK’s productivity and economic resilience is positive, and presents an opportunity to drive the UK’s skills profile and commitment to sustainability outside of the EU.

Commenting on the launch of the Government’s Industrial Strategy Green Paper, Baxter said today:

“Government must use the Industrial Strategy as an opportunity to accelerate the UK’s transition to a low-carbon, resource efficient economy – one that is flexible and agile and which gives a progressive outlook for the UK’s future outside the EU.

We welcome the focus on skills and education, as it is vital that tomorrow’s workforce has the competence and capability to innovate and compete globally in high-value manufacturing and leading technology.

There is a real opportunity with the Industrial Strategy, and forthcoming 25 year Environment Plan and Carbon Emissions Reduction Plan, to set long-term economic and environmental outcomes which set the conditions to unlock investment, enhance natural capital and provide employment and export opportunities for UK business.

We will ensure that the Environment and Sustainability profession makes a positive contribution in responding to the Green Paper.”

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