Future Fund 2012

The Ontario Trillium Foundation has adjusted its current operating and granting budgets to align with the recently approved Provincial Budget. Therefore Future Fund grants will not be made in 2013 -2014. OTF will continue to support those approved grantees with multi-year projects. For other granting opportunities, please refer to the granting programs section of our website.

Read a summary of the evaluation results online. (pdf)
Read vignettes about other Future Fund grantees

image: future fund wordle

OTF introduced the Future Fund program in 2007 as part of its commitment to invest in Ontario's future.

The Future Fund supports projects that create significant and sustainable change in a specific area, using distinct and innovative approaches.

Future Fund 2012-2013

Design Lab & Beyond: Supporting the Infrastructure for Youth Social Entrepreneurship in Ontario

Building on the success of previous efforts to create positive economic opportunities for youth, the Future Fund theme for 2012-13 will focus specifically on Support for Youth Social Entrepreneurship in Ontario. OTF will allocate $5M to this theme in the coming year.

Youth unemployment continues to be a severe problem in Ontario. While unemployment levels nation-wide are slowly stabilizing to pre-recession levels, Ontario's youth unemployment rate in the first half of 2012 was reported to be greater than twice the rate of the entire workforce.

This round of the Future Fund will strengthen the infrastructure for youth social entrepreneurship in Ontario. This includes incubators, networks, accelerators and hubs that bring together resources to support entrepreneurship in Ontario.

Through investments in infrastructures of support for social enterprise, the Future Fund will achieve a cohesive and integrated economic ecosystem that creates and supports social enterprise opportunities for youth that are both viable and sustainable.

Why Youth Social Entrepreneurship?

Social enterprises are a growing segment of the economy that are creating real jobs for people. Social enterprises use for-profit methods to support, enhance and achieve their not-for-profit objectives. OTF supports social enterprise initiatives that deliver on a blended return model, or triple bottom line - these are innovative social enterprises that achieve social and environmental impact, while generating financial returns.

Developing social entrepreneurship is a way to reduce dependency on traditional sources of funding, empower organizations to finance their own sustainability and encourage innovation. It is a natural draw for young bright people who are looking for a creative way to earn a living and change the world. It is an important tool in social innovation.

Desired Outcomes:

• Create an enabling environment for youth-focused social enterprise to emerge and flourish by leveraging and aligning existing networks and social enterprise hubs
• Create an enabling environment for youth-focused social enterprise to emerge and flourish by leveraging and aligning existing networks and social enterprise hubs
• Increase the number and diversity of young people benefiting from social enterprise in the province
• Increase knowledge and business skills among participating youth
• Increase economic opportunities for participating youth
• Strengthen social and business networks of participating youth
• Expand social and business networks of participating infrastructures and the social enterprises that they serve
• Strengthen the sector's ability to collaborate and support social entrepreneurship
• Attract and mobilize other options for accessing capital and financing for social enterprises

What this entails

The goal of the Future Fund is to leverage and strengthen existing infrastructure and networks to support social entrepreneurship in order to create a continuum of support for youth social enterprises.  

• Summer 2012: Learning more about what's already happening. Our goal is to map the social entrepreneurship ecosystem. 

• Early Fall 2012: A Design Lab for infrastructures that support social entrepreneurship to collectively think through, develop, and refine potential projects. Participants will benefit from the intense learning and networking.

• Late Fall 2012: A "pitch session" for invited applicants to pitch their ideas/projects to OTF staff and partners.

Of course OTF wants to support more than the infrastructure. If you have an eligible social enterprise, please register your information and think about applying through our Community and Province-wide granting programs.