About Us

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.

Vision

A thriving social enterprise collaborative space transforming our city.

Mission

Empower social enterprises with the expertise, capabilities and resources to ensure sustainability, increase self-sufficiency and amplify social impact.

Values

  • sep-arrow Community focused
  • sep-arrow Entrepreneurial minded
  • sep-arrow Action and results-driven
  • sep-arrow Growth Mindset

How Will We Measure Success?

Success Metrics

  • sep-arrow # of social enterprises with a measurable increase in business training and entrepreneurial skills
  • sep-arrow # of social enterprises created
  • sep-arrow Entrepreneurial culture embedded in charitable organizations

Social Enterprise Platform

  • sep-arrow # and quality of services delivered to the sector
  • sep-arrow # of partners involved in the platform
  • sep-arrow Financial independence/sustainability of the platform
  • sep-arrow Resources invested (loans, grants, staff)
  • sep-arrow Cross Sectoral Engagement
  • sep-arrow Revenues generated across all sectors
  • sep-arrow # of companies or partners? engaged

Community Economic Development Impact

  • sep-arrow Revenues generated by social enterprises
  • sep-arrow # of jobs created and/or maintained
  • sep-arrow Value of assets created (ex: capital investment, infrastructure)

Leadership Team

Marco Pagani

President and CEO, Ottawa Community Foundation

Marco joined the Ottawa Community Foundation (OCF) as President and CEO in 2014 after a successful career in the corporate and not-for-profit sectors. Marco also has extensive experience having led several boards of local charitable organizations. In this capacity, his contribution extended well beyond a governance role, also developing strategies, running fundraising campaigns, and acting as a long-time volunteer with both the Ottawa Food Bank and the Ottawa Hospital’s Cancer Centre. Known as a passionate and energetic leader, Marco is recognized as a strategic thinker who has consistently guided companies and organizations through difficult but critically necessary turnarounds, leading to significant economic gains. Under his leadership, the OCF launched the New Leaf Community Challenge, providing a $125 thousand grant to address food security in the capital. Marco has led and championed the design of the Social Enterprise Platform.

Anita James

Director, Strategic Initiatives, Ottawa Community Foundation

Since joining the Ottawa Community Foundation in 2008, Anita has held the roles of Director of Grants and Director of Strategic Initiatives.  In this latter role, she coordinates initiatives that pursue new approaches to some of Ottawa’s most pressing issues. She is driven and inspired by working with diverse partners on initiatives that build community capacity and best practices. She has a master’s in social work and worked for many years with the Coalition of Community Health and Resource Centre’s of Ottawa. She has both front-line and management experience in health promotion, community development, and policy related to issues impacting women, youth, and families living in poverty, as well as immigrants and refugees. Some of Anita’s responsibilities at OCF include Ottawa Insights, impact measurement, working with the Indigenous community as well as social enterprise development.

Michael Lachapelle

Founder & Lead Analyst, Innovation by Design

Michael is the only Strategyzer (Business Model Generation) certified trainer and coach in Canada; and one of 30 world-wide. Michael has an extensive global network that encompasses thought leadership in business design, business models, discovery-driven innovation, and customer development.  Michael works with senior executives and founders helping them better align, communicate and change the way they do business. He coaches individuals and small teams, helps organizations implement business design methods, and facilitates product, service and business innovation initiatives. With more than 20 years of experience in business design, enterprise business analysis, strategic management, and product and service innovation, Michael has worked with clients in the private, public, and not-for-profit sectors, as well as member-based organizations and government. He is a member of the core development team for Mobius Outcome Delivery and is a Strategyzer certified Business Model Canvas coach and consultant.

Michael Murr

Executive Director, Centre for Social Enterprise Development

Collaborative and client focused, Michael comes to CSED with more than 25 years of experience developing and implementing strategies and initiatives that improve the economic prosperity and environmental sustainability of local communities. At the City of Ottawa, Michael spearheaded economic development programs and partnerships with industry stakeholders, chambers of commerce, business improvement areas and other levels of government to improve business conditions and support business success. He also helped build strategic business cases for multiple industries to create new opportunities within the Ottawa-Gatineau area.

Manu Sharma

Strategic Advisor, Centre for Social Enterprise Development

Manu works with social purpose organizations that seek to shift their business strategy to improve their bottom line, generate innovation, increase social impact and/or launch new products and services. He takes a human-centered approach to innovation through the integration of customer empathy, deep analysis and business strategy. Manu is an engineer by background, technology entrepreneur by choice, and community activist at heart. He has over 18 years of experience in building multiple technology start-ups, encouraging and empowering entrepreneurs, supporting community betterment initiatives, facilitating innovation relationships, championing social causes and developing niche talent advancement and training programs. With an interest in connecting individuals, organizations and communities to communicate, collaborate and co-create, he believes in the power and purpose of social enterprises and social good.  He holds the “Masterclass certified Practitioner” certification of Business Model You methodology and the “Business Model Innovation and Value Proposition Design Workshop Certification” offered by Strategyzer.

Peter Georgariou

FOUNDER & CEO, KarmaDharma Marketing and Strategy

At KarmaDharma, that takes the form of helping businesses establish the proper structures, strategies and marketing plans to help them achieve their goals and dreams. In both cases, he strives to help them make the most of their potential and their ability to impact the communities in which they live. He has over 18 years experience in the media business which includes sales, marketing and operations. He has managed the operations of several radio stations, overseen the sales strategy and operations for 25 radio stations across Quebec and helped to roll out the iHeartRADIO brand across Canada. Over the years, he has worked with hundreds of SME’s helping them grow their businesses. That process always starts with an assessment of where they are today and an in-depth evaluation of what could be improved internally before implementing any marketing strategies. As an entrepreneur and a leader, he focuses on 3 main areas: self-awareness, empathy and systems thinking. Seeing as he will be a work in progress until the end of his days, he approaches each and every day as an opportunity to grow and contribute.