Fuse Brampton

about fuse

Fuse is Brampton’s community of young social innovators & entrepreneurs.

fuse aims to catalyze the development of a culture of social innovation in Brampton in order to; find innovative solutions to social challenges, retain emerging talent, and seed youth-led innovation for social good.

fuse is the first community of it’s kind in Brampton, and adopts a collaborative approach. Rather than simply distribute funding, fuse facilitates a partnership between innovators, investors, mentors, and resources. It connects youth who have innovative ideas on how to improve Brampton with the means to transform their ideas into sustainable social solutions.

The fuse community was created by a passionate and creative group of innovators with a shared goal of developing a socially innovative culture in Brampton. fuse is funded by the Ontario Trillium Foundation to remedy youth unemployment in Ontario and create opportunities to retain talent in Brampton.

In an effort build a community that cultivates the entrepreneurial spirit of Brampton youth, the BBoT turned to young Bramptonites to co-design fuse. This allowed youth to define and co-create their own space as entrepreneurs in Brampton.

Research indicates that Millennials are more motivated by good than gain. Youth want to create sustainable businesses that create social change and make an impact. fuse act as catalysts to put Brampton youth’s socially innovative ideas into motion for the benefit of the community.

Until now, Brampton’s young talented individuals were forced to take their innovative ideas elsewhere. fuse not only stops the brain drain, it challenges youth to find solutions to problems they encounter in their daily lives. It is a give and take for the betterment of the community and the individual.

The fuse community incorporates both independence and a sense of belonging, a critical balance intrinsic to modern-day youth culture. By giving youth an opportunity to collaborate with peers, and find guidance in mentors, the next generation is better equipped to succeed. Fuse Brampton helps turn young innovators into social entrepreneurs.

In the spring of 2012, the Ontario Trillium Foundation committed $145,000 over two years to the Brampton Board of Trade (BBOT) as part of a strategy to addresses the chronic and long-term issues of youth unemployment across Ontario.

This seed funding to catalyze the development of a community and culture of social innovation and social enterprise was granted by the Ministry of Economic Development, Trade and Employment, Ministry of Research and Innovation, The Ontario Trillium Foundation.

In the spring of 2014,the BBOT launched fuse Brampton’s incubator, a virtual community for socially innovative youth in order to increase the number and diversity of young people benefiting from engagement in social innovation in the province.

leadership team


Harman Singh

Community Development

Harman Singh is cofounder of LAB-B, a Brampton startup aimed at bringing thinkers, doers and makers together. He is blurring the lines between art and business.

Singh graduated with a double degree in Visual Arts and Psychology. While at Western University, he developed marketing content and helped plan business proposals for competitions and networking events for BizInc, an on campus business incubator.

Singh has since taught art to students from grade six and eleven. He has volunteered his marketing expertise to a socially responsible restaurant in Nepal as part of the Global Community Development Program.


Nav Nanwa


Nav Nanwa is a Marketing profesionnal specializing in branding, strategy and social media. He has worked in the real estate, financial, pharmaceuticals and consumer goods sectors. He is a top 10 finalists on Canada’s Next Top Ad Exec 2014 competition.

Nanwa holds an MBA graduate from the DeGroote School of Business at McMaster University. Nav was the first president of the DeGroote MBA Marketing Association. He is an active member of the Brampton Board of Trade, as well as, Vice-President of Marketing for the Network of Indian Professionals (NetIP Toronto).


Alyestal Hamilton

Spoken Word Activist

Alyestal Hamilton is a spoken word artist, writer, and speaker. Her poetry has been seen on the pages of North American literary journals, the stages of London, England, and the walls of Uganda. Most recently she is the recipient of the Harry Dale Literary Award and placed second in the YMCA Rep your Region competition.

Alyestal believes that art should be shared at every opportunity. With that, she helps in bringing a creative aspect to each Fuse event. Alyestal is always looking to connect with artists of all mediums to help bring increase the presence of the creative arts in Brampton


Besma Soltan

Social Sector Success & Sustainability Director

Besma Soltan is the Skills and Innovation Developer for the North York Community House (a local, social enterprise). She has a passion for helping others achieve their personal and professional best.

Soltan is driven; she was co-founder of a non-profit and co-founder of a start-up all before the age of 25. Above all, her experience as a social entrepreneur and social innovator has taught her the power of like-minded individuals coming together for social good.


Ryan Knight

City of Brampton Representative

The voice on the inside of City Hall advocating for youth entrepreneurship. Ryan brings his wealth of connections and past experience to the prime goal of fostering youth entrepreneurship in the City of Brampton. "Helping Fuse to become a staple in our community for any youth that has the entrepreneurship itch is my prime directive."


Nikita Brown

Communications Rock Star

Nikita Brown is a young entrepreneur with a passion for bringing brands to life visually and through the written word. Nikita is a professional photographer. She is also a branding and marketing consultant working primarily with small businesses in Brampton, Ontario.

Brown studied public relations, graphic design, and photography as part of her media studies degree. She believes in collaboration, co-creation and enjoys working with people who are also creative and passionate.


Nataleigh Ballantyne

Community Ambassador

Nataleigh Ballantyne is a Technology Coach & Social Media Strategist. She works with small businesses, helping them maximize their online presence. She is the former Director of Communications for the Economic Club of Canada, and has worked with national brands such as RE/MAX Ontario/Atlantic and the Toronto Argonauts.

steering group


fuse Brampton’s steering group is the committee in charge of developing and implementing the strategy for a youth led social innovation project in Brampton, Ontario for the Brampton Board of Trade (BBoT).

  • Mary Nanavati, Principal, Fletcher’s Meadow Secondary School
  • Steve Sheils, CEO, The Brampton Board of Trade
  • Lisa Duarte, Director, Office of Systems Innovation, The Region of Peel
  • Ralph Benmergui, President's Office, Sheridan College
  • Pam Banks, Regional Innovation Centre
  • Sohail Saheed, Director, Economic Development
  • Peter VanSickle, Brampton Downtown Development Corporation
  • Susan Crawford, Crawford, Chondon & Partners
  • Badar Shamim, Investment Advisor,TD Waterhouse Canada Inc.

As the organization responsible for the use of the Ontario Trillium Fund grant, the BBoT will maintain budget sign-off, as well as, ensure the development and growth of fuse Brampton.

Angela Bennett is the lead on catalyzing a community of social innovation for youth in Brampton. Please contact Angela if you have any questions about fuse.

community partners

Region of Peel

The Region of Peel’s Office of System Innovation (O.S.I.) explores opportunities for integrated service systems and to support the ongoing evolution of the human services systems in Peel. The Region of Peel recognizes the need to engage community stakeholders in the local planning process and leverage community assets and resources to address community problems.

City of Brampton

The City of Brampton works with fuse Brampton to support and encourage innovative solutions to community challenge. It promotes economic growth in order to lift quality of life of Brampton residents through innovation. The city further develops Brampton’s growing creative economy by offering an entrepreneurship and small business program to the fuse community.

Brampton Board of Trade

The Brampton Board of Trade advocates business development on behalf of its members. One of its six strategic priorities is Youth Engagement & Innovation. That is to engage the youth and business leaders of the future through education, mentorship and other innovative programs in order to create tomorrow’s business leaders.


Sheridan’s is committed to innovation and creativity. As such, it is an important stakeholders in the conversation about the capacity for innovation in Brampton. Since 1967, Sheridan has been moving innovating education with its Creative Campus approach. Sheridan college is a gateway to Brampton’s creative and innovative young minds.

In Partnership With: