YEDI accepts leaders from 15 not-for-profit organizations per cohort. An Expert Committee comprised of industry experts and partners will be responsible for evaluating applications based on set criteria.


  • Not-for-profit organization from any sector;
  • Applicant is the Executive Director or Founder (other leaders within the organization will also be considered);
  • Any adult age or background


    • October 12, 2022 – February 3, 2023

Accepted leaders undergo a free, intensive 16-week program including formal academic lectures led by York Entrepreneurship Development Institute instructors, workshop-based training in entrepreneurship, and mentorship by key industry leaders. Upon program completion, leaders will have a formal certificate from the York Entrepreneurship Development Institute along with a professionally developed business plan, executive summary, and proper business model ready to take their organizations to the next level.
YEDI is sector agnostic and will consider not-for-profit organizations from any sector.
All courses and workshops are conducted online.




Not-for-profit leaders participate in sessions facilitated by York Entrepreneurship Development Institute professors & instructors, providing a solid foundation in business theory and economics. Theory examined includes: entrepreneurship, marketing strategy, business development and growth, finance and communication skills.  Successful entrepreneurs quickly need to learn where they lack expertise and require a network of support. Entrepreneurs participate in sessions that will prepare them for real-life application of theory to achieve inspiration, ideation, and implementation. Topics include: visioning & environmental scanning, finance and fundraising.  Sessions take place once per week.

Week 1. Welcome Session/Visioning, Ideation and Inspiration; Environmental Scanning: Looking at Market Opportunities and Social Challenges
Week 2. Leadership, Building a Team & Volunteer Management
Week 3. Business Planning and Modelling: Drafting a Roadmap for Success. Expansion and Enlarging Social Impact
Week 4. Business Model Canvas, Operations: Build a Solid Work Plan of Achievable Tasks
Week 5. Marketing, Sales and Promotion: Strategy, Tools and Avenues
Week 6. Business Planning and Modelling (Personal Session)
Week 7. Prototyping and Market Testing: Proof of the Idea and Concept of Viability
Week 8. “Friendraising”: Networking and Pitching Skills
Week 9. Budgeting and Financial Planning: Developing Towards Self-Sufficiency
Week 10. NPO and Charity Organizations in Ontario, Tax and Legal Implications
Week 11. Budgeting and Financial Planning (Personal Session)
Week 12. Strategy for Raising Money, Sources of Funds, Practical Experience
Week 13. Digital Promotion: NPO Internet Activities and Marketing
Week 14. Business Communications: Customer Service and the Executive Summary
Week 15. Pitching Business Proposals
Week 16. Presentation to Potential Stakeholders, Course Evaluation, Graduation, Venture Fair


Social enterprises need as many opportunities as possible to showcase their organizations. Upon successful completion of the program, leaders will present their not-for-profits at the exclusive Venture Fair and pitch for the opportunity to receive funding from funds, donors, sponsors and additional stakeholders.

The Venture Fair provides a concrete opportunity for leaders to showcase their organization’s business plan, models, and milestones to a funder audience, as well as create industry partnerships that will take their not-for-profit organization to the next step in development and success.


Organizations often benefit by sharing best practices, challenges, and accomplishments with one another. The YEDI Director coordinates regular cluster meetings to facilitate constructive feedback, group exercises, and peer-support. Students are also expected to complete bi-weekly milestone deliverables that are assigned to guide the business development process. Each milestone and achieved goal will form a component of the final proof-of-concept, with which the entrepreneur will graduate the program.


Participants will be matched with subject matter experts across diverse industries. The YEDI Director will ensure that volunteer mentors from pertinent sectors are available for valuable insight, problem-solving, as well as networking opportunities.


A not-for-profit will not survive in a competitive market if it lacks customer service, people management skills, and is unable to relate well to clients, vendors, staff and donors. YEDI training provides both a lecture and a seminar involving key components of business communication skills. Our partner 3V Communications helps leaders of not-for-profits with their organizational branding, writing, communication tactics and pitch presentations.

Applications are now closed.