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
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
I’m really impressed with the level of energy and commitment around the Health and Wellbeing table and look forward to continuing collaboration between OLIP and OPH.

Marcela Tapia
Ottawa Public Health
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
The Ottawa Chinese Community Service Centre is so happy to have joined the OLIP Health and Wellbeing Sector Table. It is clear that OLIP cares about immigrants and refugees and…

Wendy Tang, Ottawa Chinese Community Service Centre
My nomination is an indication that our hard work in building Canada is recognized. All we do is to serve the community in return for embracing us when we needed it.  

Mehdi Mahdavi
Ottawa Immigrant Entrepreneurship Awards Nominee
All the WOW events that I went to were great – WOW does give a sense of a community trying to improve its attraction and retention!

Caroline Andrew
Professor, University of Ottawa
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
Canada has been shaped by people who came from all over the world to build this country. WOW offers a platform for us to celebrate this history and the future it will help…

Alex Munter, Chair of the OLIP Council and President and CEO of the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario and Ottawa Children’s Treatment Centre

Honouring Immigrant Entrepreneurs

March 8, 2013

The first annual Ottawa Immigrant Entrepreneur Awards were launched by the City of Ottawa on October 1, 2012 at the Ottawa Immigration Forum.

These awards recognize the valuable contributions that immigrant entrepreneurs make to Ottawa’s prosperity through job creation, innovation, and global connectivity. It is hoped that this might inspire or encourage entrepreneurship or business development among other immigrants in the city.

There was a strong response to the call for nominations for local immigrant entrepreneurs, and a total of 51 entries were received, with businesses ranging from the restaurant and aesthetic service sector to high-tech production and exports. Nominations were sought in five categories:

  • Fast-growth enterprises;
  • Innovation-oriented enterprises;
  • Social enterprises (with a social, environmental or cultural mandate as the primary concern of the business);
  • Women entrepreneurs; and
  • Youth business entrepreneurs (under 35 years old).

Submissions were evaluated by a panel of eight business and community leaders who were looking for inspiring stories about individuals who have come to Ottawa and built businesses of all sizes. In their deliberations, the panel considered the nominee’s track record of job creation, business mentorship, and other contributions to the development of the local economy and the broader Ottawa community.

The winners of the Ottawa Immigrant Entrepreneur Awards for 2012 were:

  • Valéry Tolstikhin of OneChip Photonics Inc., for the category of “Fast Growth Enterprises”
  • Dr. Dipak Roy of D-TA Systems Inc. for the category of “Innovation Oriented Enterprises”
  • Vinod Rajasekaran of HUB Ottawa for the category of “Social Enterprises”
  • Dr. Supriya Mishra from VisionTech4u for the category of “Women Entrepreneurs”
  • Obaid Ahmed from OAK Computing for the category of “Youth Business Entrepreneurs”.

The Awards were presented by Mayor Jim Watson who remarked in his speech, “It is an honour and a pleasure to acknowledge the hard work and dedication of these ambitious entrepreneurs who provide goods and services, contribute to our economy, and create jobs in Ottawa.”

The Awards are set to be an annual tradition. The list of Award Categories may expand to specifically honour recent immigrant entrepreneurs too.