March 22, 2011              

Bayfield, Ontario – The Rural Social Enterprise Project (RSEP), a collaborative effort of the Foundation for Rural Living, Eko Nomos, and C. Lang Consulting, was launched here today at Huron County’s Community Conference.

“Rural community-based organizations are increasingly challenged to resource their programs and services.  Social enterprise includes the many entrepreneurial or 'self-financing' methods used by nonprofits, charities and community groups to generate some of their own income in support of their mission. The RSEP aims to empower these organizations to increase their financial resources so they can better respond to the priorities of their communities,” says Anita Hayes, Executive Director of the Foundation for Rural Living. “The Project will also link rural social enterprise development to the broader social enterprise sector.”

Thanks to funding from the Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) and the RBC Foundation, the RSEP will provide training workshops, peer support and customized consultations to rural nonprofits and social entrepreneurs interested in exploring the creative ways to use entrepreneurial or social enterprise methods to self-finance, generate unrestricted revenue to support their community work, and/or to create employment.

An increasing number of nonprofits, charities and informal community groups are exploring creative ways to use social enterprise as a vehicle to achieve their purpose, capitalize on an entrepreneurial organizational culture, build members’ assets, and work towards sustainability.  The RSEP was designed to lend support to those groups interested in exploring social enterprise.

“At RBC, we know the importance of investing in rural community development.  Businesses want to locate in communities that offer a high quality of life,” says Shari Austin, Vice President and Head, Corporate Citizenship of RBC.  “The RBC Foundation is proud to partner with the Foundation for Rural Living on an innovative program that invests in people, community-based organizations and rural communities.”

The RSEP is a collaboration of the Foundation for Rural Living, Eko Nomos, C. Lang Consulting, and community partners Huron Business Development Corporation, Perth Community Futures, Wellington Waterloo Community Futures, and PARO Centre for Women’s Enterprise.  Workshops and consultations are being offered in each of the partner regions introducing participants to social enterprise and supporting them to further their own social enterprise ideas.

To register for a workshop or customized consultations please contact:  Jennifer Girvin, Learning Centre Coordinator, Foundation for Rural Living - phone:  519-826-4126 x227;  e-mail:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.