Please contact Karleigh Nyman for information about future offerings of the GreenHouse co-op program.

Are you looking for a unique first co-op experience? The GreenHouse co-op program is an opportunity for you to gain exposure to three different social purpose startups/not-for-profits during the work term while developing in-demand employability skills.

If you are passionate about social causes, interested in entrepreneurship or intrapreneurship or seeking a unique professional development experience - GreenHouse co-op may be a fit for you!

How it works

Successful applicants (called Social Entrepreneurs-in-Training) will complete a one-week training program to prepare you for the demands and culture of the workplace. Training topics include project management, networking, design thinking and more.

You’ll then be matched with another student and will complete specialized four-week placements at social purpose startups and not-for-profit social enterprises. You’ll be assigned to specific employers based on your skills, interests and areas for learning and development. Your partner and employer will change every four weeks; over the course of your work term, you’ll have the opportunity to work with three different student colleagues in three unique organizations.

Placement tasks may include:

  • Market research and customer discovery
  • Marketing strategy and content creation
  • Data analysis and reporting
  • Website design and maintenance
  • Preparing funding applications
  • Database creation and management

To conclude the term, you will participate in a wrap-up evening. During this session, there are a number of activities to help you reflect on your experiences, and practice articulating your employability skills for future job searches.


The GreenHouse co-op program is open to University of Waterloo co-op students from all faculties who have not completed their first work term. An interest in social entrepreneurship is an asset.

How to apply

  • Submit an application to the Social Entrepreneur-in-Training position on WaterlooWorks.
  • In your application, share work or projects completed outside of class time, extracurricular events you have attended (or organized) and professional development activities.

Tips for students applying to the Social Entrepreneur-in-Training position

  • Learn about the local social enterprise ecosystem and reflect on why you would like to gain experience working in a social enterprise environment.
  • Adaptability, communication and an interest in learning are key! These skills will be critical to your success and having a great experience in the program.

The GreenHouse co-op program was founded as a pilot led by St. Paul’s GreenHouse, Canada’s first and only live-in campus-linked social innovation and entrepreneurship accelerator and the Waterloo Centre for the Advancement of Co-operative Education (WatCACE).

For questions about the GreenHouse co-op program, please contact the program co-ordinator.