Impact Hub Ottawa

Impact Hub Ottawa

Impact Hub Ottawa course offerings:

Impact Academy is an action-oriented training and incubation program delivered from October 2016 to April 2017 by Impact Hub Ottawa. The cohort-based program is designed for early-stage social entrepreneurs to build their social enterprises better and faster through practical training, cutting-edge tools, peer support, and incubation resources that will support the development, launch, and investment readiness of your social enterprise. 

The program will kick off in early October with Impact Cafe, an evening event and opportunity to meet cohort peers and the broad network of community supports that with whom you will be immersed  throughout the program. Over the  following seven months, participants partake in workshop training, peer-to-peer support groups, one-on-one coaching and regular check-ins. The program requires  a commitment of a minimum of five hours per week to attend workshops, meet with your peer group or coach, or work on the development of your enterprise.

Impact academy is delivered by top-notch practitioners and experts on systems thinking, enhancing your business model for social impact, impact investing and social finances, and developing processes to measure your impact. In addition, participants receive Impact Hub Ottawa membership and benefit from access to Impact Hub’s local and global community, space, and resources.

The program wraps up in April with a graduation event connecting your social enterprises to potential funders and investors, supporting their ongoing growth and amplifying their impact.

Social Impact Voucher Programming:

Impact Academy will equip social entrepreneurs with an array of tools, resources, relationships, and support required to successfully grow and develop sustainable social enterprises. This includes providing the skills, tools, mindset, and networks for social entrepreneurs to achieve financial sustainability while pursuing their desired social, environmental and/or cultural mission. By amplifying the solutions of participating social enterprises we expect to enhance their positive economic, social, and environmental impacts on our communities and world.

The program kicks off with Impact Café, a networking opportunity to welcome participants and begin connecting to a support network and ecosystem of resources available through the Impact Hub community including peer social entrepreneurs, business coaching, and community partners.  

The program is then followed by the delivery of five half day training workshops, peer support groups, one-on- one coaching sessions, check ins, and ongoing incubation support, run on a five week schedule as follows :

Week 1: Attend half day workshop led by experts and practitioners in the fields of business modeling, social market research, social finance, social return on investment, marketing, and impact measurement.

Week 2: Complete provided workshop homework and tools to apply workshops learnings to your individual social enterprises

Week 3: Meet with your peer support groups to review learnings and application in your own social enterprise

Week 4: Meet with the workshop content expert for a one on one Coaching session for any follow up questions and personalized support needed

Week 5: Check in with program coordinator on progress. The process is then repeated for each workshop to enable the training Flow to follow your learning journey and allow for application time to apply training learnings to your social enterprises.


The following five half-day training workshops are delivered through hands­-on and participatory curriculum by leading experts:


Using tools and lessons drawn from systems thinking and the Value Proposition Canvas, participating social entrepreneurs will be equipped with the tools to better understand their social issue, think critically about what problem they’re trying to solve, question and test their current assumptions, and refine their social value proposition for desirability, feasibility, viability, and potential for sustainable impact. This workshop will also expand social entrepreneurs’ knowledge and understanding of how sustainable practices can be integrated into all aspects of their enterprise including hiring, sourcing, production, packaging, and distribution.


Using tools such as the Business Model Canvas and the Customer Development Model, participants will learn about the variety of possible revenue or business models with which to build a sustainable enterprise around their social issue. It will also provide an overview of market research, data, and other available insights and how to apply these tools and methodologies to their enterprises in order to identify and quantify key elements of their business model and target market.


This workshop will provide an understanding of social finance and impact investing, as well as available funding sources and models such as crowdfunding. In addition, it will equip social entrepreneurs with valuable skills and tools to manage their business’ finances and how to prepare for potential financial partners, funders, and investors. Lastly, it will cover the different options for legal structures available to social enterprises and the implications of each structure.                                                   


Participants will gain valuable tools and resources to create a cohesive brand narrative around their social issue, business model, and innovation/impact, which goes hand-­in-hand with gaining knowledge of social return on investment, and impact evaluation/measurement. Participants will design methods by which they can integrate evaluation of their triple bottom line and collection of meaningful data right into their operational model.


Social entrepreneurs will learn strategies and techniques to test and improve their target messaging, attract customers, build an outreach platform, leverage digital tools, and refine their pitch for various stakeholders. Furthermore, social entrepreneurs will learn industry best practices to cultivate a following, engage their community, and market and communicate their social impact.

  • Peer Groups:
    The peer groups allow participants to support each other in reviewing and applying learnings directly to their own social enterprise, and to act as sounding boards for candid feedback about their ventures. In addition, peer groups enable social entrepreneurs to form strong peer-to-peer network supports that will last beyond the program duration. 
  • One-on-One Coaching:
    Following each half-day workshop. social entrepreneurs will have the opportunity to meet with the content experts one- on-one to receive personalized feedback on the application of the workshop content to their social enterprise. They will also be able to work through and answer any individual questions and review their workshop homework together for feedback and validation.
  • Check-ins:
    Participants will also meet with their program coordinator on a regular basis in order to complete needs assessment, set individual targets/goals, define and connect to personalized resource needs, and track their individual progress. These check-ins will be conducted at minimum three times on a one-on-one basis and twice as a group session. Additional check-ins will be hosted on a case to case need basis.
  • Ongoing incubation support and resources:
    All participating social enterprises will gain access to Impact Hub Ottawa membership benefits throughout the program period. The additional incubation supports and resources available through the Impact
  • Hub Ottawa community include:
    • Access to Hubnet, an online platform to connect to Hubs multi­sector community of 350+ local leaders and 15,000+ global changemakers
    • Access to a dedicated community catalyst to facilitate connections to valuable resources and networks
    • Access to additional ongoing learning and networking opportunities in the Impact Hub community including, Brown Bag Lunch and Masterclass
    • Office space and basic infrastructure needs
    • Valuable co-working benefits including an exclusive discount to Social Capital Markets conference, the world’s largest social entrepreneurship conferences hosted by Impact Hub San Francisco, free business card printing, discounts to utilize Indiegogo as a crowdfunding platform, and more.

The program will wrap up with a celebratory Impact Graduation event in which Social enterprises will have the opportunity to pitch their refined social enterprise to potential stakeholders, investors and funders.

Course Content:


Expected Outcome


Impact Café: Kick off to Impact Academy

Connect social entrepreneurs to mentors, coaches, Impact Academy Alumni, ONE member resources, and the broader Hub community and innovation ecosystem to form a support network and that will provided ongoing support and resources to social enterprises to accelerate their growth.

1 Evening

Training and Incubation: including 5 half-day workshops and a regular rotation of check-­ins with their peer support groups and one-on­-one coaching and check-ins

  • Social enterprises will have the tools and knowledge to:
  • Better understand their audience, customers, customer channels, users, and value proposition and ability to present these understandings using industry standard tools
  • Understand social impact investing and skills to manage finances for ongoing financial sustainability
  • Ability to conduct market research and ensure their organization is effectively meeting market needs
  • Skills and tools to effectively reach target markets and stakeholders
  • Integrated process by which they will measure and evaluate their triple bottom line along with skills to communicate their impact
  • Refined, validated, and scalable business model that is investment ready for potential stakeholders, funders, and investors.

6 Months

Impact Graduation

Connect graduates to stakeholders, funders, and investors that can take social enterprises to the next stage of development.

1 Evening

If you are interested in receiving the training/services from Impact Hub Ottawa, please contact:

Katie Miller
Acting Managing Director 
71 Bank Street, 6th floor, Ottawa, Ontario
HUB +1 613 680 3506 | @hubottawa