The Sandbox

THE SANDBOX 
A collaboration between the John F. Wood Centre and the Guelph Lab

The Sandbox is a unique opportunity for graduate students to work directly with local organizations to develop high impact social enterprises.

In the Sandbox, you will:

  • Work directly with local community organizations to tackle real-world challenges
  • Get hands-on experience validating and launching a social enterprise idea
  • Learn fundamentals of social enterprise development and community engagement
  • Receive a $2400 stipend

 

ABOUT THE HUB SANDBOX

The Sandbox is a chance to learn how to launch and grow a social enterprise while making a positive impact in the Guelph-Wellington community. You will work closely with a local community organization to identify business opportunities, assess their viability, and launch a new social or environmental initiative. Never considered business and social enterprise before? The Sandbox is designed for graduate students in any program. Click here to read about the Sandbox team that helped launch the “Upcycle Kitchen.”   

This year we are proud to be teaming-up with three amazing local organizations, each with a brilliant social enterprise idea.

  1. Nourish -  launched by 10C 

  2. The Better Food Co., launched by Hope House  

  3. A research consulting company, launched by Toward Common Ground 

Students will work in teams of two.  Each 2-person team will work with one of the community partners.

 

PROGRAM DETAILS  

  • Program starts September 13th and ends December 6th. Each student is expected to complete 10-15 hours of work per week during the program. 

  • The Sandbox includes workshops, project work and coaching. Workshops introduce students to the fundamentals of social enterprise development. Students apply insights from their learning to support the development of a social enterprise through their project with the community partner. Expert coaches support the students’ project work.  

  • The 1-hour workshops will take place from 12.30pm to 1.30pm every Monday and Thursday for the first 6 weeks of the program (September 13th to late October). Note: we encourage you to apply, even if you are concerned that this schedule may conflict with your other commitments*  

  • Throughout the Fall, the student teams will be directly involved in a range of entrepreneurial activities, from developing business models, doing “customer discovery” and other market research, to marketing and business development.  

  • Each team will have access to a Social Enterprise Development fund to cover the costs related to their social enterprise project. Each team will decide how to allocate funds, up to a maximum of $500 per team.  

  • Each student will receive a $2400 stipend. The stipend recognizes the value of each student’s work and is designed to reduce financial barriers to participation. The stipend is informed by the living wage rate for Guelph.  

  • Sandbox workshops and meetings would ordinarily take place in person and could be held on campus or in the community. For Fall 2021, most workshops and meetings are expected to take place remotely, however some in person meetings may be necessary (subject to Public Health guidelines and considering the health of those involved).  

* Changes to the schedule are possible in cases where there are unavoidable conflicts with Sandbox participants’ other commitments. However, alternative times will need to fit with the schedules of other participants and Sandbox program staff. If alternate times cannot be found, the workshops will take place as planned.  

 

HOW TO APPLY

Your application should include:  

  1. Your resume or LinkedIn profile  

  1. A cover letter. The letter should describe your relevant experience, and why you want to learn about social enterprise development 

  1. Your top two (2) projects (e.g., My first choice = Better Food Co. Second choice = Toward Common Ground). Note: Students will be matched to projects based on a combination of their skills, experience, and preferences. You may not get your first choice.  

Submit your application to Sam Laban, slaban@uoguelph.ca  

Deadline to Apply: 9am, Tuesday, August 31st 

Interviews will take place on September 1st and September 2nd.  

 

AVAILABLE PROJECTS
(Please review these and rank your top two choices) 

Nourish by 10C 

Nourish is a community kitchen that supports 10C and community partners to improve well-being, reduce food insecurity and foster meaningful relationships. It is a shared commercial kitchen that facilitates food programming. The first product launched and sold via e-commerce is a delicious spent grain bread offering and will be the focus of this project. Funds raised through sales of this bread help Nourish produce the matching funds for a walk-in fridge in 10C’s shared community kitchen. In addition, an equal amount of bread is circulated at no cost on a 1:1 basis through local food programs.  Through this project students will work with Nourish to learn about their customers, capture and tell the story of their impact and help develop their business model. 

Better Food Co. By HOPE House 

As part of HOPE House’s commitment to addressing food insecurity in Guelph, HOPE House created The Better Food Company, a social enterprise where 100% of proceeds support their community food work. The Better Food Company creates delicious prepared meals using food grown locally at their 1 acre farm in Guelph. Set to launch in September, the Better Food Co. aims to build a better food system where food is healthy, accessible and shared without financial barriers. Students will work with The Better Food Co. to learn about their customers, build partnerships with local companies and community organizations, and help create a community-first food system in Guelph. 

Toward Common Ground

Toward Common Ground (TCG) uses data, research and collective action to improve the lives of people in Guelph and Wellington. TCG is a partnership of 12 local social and health service organizations and primarily works to support collective, evidence-informed action to address local needs. TCG is increasingly being asked to support the work of individual organizations and collaborative groups through additional fee-for-service research and consulting. Students will work with TCG to explore ways to grow this fee-for-service work locally and across the Province. Toward Common Ground (TCG) uses data, research and collective action to improve the lives of people in Guelph and Wellington. TCG is a partnership of 12 local social and health service organizations and primarily works to support collective, evidence-informed action to address local needs. TCG is increasingly being asked to support the work of individual organizations and collaborative groups through additional fee-for-service research and consulting. Students will work with TCG to explore ways to grow this fee-for-service work locally and across the Province.