Youth Ottawa

For over 20 years, Youth Ottawa has provided youth across Ottawa with resources, training and support to build the skills, confidence and strategies they need to succeed and help build a better community for themselves and their peers.

Their mission is that All youth have the creativity and potential to spark extraordinary change — to use their skills and take action in their communities. We believe in empowering youth by investing in them, giving them trust, opportunities, and resources so they can build skills that they can show the world. 

By tailoring programs that meet youth where they are at, Youth Ottawa gives youth opportunities to achieve their goals and, in turn, empower other youth.

The Opportunity

Youth Ottawa has been operating their Civic Engagement classes and workshops, free of charge, for many years in the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board (OCDSB). 

This includes:

  • sep-arrow DILA, a Day of Information for a Lifetime of Action
  • sep-arrow ICE Workshop (Innovation, Creativity & Entrepreneurship)
  • sep-arrow Sector partnered contextualized experiences

This said, in order to reduce their annual dependency on grants, they needed to somehow turn these products into a revenue generating social enterprise.

The Process

Youth Ottawa came to the SEP to find partners who could help them set the path forward.  They were partnered with the teams at Innovation by Design, CSED and KarmaDharma to help them with:

  • sep-arrow S.W.O.T. Analysis
  • sep-arrow Business Model Canvas
  • sep-arrow Value Proposition Design
  • sep-arrow Stakeholder Map & Stakeholder Decision Map
  • sep-arrow Detailed review of 5-year goals and current product line-up
  • sep-arrow Brand Positioning statements for the following programs: DILA, SHSM PKG including ICE component
  • sep-arrow Customer journey mapping of Instructional Coaches
  • sep-arrow Developed Promotional materials for DILA targeting Instructional Coaches


Youth Ottawa has set a clear vision and put into motion a way forward which has already resulted in:

  • sep-arrow A clearer understanding of the landscape in which they are selling their programming
  • sep-arrow The identification of qualified leads and eliminated the Catholic School Board as a target due to a lack of budget to invest in paid programming
  • sep-arrow The development of strong relationships and framed the conversation with instructional coaches at OCDSB to demonstrate clear value
  • sep-arrow The obtention of paid contracts within OCDSB schools for the fall
  • sep-arrow A direct meta-impact in the way YO works with youth
  • sep-arrow It has created opportunities for youth to work with entrepreneurs in residence