Who are we?

Lead with Dignity is a nonprofit social impact startup that aims to support and empower marginalized and vulnerable population specifically young women who are at risk of hunger, homelessness, mental health and other related issues via employment support and mircro-lending as way to start and run their small business for a sustainable source of income. We aims to create a multi-sectoral collaborative platform to explore innovative ideas and co-create solutions with other supportive organizations that will best address the aforementioned most-often neglected social issue in our societies.

Our Vision

We envision every single individual youth to live with the highest physical and mental health wellbeing, and to eradicate youth homelessness, mental health issues, hunger and chronic unemployment entirely in Ontario and other selected regions of the world (Afghanistan is our next goal) by 2030 through preventive measures of empowering youth (age 14-30) to reach their full potential and become leaders and agents of social change in their respective communities. Our vision is also linked to certain United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, specifically SDG 1: No Poverty, SDG 2: Zero Hunger, SDG 3: Good Health & Wellbeing, and SDG 8: Decent Work & Economic Growth.

Our Mission

Our mission is to develop a robust and comprehensive model of social change program that is interactive, collaborative, and empowered by youth, for at risk youth that will provide customized training and services through a collaborative and interactive platform while working with different local and global partners: that is government, private sector, NGO sector, academia, communities, and WHO, UN and other global humanitarian developmental organizations, to design innovative services and interventions that empower youth locally and globally and addresses the challenge of mental health, addiction and homelessness.


We started back in January of 2017 and following are some of the highlights of the support services, and grants we received since the inception of our social enterprise:

January 2017:
Received 2017 Ontario Social Impact Voucher from Community Innovation Lab in partnership with Ontario Centres for Excellence consisting of eight-week training program worth $3,000.

March 2017:
Became a client of Health Innovation Hub which is UofT campus linked accelerator, we receive monthly consulting and other support services.

April 2017:
1. Abstract was accepted to 2017 Global Health & Innovation Conference at Yale University in New Haven.

2. Accepted for ‘Impact: Youth Leadership and Sustainability Training’, a three day intensive training with attendants from very diverse sectors (group training, one-on-one coaching, access to resources, mentorship and funding opportunities)

May-June 2017:
Accepted to ‘MaRS Discovery District Summer Intensive: Fly your startup to new horizons’ Comprehensive entrepreneurship training covering topic like -Value Proposition -Business Model Canvas -Finance Fundamentals -Leadership

July 2017:
Accepted for a fellowship at ‘Hansen Summer Institute on Leadership and International Cooperation’ at San Diego University, USA, where the founder of this initiative will work on with a diverse group of 25 fellows from 21 different countries, which included: one-on-one coaching, social entrepreneurship training, access to resources and funding opportunities.

August 2017:
Application passed pre-qualification stage for Healthy Generation Fund at University of Toronto worth $10,000 for the pilot project phase.

September 2017:
Accepted to NEET Youth Incubator for the fall 2017 Cohort at Community Innovation Lab for a five-month training Program. (http://communityilab.ca/nyi/ )

October 2017
1. Received support tools to transfer knowledge to action processes by designing youth programs, from YouthRex (Youth Research Evaluation and eXchange) at Department of Social Sciences, York University (http://youthrex.com/about-us/our-story/)

2. Incorporated federally as a non-profit organization in Canada.

November-December 2017:
Received guidance and support from Student Commission, Center of Excellence for Youth Engagement in designing the youth engagement programs (http://www.tgmag.ca/aorg/index_e.php)

WHAT IS NEXT: 2018 and beyond

January 2018
Lead with Dignity Fellowship Opportunity:
Application in Progress for Seed Grant (upto $75,000) with Ontario Trillium Foundation and our partner organization Student Commission, Center of Excellence for Youth Engagement for a pilot project.

February 2018
Give Back to Community Project:
Lead with Dignity will partner with Move N Improve Canada (a non-profit organization focused Women Yoga, Health and Empowerment) to feed the hungry by reducing food waste in the local restaurants

If you want to be part of this growing social enterprise and want to make a difference in the lives of at-risk youth, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our Founder (Diva Turial) at diva.turial@mail.utoronto.ca with any questions or recommendations you might have.

Thank you all for your presence and support!

Lead with Dignity Team