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If you have business expertise, have at least 1 hour every two weeks available to volunteer your time and want to give back - then a volunteer business mentor or an associate volunteer business mentor with the OCSB may be just the thing for you.
If this program is of interest to you - and you'd like to be considered as a Volunteer Business Mentor OR if you want to be considered as an Associate Volunteer Business Mentor then please complete the following form. Once complete - someone from the school board will be in touch and try to align your interests and experience with a teacher from one of the Ottawa schools.
Volunteer Business Mentor or Associate Mentor
The role is incredibly rewarding as you help young and eager students, with the support of their educators(s) learn business through the creation of a product or service within a social enterprise.
The program engages kids in building a social enterprise.... they research social issues, identify a social cause, select charities, build products or create services that they can deliver and learn the basics of business through doing. Sales, marketing, organization, product development, service delivery, seed funding...
They may learn how to build and administer a Shopify website, write blogs, tweet their progress, run customer focus groups, raise and track money, deliver an elevator pitch, collaborate, communicate & organize, create video games, edit videos or program 3D printers. There is something for every kid and you'll find their engagement is infectious.
The school board uses the google suite of applications so you'll likely learn these tools if you are not familiar with them already. In addition you may learn how to use Shopify and other tools such as 3D printing, develop basic coding using Scratch or video editing using ScreenCastify - perhaps you will find the learning personally valuable - but the real reward will be working with kids and seeing them turned onto entrepreneurship. That’s empowering!
The time commitment is a flexible 1 hr per week or every 2 weeks and much of the engagement can be delivered in a hybrid of in-class and video conferencing.
If you have the interest in becoming a business mentor - know that you will be supported with a rich framework of content and enthusiastic educators and a network of other business mentors.
As a mentor - it’s really true - you will get back much more than you give! You won’t regret it!
What is the "Associate" Volunteer Business Mentor?
An associate volunteer business mentor supports the volunteer business mentor and educator and generally will have specific expertise in one area such as programming, website design, 3D printing, video editing. The associate may support one or more SEP schools and is best used when SEP classes breakout into specific groups that focus on certain aspects. Associates can be provided with Google meet video conferencing links specific to the breakout groups. This allows the educator and the volunteer business mentor to break the students into several working groups and know that students are supported with facilitation.
"We're teaching kids that being a good entrepreneur means helping others while you earn a living, and that giving back to your community and planet are an essential part of being in business. Participating in this program has been one of the best things I've ever done - we all get busy....but there's no better mental health practice that I do that tops how I feel after a session with the bright young minds that will one day run the future business community."
This video explains the program from the perspective of a volunteer business mentor.
Questions & Answers
Complete the Vulnerable Sector Check (VSC)
*Note: For volunteers that are returning, please ensure you have completed the annual Offence Declaration which would have been sent to you a year after completing the application.
If you didn't receive it already - or you didn't complete it, then you will need to get a new VSC following the same instructions as a new application.
In order to go to a class in-person, mentors will be required to submit a Level 3 - Vulnerable Sector Check (Level 3 VSC). Mentors need a current (within 6 months) Level 3 VSC from Ottawa Police. VSCs are free with a VSC request letter.
Please note that this is required for both:
on-site volunteers and
volunteers who will be engaged in virtual video conferences with students when an educator is not present
To obtain your Level 3 VSC please:
once assigned to a school, we will send you a VSC Request Letter which is needed in order to complete your VSC on-line application
if you have not received this letter when ready to apply then contact Kim Lacelle or Richard White
Apply online for your records check from the OPS to complete your application
upon receiving your VSC, please submit it in the OCSB Volunteer Application and select "OCSB Social Entrepreneurs Program (SEP)" in the drop down menu for school selection.
When entering a school:
The office is your first stop.
Sign in and the Office Administrator will assist you with the protocols before you go to the classroom.
Proof of Vaccination
In-class volunteers may also be required to show proof of vaccination