Helping Organizations Manage through Crisis and Beyond

With COVID-19, businesses are confronting what might be their most significant challenge to date. Health concerns, emergency measures, an economic downturn, and shifting consumer priorities are forcing organizations to rethink their operations. Many are struggling, and some are at risk of closure, in part because they lack the expertise or financial means to manage the continuity of their business. Even in a post-pandemic world, organizations will need new knowledge and skills to rebuild and thrive. Following the 2003/2004 SARS epidemic, the Canadian economy experienced a heightened rate of business failure for up to a year after the crisis.

Together for Good

The Sprott School of Business at Carleton University is proud to offer a unique program (at no charge to clients) to help small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and non-profit organizations respond to the challenges brought on by COVID-19. Teams of trained students, working under the supervision of experienced faculty, will provide companies with advice on how to manage through the immediate crisis and formulate a plan to recover and maintain their business for the future.

MBA student Michael Nimmo and Professor Andrew Webb

Our consulting and support services will be provided by students from Carleton’s MBA and undergraduate business programs, as part of our Project-Based and Service Learning (PBSL) initiative. Prior to engaging with clients, all students will have completed a certificate course on crisis management and recovery, purpose-built for the COVID-19 crisis, to ensure that our teams have the knowledge and tools they need to help.

Information for Businesses/Non-Profits

Who is eligible?

Any small- or medium-sized business and any non-profit in Ottawa-Gatineau or Eastern Ontario. In certain cases where we have the ability to help, we may also consider clients from other parts of Canada.

Is there a fee to participate?

This service is provided free of charge. Our goal is to help businesses and non-profits survive the current crisis and plan for recovery and resumption beyond COVID-19.

How does it work?  What can I expect?

COVID-19 has created a variety of challenges and we recognize that one size does not fit all. Based on your organization’s needs, and our ability to help, we will provide consulting by faculty-supervised student-led teams, and help identify relevant programs and resources.

All of the students are required to complete our Crisis Management and Recovery certificate program prior to engaging with external clients. Student teams are supervised by faculty experienced in crisis management. (View faculty bios: Andrew Webb, Rodney Nelson.)

Please note that, since some challenges are particularly urgent, we may prioritize certain types of problems and needs. 

How are students trained in crisis management and recovery?

The CMR certificate is a new course offering from the Sprott School of Business, developed with COVID-19 squarely in mind. It focuses on building knowledge and skills needed to (a) survive financially during a crisis, (b) manage people and organizations during difficult times, and (c) transform the business to make it more resilient and sustainable.

I represent a business/non-profit organization in need.  How can I sign up?

Start by completing this form.  We’ll arrange a phone call or videoconference to assess need, and fit with our ability to help. Within a few days, we’ll follow up with more detailed recommendations on how we can help.

Is there anything else I should know?

If your organization’s challenges have a research dimension, consider submitting a COVID-19 research funding application. This is a limited-time opportunity for SMEs and non-profits to access significantly increased funding to support COVID-19 related research.  For a modest investment, you can hire a Sprott MBA student to work on your research project, and your dollars will be magnified with 3× matching funds from MITACS. To ensure quality, relevance, and rigour, all research projects will be conducted under the supervision of one or more experienced faculty members.

I have a more questions. Who do I contact?

Inquiries from small and medium-sized business or non-profit organizations can be directed to


Sign up for the Sprott Crisis Management and Recovery Initiative →