Youth Social Innovation (YSI), a Toronto-based organization bridging impact investors and social entrepreneurs by facilitating microloans and providing support to promising youth, has announced two investments today.
Based in Accra, Growth Mosaic is led by Wayne Miranda, who founded the company to help social enterprises in West Africa improve their operational efficiency, lower costs, and ultimately become attractive investment opportunities. Miranda, a graduate of the University of Waterloo and strong believer that job creation is the ultimate poverty reduction tool, has worked five years developing businesses in sub-Saharan Africa.
For YSI, which offers financing solutions based on “character rather than collateral”, Miranda is the kind of talent they seek. Jory Cohen, the managing director of YSI, tells Social Enterprise Buzz that there were three things which made their two investees stand out: the entrepreneur, business model, and positive impact. Cohen explained that the entrepreneurs carried a wealth of experience, and their businesses demonstrate growth and have positive impact at the core of their function.
Jeremy O’Krafka’s MENTORnetwork, based in Toronto, hopes to create a culture of mentorship across Canada. The company develops programs and resources to support individuals accessing mentorship. Through an online service called MENTORup, they match mentors with entrepreneurs and social innovators in Toronto.
Given the number of applications, Cohen suggests that there’s an unmistaken interest in social entrepreneurship among youth. “There were many other ventures that went through the YSI application process,” he said. “Unfortunately, we determined there was not a fit between these ventures and YSI at this point in time. However, we hope to maintain relationships with the social entrepreneurs behind these ventures and revisit their applications at a later date.”
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