Ottawa Social Impact Awards

Thank you to everyone who submitted a nomination and voted this year, and congrats to the recipients, the shortlist and all the nomineesWe announced the winners at the GenNext Mix & Mingle on February 22 to a crowd of enthusiastic supporters, innovators, and change-makers. Find out more...

Impact Hub Ottawa and the City of Ottawa are thrilled to launch the 2nd edition of the Ottawa Social Impact Awards! After receiving 45 nominations and over 7,000 votes for the inaugural Awards in 2016, we are back to celebrate the leaders in our community who are making our city more inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.

The 2018 Ottawa Social Impact Awards seek to:

  • Highlight Ottawa-based community initiatives, student-led projects, and social enterprises that have significant potential for growth and lasting impact;
  • Emphasize the power of the collective rather than the individual; and
  • Recognize social innovation in our community that is turning the status quo upside down.

2018 Award Categories and Eligibility

Organizations and groups can be nominated under one of three categories: Social Enterprise, Community Initiative and Future Leaders. For all three awards, individuals are not eligible, but can nominate their own group or organization, and nominees and their impact must be based in Ottawa. The eligibility requirements for each category are as follows:

Social Enterprise

An organization that advances or fulfills a social purpose through a business model or revenue-generating component of their operations (must be incorporated or a legal entity, such as for-profit, non-profit, charity, or cooperative).  

Community Initiative

An organization or group of people collaborating on a project that advances or fulfills a social purpose (does not have to be an incorporated or legal entity).

Future Leaders

Students (up to 2) between the ages of 18-29 currently enrolled at a post-secondary institution in Ottawa, collaborating on a social enterprise or business concept with a social purpose (does not have to be an incorporated or legal entity).



Catherine McKenney

Prior to being elected City Councillor for Somerset Ward, Catherine was an advisor to the Deputy City Manager, two City Councillors, and two Members of Parliament. She also worked as the Manager, Public Policy for Volunteer Canada and as Regional Manager for VoicePrint, which delivers print media in accessible format to people living with visual impairment.


Albert Wong

We can accomplish more together than we can individually. As a proud member of Impact Hub Ottawa, since inception, I believe in the power of social innovation and enterprise to solve our greatest social challenges. My enthusiasm for social enterprise was sparked upon joining the board of Causeway Work Centre as Treasurer. As the Director of Junior Achievement (JA) Ottawa, with the Ottawa Network for Education, I engage volunteers to empower local youth with entrepreneurial, financial, and real-world job skills.


Leanna Verrucci

Leanna Verrucci has worked in a number of industries - consumer packaged goods, publishing, education, travel and tourism, television and hospitality - in a variety of positions - marketing manager, director of communications, senior brand manager, reporter, publisher, owner and operator. Currently she is a Managing Director at Algonquin College. Leanna is passionate about education and helping youth to ignite their innovation skills and entrepreneurial endeavours through experiential learning.

Partners and Collaborators

The 2018 Ottawa Social Impact Awards is made possible thanks to the province of Ontario, through the Ontario Network of Entrepreneurs Social Enterprise Partnerships. The Eastern Ontario partnership is comprised of Impact Hub Ottawa, Invest Ottawa and Capital Entrepreneurs.