Tuesday April 22, 2014

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Funding available for aspiring social entrepreneurs

FUSE Community Work Hub

Social entrepreneurs often find it hard to get started. Defining your idea and then attracting financing to market your idea is challenging.

In partnership with Community Futures and Simon Fraser University’s Local Entrepreneur Accelerator Program (leap!), FUSE is launching Ignite, an exciting new pilot program designed to help local social innovators get their ideas out there and on the road.

Sponsored by the Sunshine Coast Credit Union and supported in part by the Vancouver Foundation, five bursaries worth more than $4,000 each are now available for aspiring social entrepreneurs.

“Leap will build capacity in leaders, Ignite will build a community around them,” said Brian Smith, executive director of Community Futures. “FUSE and Community Futures will provide on-going support.”

Shelley McDade, CEO of Sunshine Coast Credit Union, adds: “This program will help us build a modern and resilient economy on the Sunshine Coast.”

Anyone, non-profit champions and entrepreneurs alike, with an innovative business idea they believe will help the community at the same time are encouraged to apply. Each bursary includes a seven-week course taught locally by an SFU professor, three workshops working with a local team to mobilize community around the ideas, and a large-scale Dragons Den-like event, attended by potential angel investors and future collaborators, with the chance to win cash prizes to kick start the social enterprise. Ignite will also be challenging local businesses to sponsor each bursary holder with a year’s membership at the new FUSE Community Work Hub in Sechelt.

The deadline for entries is 5 p.m. on Feb. 11. More details and application instructions are available at www.fuseworkhub.ca/ignite.

— Submitted



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