The Social Enterprise Platform (SEP) is a collaborative space that allows social enterprises to take their game to the next level.
Our objective is to match organizations with experts in the field to help them gain the knowledge, capability and resources that will create successful social enterprises.
The SEP is also a partnership made up of public, private and philanthropic organizations, led by the Ottawa Community Foundation to create positive, systemic, sustainable change in our city.
The vision of the SEP is to help organizations become self-sufficient by generating earned revenue and reducing their dependence on grants. When organizations are more sustainable, they can more effectively fulfill their mandates and collectively address our city’s most pressing issues.
Tremendous work and results have been achieved over the years by many individuals and organizations to bring the social enterprise community to where it is today. The SEP hopes to harness the power of all that amazing work and simplify the process so that more organizations can become successful social enterprises.
A thriving social enterprise collaborative space transforming our city.
Empower social enterprises with the expertise, capabilities and resources to ensure sustainability, increase self-sufficiency and amplify social impact.
How Will We Measure Success?
Social Enterprise Platform
Community Economic Development Impact
President and CEO, Ottawa Community Foundation
A seasoned and respected leader in both the corporate and not-for-profit sectors, Marco Pagani became President & CEO of the Ottawa Community Foundation in 2014. He began his career with Nortel Networks in 1985 (then Bell-Northern Research), rising across two decades to become president of several Nortel Business Units and managing more than 2,000 employees and over $1 billion in revenue. With that experience, Marco quickly gained recognition as a strategic thinker who focuses on systems-level solutions, steering the foundation towards an approach based on leveraging existing assets to create social infrastructure that drives positive, systemic, sustainable change. Marco has set and met a series of ambitious targets, including growing the foundation’s assets by more than $120M in seven years and overseeing record levels of granting to the community. Early on, his vision saw the successful launch of the annual New Leaf Community Challenge, which provides significant support to groups tackling issues such as youth unemployment and food insecurity. His belief in evidence-based decision making also came to life with Ottawa Insights, the Foundation’s online knowledge centre. From advancing impact investing and launching the Social Enterprise Platform, to incubating cross-sector efforts like the Ottawa Climate Action Fund, Marco continues to be a sought-after voice on several city-building and national initiatives.
Director, Social Enterprise Development, Ottawa Community Foundation
Manu Sharma is the Ottawa Community Foundation’s Director of Social Enterprise Development and works with social purpose organizations seeking to shift their strategy to improve their bottom line, generate innovation, and increase their social impact. Manu is an engineer by background, technology entrepreneur by choice, and community activist at heart. He has over 19 years of experience in building multiple technology start-ups, encouraging entrepreneurs, supporting community betterment initiatives, and facilitating innovation relationships. Manu strongly believes in the power and purpose of social enterprises and social good. Manu also currently serves in strategic advisory roles with Centre for Social Enterprise Development, Youth Ottawa, Mindtrust Leadership Development Program, Future of Good, Junior Achievement Ottawa, and is a member of College of Reviewers with Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE). He holds a Bachelor of Engineering in Electronics & Communications Engineering, a Master of Engineering in Computer Engineering, a Master of Business Administration, and a Diploma in International Trade from the Forum in International Trade (F.I.I.T). He is a past recipient of Ottawa’s Forty Under 40 award, City’s Immigrant Entrepreneur Award, Startup Canada’s Mentor Rock Star Award, and a proud alumnus of the Governor Generals Canadian Leadership Conference.
Manager, Social Enterprise Platform, Ottawa Community Foundation
Ian Bingeman brings the broad perspective, deep experience, and acute insight of a successful Social Entrepreneur to the Ottawa Community Foundation. Recognized as one of Ottawa’s “Forty Under 40” for his intentional application of the OCF’s vision of Social Enterprise, he applied business design principles to replace precarious grant funding for core activities with more reliable earned revenues when he was Executive Director at Youth Ottawa. Under Ian’s leadership, Youth Ottawa’s sustainability and capacity significantly improved. By refining its business model, the organization was able to clarify more effective ways of generating social impact. Ian is a graduate of the Royal Military College of Canada with cross-sectoral experience. He possesses a well-developed leadership mindset, skillset and toolset which further inform his support of other sectoral leaders. However, Ian’s most important professional attributes – empathy, patience, integrity, and care – come from time spent as a D.A.D. (“the Domestic Administrative Dude”) and learning how to be a good person through raising his children.