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Innovation & Job News

Green Innovation Awards offer $50,000 for enviro entrepreneurs: enter by March 12

Unlike many pressing social issues that seem to require big -- and ongoing -- charity or government funding, environmental sustainability has famously appeared to be a goal that is also financially sustainable. From the province's feed-in tariff program for solar power to the construction jobs created by energy retrofits to the whole financial market that emerges wherever cap-and-trade programs are implemented, there are dollars available for businesses that focus on going green.

To encourage entrepreneurs with big ideas, the Toronto Community Foundation has raised money from donors and partnered with the city of Toronto to endow the Green Innovation Awards, which offer $50,000 in seed money to "advance the development of new and innovative solutions to address our environmental challenges."

Toronto Community Foundation President and CEO Rahul Bhardwaj says the awards emerged from the group's Vital Signs report -- and the financial commitment of TCF fundholders represents their support for entrepreneurilaism. "When you have a look at the Vital Signs report ... you see a nice trajectory over time. But it's important to not rest on our laurels -- it's time to really put our shoulder behind moving towards a greener city." Bhardwaj says it was relatively easy to get financial support from donors to build innovative projects that will be self-sustaining financially while making the city sustainable.

Anyone with an idea for a new technology, product or service to make "Toronto a greener and more livable" city and a plan to make it happen is encouraged to apply for the grant by the March 12 deadline. The panel will decide whether the prize money will go to one project or be divided between multiple projects, Bhardwaj says. Entrants will be able to present their funding request to a panel of judges. Award recipients will be announced at the Green Toronto Awards at the Green Living Show in late April.

Writer: Edward Keenan
Sources: Rahul Bhardwaj, President and CEO, Toronto Community Foundation; Live Green Toronto
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