Mayor Berry Vrbanovic was joined by special guests, the Honourable Elizabeth Dowdeswell, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, and the Honourable Karina Gould, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, for a special announcement at the official opening of the SDG Idea Factory in Downtown Kitchener earlier today.

The SDG Idea Factory is a first-of-its-kind entrepreneurship hub that supports the development of new start-ups and small businesses focused on social and environmental innovation and equity deserving entrepreneurs who collaborate and activate the United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).  

“What an incredible accomplishment to launch this new space, that celebrates start-up innovation and the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals together in one place, and just ahead of the UN’s SDG Summit in September,” said Mayor Berry Vrbanovic, who also serves as Co-President of United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG). “I am excited to share that Kitchener’s SDG Idea Factory will be UCLG's first Local4Action Hub in North America, which will allow local and regional governments to share ground-breaking projects that can transform global policies. With 13 Local4Action Hubs already established around the world, we’re excited about joining this global movement in hopes that the innovation that happens right here at the SDG Idea Factory in Kitchener can be shared throughout Canada and across our planet.” 

The SDG Idea Factory already works in close partnership with local organizations including LiftOff by CCAWR, Waterloo Region Community Foundation, For Us Girls Foundation, Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest and the Waterloo Region Small Business Centre.

The SDG Idea Factory is located at 2 King St. West and includes 20,000 square feet of space, with five bookable meeting rooms, 24 hot desks, a training/boardroom, 17 co-working offices, a large event space and common area meeting space. The space was renovated with sustainable materials including recycled carpet and upcycled furniture donated by Communitech. The main space of the Idea Factory was brought to life with a vibrant and colourful mural by well-known local muralist, Stephanie Boutari.

To learn more about the Idea Factory, visit


For more information, contact:
Shawn Falcao
Manager, Corporate Communications


“The Sustainable Development Goals act as a roadmap for how we can build a stronger, healthier and more inclusive world. Municipalities play a key role in our domestic efforts in achieving the goals and the SDG Idea Factory is a unique space that will bring people and businesses together in an inspiring way. Together, we can find solutions to some of the most challenging social and environmental issues of our time.” 

-The Honourable Karina Gould, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development 

“We are excited to see Kitchener joining the global networks of UCLG Hubs which will connect the SDG Idea Factory with experiences from around the globe in mutual learning opportunities. Our destinies are interconnected, and inspiring local action can help us shape the kind of communities we want for people and planet.” 

- Emilia Saiz, Secretary General, United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG) 

“The actions of a business community can be transformative. As we were building our latest Economic Development Strategy – Make It Kitchener 2.0 – we heard from our community and business leaders that they wanted us to not just continue to grow, but to be leaders in building a better planet. This space will achieve just that with a special focus on the SDGs.” 

- Scott Davey, Chair of Finance & Corporate Services Committee and Ward 1 Councillor

“The SDG Idea Factory is a first-of-its-kind collaborative incubator. We offer a space where entrepreneurs looking to use business as a force for good, through socially driven entrepreneurship, can come.  And a place where new startups, focused on advancing the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals, can begin.”   

- Chris Farrell, Manager of the Waterloo Region Small Business Centre

Quick facts

Make it Kitchener 2.0 

Make it Kitchener 2.0 is an ambitious plan to support economic recovery and to propel the community and economy forward by investing in catalytic growth opportunities and creating a resilient future where everyone can make a difference. To learn more visit 

United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) 

The Sustainable Development Goals were adopted by the 193 member states of the United Nations in 2015 and are the blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all. They address the global challenges we face, including poverty, inequality, climate change, environmental degradation, peace and justice. The City of Kitchener has incorporated the SDGs in our current 2019 – 2022 strategic plan update, and they will serve as the foundation of our new 20-year strategic plan, which will be considered by Council in 2023.