Social Entrepreneurs

YSI proudly supports four young social entrepreneurs and their social enterprises:

Twenty One Toys

 Ilana Ben-Ari

Ilana Ben-Ari is a toy designer and social entrepreneur and heads a multiple award-winning startup, Twenty One Toys.

She transformed her thesis project into the company’s first product – the CONNEXIONS™ Toy for Empathy & Creative Dialogue. A 3-d abstract puzzle, CONNEXIONS™ was originally designed with the Canadian National Institute for the Blind to bridge communication gaps between visually impaired students and their sighted classmates. It is now used as a tool for empathic learning and creative education for people of varying ages and abilities, in classrooms and boardrooms around the world.

Twenty One Toys

Twenty One Toys is a toy creation company re-imagining toys as tools for social change, organizational change, educational change and more.

They are creating a new category of toys that teach the key 21st-century skills: Creativity, Collaborative Learning, Innovation, Problem Solving, and Empathy. Their first in a new set of toys for the 21st century is the award-winning CONNEXIONS™ TOY for Empathy and Creative Dialogue.

Fresh City Farms

Ran Goel

Ran Goel is the founder of Fresh City Farms.

He conceived of the Fresh City model while practicing investment law in New York City. He believes in the power of city farming to change how people think about food.

Ran holds degrees from York University, the London School of Economics and the University of Toronto.

Fresh City

Fresh City Farms is a Toronto-based farm and farming network.

They produce and deliver fresh, local, and organic groceries to subscribers. The organization’s mission is to reconnect food producers and consumers through local sourcing and organic practices. These farming techniques avoid harmful pesticides and maintain a minimal carbon footprint.

 

Growth Mosaic

Wayne Miranda

Wayne Miranda is the founder and CEO of Growth Mosaic. 

With five years of business development experience in sub-Saharan Africa, Wayne is a strong believer in the hypothesis that job creation is the ultimate poverty reduction tool. A graduate of the University of Waterloo, Wayne held numerous positions at Engineers Without Borders Canada prior to launching Growth Mosaic.

Growth Mosaic prepares West-African social enterprises to access and manage growth capital.

Growth Mosaic offers services to their clients that improve operational efficiency, lower costs, and increase the viability of becoming attractive investment opportunities. Their clients generate both an economic and social impact.

MENTORnetwork

Jeremy O'Krafka

Jeremy O’Krafka is the founder and CEO of MENTORnetwork.

He is a member of CSI Regent Park, client of ventureLAB, graduate of Wilfrid Laurier University, past-President of JCI (Junior Chamber International) Toronto, acted as the Corporate Partnerships Lead for BizLaunch, and produced a Guinness World Record setting event with the Ontario Centres of Excellence for the “World’s Largest Business Mentoring Event”.

MENTORnetwork

MENTORnetwork is committed to creating a culture of mentorship across Canada.

MENTORnetwork develops programs and resources to support individuals accessing mentorship. Their online mentor-matching platform called MENTORup provides a network of mentors to support entrepreneurs and social innovators in the Greater Toronto Area.