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The OLIP Council is committed to leadership.  In only a few years, we have a common vision and priorities, and are up to the task of implementing the Ottawa Immigration Strategy.

Salimatou Diallo
OLIP Council Vice Chair, Assemblée de la francophonie de l'Ontario
Our 2014 WOW workshop contributed significantly to building momentum on the issue of equity by connecting professionals who wouldn’t have met otherwise.

Yumi Kotani
Manager, Ottawa Equity Project
Immigrants are the lifeblood of Ottawa. It is so important to recognize and celebrate their contributions to our cultural and economic vibrancy.

Jessica Brichta
The Conference Board of Canada
I was happy to see integration to Algonquin territory and indigenous culture related programming in 2014 WOW. Please continue to involve local Aboriginal organisations and…

Linda Manning
WOW 2014 participant, Senior Fellow, University of Ottawa
The City of Ottawa will continue to play a lead role in the implementation of the Ottawa Immigration Strategy, just as we did in the founding of OLIP.

Steve Desroches
City Councillor and Deputy Mayor of Ottawa
The target beneficiary of the work of OLIP is the whole community. In this short period we have planted together important seeds for Ottawa’s development.   

Dick Stewart
OLIP Council Chair
In our city’s history, immigrants have always played an important role. They build our economic prosperity, diversify our culture, contribute to our social vitality.

Jim Watson
Mayor of Ottawa
The WOW seminar on immigrant women’s nutrition and health was a step in the right direction towards closing the gap between academic researchers and service providers.

Josephine Etowa
Associate Professor, School of Nursing, University of Ottawa
OLIP has been a catalyst in driving change in the Ottawa community. OLIP gave us a game plan, a strategy and focus to address the critical issues of immigrant health and wellbeing.

Jack McCarthy
Executive Director, Somerset West Health & Resource Centre
Our partnership with OLIP is of crucial importance to the success of our clients. OLIP’s involvement brought invaluable momentum and synergy to our projects.

Ying Xie
Manager, Ottawa Chinese Community Service Centre

Immigrant Entrepreneurship Awards of the City of Ottawa

February 3, 2013

The City of Ottawa has been key in the adoption and implementation of the Ottawa Immigration Strategy (OIS). It aligned OIS priorities with the City’s strategic plan and is now developing an immigration strategy of its own that reinforces OIS priorities.

In addition, the City’s Economic Development department launched the Ottawa Immigrant Entrepreneurship Awards at the first annual Ottawa Immigration Forum on October 1, 2012. The awards showcase the entrepreneurial spirit that immigrants bring to the city. This ground-breaking initiative helps shift the perception of immigrants as an economic drain to one that recognizes the contributions that newcomers make to the local economy through business development, job creation, enhanced exports, global connectivity, mentorship, and philanthropy.

The profiles of the 51 entrepreneurs nominated for awards are impressive. They show a diversity of talent, creativity, entrepreneurialism, and community-building. Many of the nominees have created businesses in the IT sector, which ranges from small software development start-ups to advanced sonar, radar, test and measurement applications with multi-million dollar annual revenues. There were also nominees from financial and business services, food services, and fashion design, as well as a business specializing in custom handcrafted eco-friendly eyewear.

A panel of eight business and community leaders assessed nominees in five categories: young entrepreneurs; women entrepreneurs; innovation-oriented enterprises; social enterprises (with a social, environmental or cultural mandate); and fast-growth enterprises. The nominees were evaluated for their contributions to the local economy, among entrepreneurs, and to the broader community as a result of socially responsible behavior.

Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson presented the awards and thanked nominees for making a difference to the city.

The awards ceremony generated considerable local media coverage, which helped raise awareness about the benefits of immigration. By highlighting the concrete achievements of some of Ottawa’s most successful immigrant entrepreneurs, this initiative develops a new storyline that has the potential to change stereotypes.