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Welcoming a new cohort of Amplified Fellows

In the summer of 2019, we piloted the Amplified Fellowship with funding from the City of Ottawa’s Community Economic Development Fund, the RBC Foundation, The Ottawa Community Foundation, and the Canada Summer Jobs Grant from ESDC. 

Our Amplified Fellowship hires youth to do work for themselves throughout the summer. The participating youth take their pre-existing social innovation ideas and develop social enterprises to create long-term solutions to their identified “problem”. The idea is that the youth are able to gain tangible skills but also take their great ideas and sustainably transition them from a purely social innovation framework to a more sustainable social enterprise framework.

The program is designed to:

  • Build sustainable change-making initiatives and create economic opportunities for youth founders.
  • Build a network of social change initiatives who work together on creating impact. 
  • Provide youth with business development workshops, entrepreneurship support and networking opportunities. 

This summer we’re doing it again and welcoming 13 new young social innovators to the fellowship. 

Our fellows represent some of the most inspiring grassroots community organizers across Ottawa whose social enterprises traverse social topics pertaining to urban arts and culture, empowering women of colour, Black excellence, working class tenant’s rights, haircuts for kids, and neurodiverse youth learners. Each of these community-empowering enterprises is led by somebody from the community, whose trusted leadership is a key element in the success of these projects.

These 13 youth will spend the summer with an entrepreneur-in-residence and the Youth Ottawa team building sustainability for their projects through a combination of one-on-one entrepreneur-in-residence consulting, business design workshops, and applied work on their projects. 

Meet the 13 youth and their social innovation initiatives

IBRAHIM MUSA

initiative - CUTS FOR KIDS

Cuts for Kids promotes dignity by providing access to opportunities through connecting youth to tailored services – starting with a free haircut or style.

What will you be focusing on when it comes to your initiative during the fellowship?

I am focused on increasing customer segments and strengthening the business case for Cuts for Kids. I am looking forward to mentoring the high school youth and receiving mentorship from the entrepreneur in residence. The EiR hours are the best way to move through business design.

NAMITHA RATHINAPPILLAI

INITIATIVE - URBAN LEGENDS

Urban Legends Poetry Collective (ULPC) is the city’s local poetry hub for bi-weekly poetry slams and poetry open mics, where spoken word artists can share their poetry at a competitive and recreational level, respectively. ULPC’s focus is on supporting local poets on their growth as artists, and providing a safe, inclusive, and welcoming environment for folks to practice their craft, and inspire others.

wHAT ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO THE MOST IN REGARDS TO THE FELLOWSHIP?

I am personally looking forward most to learning skills that I can transfer to my own personal brand. I deeply believe that one must put on their own oxygen mask before they can help others put theirs on, and I believe this is applicable to community work. I do no use if I am not first sustainable in my role. Thus, to work on myself and my place in this city is necessary for me to work in a community role.

NIMA HUSSEIN

initiative - herongate tenant coalition

The Herongate Tenant Coalition is an independent collective that campaigns for working class, marginalized tenant’s rights. In the last year, our collective has partnered with law students and professors from the University of Ottawa’s Law Practicum, as well as with local lawyers to create the Collective Justice Centre, which is our neighbourhood based free legal clinic, wherein folks can come access free legal aid they may require.

How can the felllowship help you and your initiative?

Through the Amplified Fellowship, I’m hoping to gain a deeper understanding of social enterprises, how they function, and how we can apply various pillars and aspects of the framework to our work at the Coalition.

NAYAELAH SADDIQUI

INITIATIVE - EMPOWER'EM

We empower women of colour by providing them with accessible resources, leadership development, and a safe space to grow personally and professionally.

wHAT ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO THE MOST IN REGARDS TO THE FELLOWSHIP?

Applying human design principles to my initiative – Building a long-term strategic plan for my organization – Building a more sustainable and self-sufficient social enterprise – Creating paid opportunity for my volunteers.

JASON SEGUYA

INITIATIVE - BLACK OTTAWA XCELLENCE/THE BOX

Black Ottawa Xcellence (The BOX) is a platform which supports & promotes black folx that reside in Ottawa. One of our segments, known as The Youth Box, is a platform for determining the needs of youth and developing programs and strategies to address their needs.  Uplifting and providing beneficial services for youth will be our highest priority to contribute and foster the growth of today’s youth.

What support do you need for your initiative?

The BOX is seeking support from this fellowship when it comes to the organizational side of our initiative, in addition to creating key patterns, specifically folx involved in youth work in the city, for future collaborations. Each workshop has changed my perspective on a variety of different concepts I had intended to implement in my initiative. With this in mind, I am excited for the growth that will come from being presented with new information.

USWAH AHSAN

INITIATIVE - ALLY SQUARED

Ally Squared is a youth-led nonprofit that challenges performance in allyship and transforms it into actions that prioritize lived experiences, amplify the power of communities that fight systems of power and privilege, decolonize institutions and procedures, and advocate for intersectional practices.

wHAT ARE YOU LOOING TO GAIN FROM THE AMPLIFIED FELLOWSHIP?

I hope to learn skills to build Ally Squared sustainably by building a human-centred design, access financial resources, and build a network of young social entrepreneurs who support one another.

CELESTINA BOGLE

INITIATIVE - FULL FEMME COLLECTIVE

Full Femme is a creative collective for artists who identify with the feminine or live within the margins of gender. Established in Ottawa/Gatineau, Full Femme aims to highlight Indigenous, neurodiverse, disabled and 2SLGBTQIA+ people. Full Femme is a space (both virtual and in real life) where creatives can collaborate, share opportunities & create long-lasting friendships.

WHAT ARE YOU HOPING TO GAIN FROM THE FELLOWSHIP?

Through this fellowship I hope to learn new skills such as learning how to make a business thrive, how to maintain monument, grow engagement, and how to pay all of our collaborators a fair wage (Full Femme is currently volunteer run).

ANJALI RAMBURN

INITIATIVE - CREATEPRENEUR

Createpreneur is a social enterprise focused on developing neuro diverse youth’ skill sets for university and workplace success through action-oriented learning. Our mission is to tap into the hidden potential of neurodiverse youth in society and to enhance the value that they bring in leadership roles. 

WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO LEARNING?

What I am most excited for is the Social Enterprise Development workshops and learning how to integrate Design Thinking within my own social impact initiative. I look forward to meeting and working alongside some of Ottawa’s brightest, most engaged young people who are passionate about making this city more youth-friendly for all to thrive.

HOT SHOE PRODUCTIONS

TEAM MEMBERS: Ben Bergeron, Eyma Garcon, Omer Farah, Danika Krul, Rosena Zhuang

Hot Shoe Productions provides affordable, professional video services for community organizations while helping local communities grow by providing employment opportunities for youth in the media industry.

WHAT ARE YOU HOPING TO GAIN FROM THE FELLOWSHIP?

Our biggest challenge when it comes to Hot Shoe Productions is finding new client segments that provide consistent, profitable work. We are looking forward to learning more about business and managing a social enterprise.