GreenHouse co-op for social enterprises

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

Waterloo offers alternative co-op plans for employers from social-purpose startups and not-for-profit enterprises.

GreenHouse co-op is an affordable, 4-week commitment to employ talented and passionate students.

Matching the right students with your organization is not demanding of your time and is heavily facilitated by the University of Waterloo.

How it works

  • Apply to the GreenHouse co-op program and state projects of interest aligned with your business goals.
  • Waterloo with curate and facilitate short interviews with student applicants whose skills and experience match your project/organization interests.
  • You can sign up for up to 2 four week rotations per term (available for winter and spring term only). You will be assigned a team of two students for each four-week.
  • Assignments are based on your project requirements and the interests and skill sets of the students.
    • Note: students do have the option to decline an assigned placement.
  • Students will receive basic training before arriving and will be supported by a full-time staff member in Co-operative Education.

Students can help with:

  • Competitor analysis
  • Opportunity assessment and market validation
  • Market research, data analysis/reporting and customer discovery
  • Preparing funding applications and exploring crowdfunding, investors and fundraising initiatives
  • Marketing strategy and content creation
  • Website/database development and maintenance
  • Brainstorming and backlog clearing


  • Participating organizations must be able to provide working space in a professional office setting (includes incubators, accelerators and co-working spaces).
  • Organizations in the Waterloo Region are invited to apply; companies in other cities should contact the GreenHouse co-op program co-ordinator to discuss eligibility.

Application and Interview Process

  • Step 1: Complete an application form.
    • Choose projects aligned with business objectives.
    • Projects should be reasonably achievable within a four-week period.
    • Provide clear descriptions of tasks associated with those projects.  
  • Step 2: We will invite eligible organizations to participate in a short interview.
    • Note: Completion of an application and interview does not guarantee a student placement with your company. We are looking for work that will provide students with a strong learning experience and opportunity to make a positive impact on your business.
  • Step 3: We will notify successful organizations of their match.


Companies are asked to pay a cost per team of two students placement (4 weeks).

Please contact the program co-ordinator for details on the cost associated with your proposed projects.

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).