The IO Peer Groups

Do you want to take your business to the next level?

For many business owners, life is filled with excitement, personal triumphs, and the desire for success. But this lifestyle (and it really is a lifestyle) goes hand in hand with financial burdens, stress, and loneliness. How do you overcome these challenges and grow your business? Do you invest in a personal business coach or advisor?

There is another way.

Join Invest Ottawa Peer Groups

Registration is now open!

About Peer Groups

For an entrepreneur, a peer group is a collective of non-competing business owners who run similar-sized companies and meet regularly. Together they work through professional challenges and tackle tough business issues. Oh, and they’re led by seasoned advisors – these experts provide value, maintain the pace, and lend a needed entrepreneurial hand.


What can Peer Groups offer?

  • A safe place to share your challenges and your successes
  • Unbiased advice and guidance
  • Fast-tracked learning and actionable insight from people who have been, or are in your shoes
  • A community that holds you accountable
  • Peer insights and support that help drive your evolution and the growth you want
  • Emotional support and a strong network.

Who is eligible?

You need to be:

  • A business owner, founder/co-founder, or CEO
  • Generating an annual revenue between $50,000 – $750,000
  • You need to be committed (this means present in person for all sessions)


Confirm your eligibility today!

Eligible applicants will receive a free consultation with one of our peer group leaders.

What to Expect

Ten four-hour group sessions per year with six hours of dedicated one-to-one time with your group advisor per year.
Group sizes range from 6-15 entrepreneurs.
The participants pay $250 per month. If you sign up but then cancel, 90-day advance notice is needed

Our Group Leaders

Karla Briones
Business Advisor

Karla Briones is a Mexican-Canadian serial entrepreneur with retail, food and beverage, and e-commerce businesses. 

In her consulting role, Karla coaches new immigrants on how to become successful entrepreneurs in their adopted country. Karla provides business advisory to immigrant entrepreneurs and female entrepreneurs who are building main street businesses from ideation through growth stage.   

Karla hosts Immpreneur Canada, a podcast that interviews successful entrepreneurs about their journeys of building successful businesses as immigrants.  

She is the recipient of 2018 City of Ottawa Immigrant Entrepreneur Award, given to an immigrant who has made an impact in local economy and entrepreneurship ecosystem. 

She is also a business mentor for Futurpreneur Canada and for several local community groups.

Mark Sutcliffe
Business Advisor

Mark has been a leading figure in Ottawa’s business community for more than 25 years. A serial entrepreneur, he has been involved in several successful business launches. He co-founded the Ottawa Business Journal in 1995 and remains the co-owner and CEO of its parent company Great River Media. Mark is a partner in Sutcliffe+Whalen, a strategic business consulting firm that helps small and medium enterprises achieve their growth objectives. He is also a shareholder in Sportstats, a global sports timing company. Mark has been an outspoken advocate and activist for economic development in Ottawa and Canada. For more than a decade, he wrote a weekly column about local business for the Ottawa Citizen. He was the chair of the Ottawa Chamber of Commerce and served on the board of Invest Ottawa and Algonquin College. Mark has created many of Ottawa’s major business events, including Ottawa’s Forty Under 40 awards and the BOBs, the annual Best Ottawa Business Awards. Mark is also a frequent MC, moderator and panellist at business events and economic development functions.

Get in Touch

Have a question about the program? Interested in learning more? Fill out the form below or email us at [email protected] to get in touch!