Leading the way for changemakers like you.
We are market makers, modern-day wayfinders if you will, who are dedicated to creating pathways for the changemakers of this world.
Weaving worlds together
Whether you’re a changemaker looking to start a social enterprise, shift purchasing power towards social impact or provide financial capital, CSED can help bring it all together.
We offer a continuum of support for social enterprise in the city of Ottawa, including access to technical expertise, coaching, financing, learning communities, training, and cross-sector partnerships. To date, we have worked with hundreds of clients developing their social enterprise plans and providing them with the tools, strategies, and support to perpetuate positive social change and grow profitably.
From our inception as a collaboration between community partners to our current status as a federally incorporated not-for-profit, CSED continues to build a strong ecosystem of supports for social enterprises at all stages of development throughout the Ottawa region.Ignite social innovation
Market Making Initiatives
Connecting social enterprises to the right markets and capital, to grow.
As marketmakers, we have initiated several innovative projects to open channels, built social value into existing supply chains, and fostered economies of scale within select clusters of the sector. If you are interested in knowing more about the initiatives below, please contact us!
Social procurement or buying social goods offers a unique opportunity to address complex social issues with existing purchasing. Every individual and commercial consumer can change the world by only shifting a portion of their existing purchasing to organizations (social enterprises) that are committed to delivering a high-quality product or service while measuring their success through social impact. Get involved by registering with CSED as a social enterprise, as a buyer, and check out the CSED SE directory at www.weallprofit.ca.
CSED believes that a cluster-based development approach will enable social enterprise members to collectively boost and strengthen their capacity and capabilities to take on larger contracts, become tender-ready, undertake cross and joint promotion, and ultimately increase purchasing activity – both within the social enterprise sector and across other sectors. Two clusters have been launched by CSED – one that focuses on the food sector and the other on the 3R sector (recycling, repurposing, and remanufacturing).
Over 550,000 small business owners in Canada will retire by 2024. This trend creates a unique opportunity for non-profits, charities and social entrepreneurs to consider a different path of entry to business start-up – the purchase and transition of a private business to a social enterprise. CSED is incubating a support system to create Legacy Businesses that retain the history, assets, and investment into the original business, while enabling the non-profit sector to accelerate opportunities for a more predictable revenue stream, provide greater opportunities for marginalized populations, and support the retention of local businesses, products and services, and jobs.
Brenda Richardson has been involved in entrepreneurship and business development for over 25 years. She has worked in the private and not-for-profit sectors on a broad range of themes including entrepreneurship, community economic development, micro-credit, and grant-making. Working extensively in the area of social enterprise, Brenda has supported the development of a variety of social businesses as well as the infrastructure to strengthen the sector locally. A lifelong learner, Brenda has an MBA specializing in Community Economic Development and a graduate diploma in Social Innovation.
Kathleen Kemp has been involved in Ottawa's social enterprise ecosystem over the past four years while completing her commerce degree at the University of Ottawa. She spent most of her university career bringing students together to build social enterprises that create sustainable change in the community through a student-led organization called Enactus uOttawa. Kathleen is also a founding member of Ottawa-based social enterprise, CigBins. Kathleen is dedicated to developing the social enterprise sector through her work with CSED and other roles in the community.