Media Releases

Rise Asset Development launches operations in Ottawa through Causeway Work Centre

March 14, 2013

Program helps entrepreneurs with mental health or addiction challenges

TORONTO/OTTAWA, ON – Since 2009, Rise Asset Development, with the support of the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management and the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), has provided microfinancing and mentorship to entrepreneurs with a history of mental health or addiction challenges in the Greater Toronto Area.

On March 21, Rise is celebrating its expansion into Ottawa. Rise will operate through Causeway Work Centre as Rise Ottawa. Causeway Work Centre is a community economic development organization that empowers and supports people in overcoming disabilities and other challenges to help them find rewarding work and live more independently.

Media are invited to attend the opening lunch with the founders, friends, clients and financial supporters of Rise.


WHEN: Thursday, March 21 at 12:00 to 1:30pm

WHERE: Causeway Work Centre, 22 O’Meara Street, Ottawa (Map:

Rise operates with the generous support of donors – Sandra Rotman, the Ontario government, Citi Foundation and the RBC Foundation. In response to the demand of Rise financing and support for micro-business, the Toronto-based not-for-profit is expanding across the province through collaborations with community organizations.

Rise has been instrumental in improving the lives of its clients by helping them start-up or re-start their entrepreneurial ventures. I’m delighted that entrepreneurs in the Ottawa area facing employment problems as a result of mental health or addiction challenges will now be able to benefit from the mentoring and financial support provided by the organization,” says Sandra Rotman, a Toronto philanthropist who established Rise with a founding gift.

Building on the strong community network of Causeway, Rise will also be providing Ottawa based entrepreneurs with mentors from the local business community and business school alumnae. Over the years, Causeway has developed a variety of employment supports and options designed to assist persons living with a mental illness or addictions challenges to become more economically independent.

“Rise Asset Development provides small business supports and access to affordable loans that the entrepreneurs seeking Causeway’s self-employment services have been lacking. Thanks to our Rise collaboration, a strong system of self-employment services can now be added to Causeway’s other supported employment offerings” notes Don Palmer, Executive Director of Causeway Work Centre.

Naomi Muise is the owner of CeleeakNak, a gluten-free catering business and the first entrepreneur in the Ottawa region financed through Rise Ottawa. “Reinventing myself and my career wasn’t easy. When I started my business I believed it was the right thing to do, but there was so many doors that were closed to me.  Rise helped to open all of them.  Now my company grows a bit every day – I love the taste of success!”

Rise Asset Development works to empower business owners with access to financing and business support. The organization recognizes the interdependency of financial well-being to one’s overall quality of life. Rise is committed to improving the lives of people who are unable to secure employment due to mental health or addictions challenges. Rise, with the support of the Rotman School of Management and the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), provides microfinancing and mentorship to men and women living with mental illness and addictions who are interested in pursuing self-employment.

Rise offers business loans, leases and other investments, based on stage of development, needs and capacity, including business financing up to $25,000 throughout Ontario, with average initial financing from $3,000 to $5,000.

Additional information may be found at


For more information:

Narinder Dhami
Executive Director
Rise Asset Development
Tel: 416.978.5530
Twitter @riseCAN
Facebook Rise Asset Development

Ken McGuffin
Manager, Media Relations
Rotman School of Management
University of Toronto
Tel: 416.946.3818
Twitter @rotmanschool
Watch Rotman on You Tube