About Mischa Kaplan
A firm believer in small business as the key to a healthy economy and community, Mischa is a thought leader and organizational thinker who focuses on small enterprise management. Formerly an active service officer in the Canadian Forces Army Reserve, Mischa is a fourth-generation small business owner with broad experience leading small and medium sized organizations. From as early as he can remember, Mischa has been surrounded by the joys and challenges of small business ownership. He has seen firsthand that, despite the best intentions, all too often success eludes even the most ambitious of entrepreneurs. Mischa’s training and consulting work is designed to help small business owners maximize their success and achieve mastery over themselves and their operating environments.
Mischa believes that excellence in any field comes from the ability to decipher and learn from new experiences, and to step easily outside one’s own comfort zone. Mischa has written and lectured extensively on business and related topics, and has provided consulting services to a wide range of small business owners. Educated in social science, politics, history and business at McGill University and Queen’s University, Mischa has completed advanced management training programs at Cornell University and the Executive Institute at McGill University. A strong believer in lifelong learning, Mischa is currently pursuing an Executive Global Master's in Management at the London School of Economics.
Mischa also spent several years as a doctoral researcher at the Munk School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto, where he served as a Visiting Doctoral Fellow and conducted research on military decision-making and the history of modern political leadership. In addition to several trade publications, Mischa’s opinion pieces and reviews have appeared in the Ottawa Citizen and several academic publications. In addition to his writing and consulting work, Mischa is also a part-time professor in the School of Business at Algonquin College in Ottawa, Ontario, where he teaches post-graduate courses on marketing, entrepreneurship, small business management, business sustainability, and social entrepreneurship.
As a fourth-generation small business owner, Mischa is currently the president and co-owner of the award-winning Rainbow Foods group of stores in Ottawa. Along with his wife, Sarah, Mischa purchased the original company from his parents in 2012, and the couple has since grown the business from one store to three, and from approximately 40 employees to over 100. Under Sarah and Mischa’s leadership, Rainbow Foods has become a market leader in business sustainability, winning a national “Retailer Sustainability Award” in 2016 and becoming the first Fair Trade designated private workplace in Ontario. As an expert on small business management and the local retail sector, Mischa has appeared on a variety of media outlets, including CBC Radio, CTV’s News at Noon, and CTV’s Ottawa Morning. Mischa also writes regularly on small business management for Canadian Natural Health Retailer, a trade magazine, as well as writing a monthly column on small business politics and economic development for the Ottawa Business Journal. In 2016, he was recognized for his business and community leadership with a prestigious “Forty Under 40” award. Mischa also served a two-year term on the board of directors of the Ontario Natural Food Co-Op, one of Canada’s largest cooperative networks, and currently serves as a member of the MySTORE Advisory Board at the Retail Council of Canada. Most recently, Mischa was chosen as one of a small group of entrepreneurs from across Canada to join the prestigious G20 Young Entrepreneurs’ Alliance delegation to Berlin in summer 2017.
In 2015, Mischa and Sarah launched Brightside Capital Management, an investment company focused on making strategic investments in small and medium sized enterprises, with a focus on the natural foods sector. Mischa is the proud father of two beautiful daughters, and prides himself on somehow managing to maintain a semblance of work-life balance. He is a self-avowed political junkie, outdoors enthusiast, and advocate for the importance of a strong small business community as a key ingredient in healthy economic growth.
For more on Mischa, you can check out his LinkedIn profile.