PARO's Social Enterprise for Northern Ontario CoStarter for Change
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PARO's Social Enterprise

Paro program celebrates new participants and announces applications for next round- PARO’s Social Enterprise for Northern Ontario CoStarter for Change 


  PARO is searching for socially conscious entrepreneurs who are ready to make a difference in Northern Ontario with business ideas that not only drive the economy but social change, addressing issues that matter to people and the planet.  Today, the organization introduced seven new participants to its Social Enterprise for Northern Ontario CoStarter for Change program and made an open call for new applicants. The current SENO participants are:
·    Leslie Boote - Mother Nurture (Thunder Bay)
·    Lorri Kilborn – A Fresh Start (Thunder Bay)
·    Tamara DeGagne – Atikokan’s Finest Youth Employment Initiative
·    Paul Drombolis & Tony Chiodo – Eat the Fish (Thunder Bay)
·    Kyle Jewett – Sault Skate Part Co-Op (Sault Ste. Marie)
·    Sandra Hodge – Great Lakes Basin & Splash Tile (Sault Ste. Marie)
·    Morgan Richter & Kelli Ebbs – Muskoka North Good Food Co-Op: In
Season (Huntsville)
“The SENO CoStarter for Change program is pushing social, economic and environmental innovation in Northern Ontario,” says SENO CoStarter for Change Program Manager Aleksa Shermack. “Over a twelve week period, entrepreneurs use workshop and training sessions, mentoring and peer-to-peer events to develop and operate for-profit and non-profit business ideas”.
Entrepreneurs can watch their idea transform into a sustainable
enterprise with access to:
·    Social Enterprise training and business plan development
·    Mentorship
·    Cutting edge technology
·    One-on-one coaching
·    Advisory support from all partners
·    Workspace
·    Networking opportunities
Since its inception in 2013, the program has launched six enterprises across Northern Ontario, creating 56 jobs. Enterprises include the Willow Springs Creative Centre’s Soup & Bread program, which helps people with disabilities work in a kitchen environment, and Blue Mar 4
Change, a sponsorship program helping women around the world sell their wares and receive fair wages.
“The seven entrepreneurs this round, from Huntsville to Thunder Bay to Atikokan, feature a diverse group of ideas that can help Northern Ontario be more sustainable and successful;” continues Shermack. “Ignite social change by developing a business idea rooted in
addressing issues that matter to people and the planet.” This project is supported by The Ministry of Economic Development, Employment and Infrastructure's Social Enterprise Demonstration Fund,
PARO Centre for Women's Enterprise, Nordik Institute (Algoma University), Northwestern Ontario Innovation Centre, Thunder Bay Community Economic Development Commission, Sault Saint Marie innovation Centre, The United Way of Sault Saint Marie, Copperfin Credit Union,
BDC and RBC.Those interested in applying to the SENO program are encouraged to
Aleksa Shermack Program Manger for CoStarter for Change Program“ We are here today  Celebrating Changemakers, the second round of intakes for SENO. We have been able to support 14 companies so far and 44 have applied in total.  The program is for both men and women, is a funding program of grants and loans and you get individual support based on the type of social enterprise you are. You can be at varying levels of business from start up to long time in operation.Paro will give help like partners, work shops and events like this.”
“ It has been amazing with 44 people applying for the program which is a huge out cry and shows many people interested in social enterprise. Social Entrepreneurs are great to work with and they provide a social
return as well.” 
Leslie Marie Boote, Mother Nurture Postnatal Services
“ We  have done post natal support to mothers and families for the past year.  Doula is a support person during birth and after as well.  We also offer the babies boxes of Finland and Canada and do mother support as well. It is a sleep box with a mattress and babies items including
cloth diapers and local items geared for babies.” “ Sometimes there is no family around or the partner has to go back to work. With a busy life during the baby moon the mother needs to spend time to bond with the baby which is so important. Paro and SENO has helped so much in my
work and is so necessary.”

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