Marta Nowinska


Marta Nowinska is a social entrepreneur and the founder of Swapsity. She traded her Bay Street banking job to start Canada's leading bartering community, which proved to be the biggest swap of her life.

With 20% of the world's business conducted via barter, swapping is a big idea with huge financial, social and ecological returns. It creates precious human connections and conserves cash. At the heart of Marta's vision is the aspiration to empower others. In 2013, Marta was able to share this "big idea worth spreading" at a TEDx talk -- The Exchange Economy: Value with Values.

The Swapsity community is a hub for consumer barter, business-to-business barter for Toronto entrepreneurs, and live swap events in Toronto. Marta has orchestrated Swapsity’s strategy development, operations, public relations, marketing, event planning and partnerships, including successful collaborations with the Toronto Environment Office, Green Living Show and other eco-minded social enterprises. She has been featured by CTV, CP24, OMNI Television, the Financial Post, Chatelaine Magazine and the Toronto Star, quoted in almost 100 media outlets, and profiled as a Collaborative Consumption pioneer and protagonist. As the Canadian Curator for Collaborative Consumption, Marta also writes about newsworthy happenings in Canada’s Sharing Economy. You can listen to an interview with CBC Calgary in which she highlights this growing trend.

Marta loves to share her business experience with aspiring and existing entrepreneurs and also offers business model mapping expertise to help entrepreneurs launch ideas or make existing initiatives soar. She is a big supporter of forward-thinking business models that propagate social good and create a positive impact on our world. Please feel free to get in touch if you are interested in a one-on-one consultation.

Marta has lived and travelled throughout Europe, South East Asia and North America, gaining exposure to various cultures that have enriched her profoundly and expanded her worldview. Now Marta calls Toronto home. When she is not exercising her business savvy, she can be found exercising her mind and body through yoga, chess, biking or playing the violin.

Business Model Mapping Sessions

In every business, pieces have to come together just like a jigsaw puzzle.

I am dedicated to helping budding or established entrepreneurs align their strengths and passions with their business model. Together, we will formulate, clarify or refine your business model, depending on the stage the idea is in. My style combines strategy—originating from my own entrepreneurial experience, Lean Startup mentoring, previous clients, a business degree and years of competitive chess—with a unique process of searching for what sparks you.

Having a complete picture of your business model is invaluable, so our first two hour intensive session will be used to map out your business idea and dive deep into your model. We’ll look at your vision, revenue streams, cost structure, unique selling proposition, customer segments, competition, and other essential building blocks of your business model. I use the Lean Canvas approach utilized by Silicon Valley start-ups to shape our analysis while integrating other invaluable tools and techniques I have developed along the way.

By the end of our meeting, you will hear my honest feedback and your business model will be completely mapped out. You will walk away with a clear action plan on how to improve, test, iterate or execute your idea, as per the current stage of your business. I will also tap into my connections if I see any opportunities for synergy or further support for your idea.

Ultimately, I do my best to make sure that you are supported as your idea takes flight, while minimizing anything that weighs you down.

My expertise is best suited for:

  • Budding entrepreneurs looking for guidance in piecing together their business model, finding direction or ongoing support.
  • Entrepreneurs launching or improving an idea with a social purpose or one that is a part of the Sharing Economy movement.
  • Existing entrepreneurs looking to solidify and strengthen or pivot their business.

Let's break the impossible down into manageable piece and come up with a plan that you can see through to the end.

Note: Writing a full-blown traditional business plan can take weeks or months. Instead, I will introduce you to a portable, fluid and flexible business model. The 1-page canvas allows you to distill the essence of your product or service and easily share your business model with other stakeholders.


Until we met Marta, we had only done some very basic thinking about our business. She came along at exactly the right time when we were focused on growth, drawing important answers forward by asking us the right questions. We took a very real, important look at our model and the direction we took was in large part due to Marta's coaching. Marta was so supportive, encouraging and truly believed in us - and that has helped us to take ourselves, and our business more seriously! We now have a clearer vision for our business and are already taking steps towards achieving the goals we have for Kylie & Jonathan!

Kylie Martin and Jonathan Bluks - Male/Female Styling Team at

As a research scientist, I know the value of being organized and having a solid plan before launching a project. But I also know the value of consulting with the experts when I have important questions. When I made the decision to start my own business, I had lots of questions and knew that I needed help to get the ball rolling. Enter Marta and her business consulting services to provide the help that I needed!

Marta's experience and insight was valuable in helping me craft a 1 page business plan. We carefully went through several key questions, identified the strengths of my ideas and created action items to help propel the business forward.

With Marta's help, I was able to take the all important first step in launching my own business. Now here I am, up and running and looking forward to a positive future. Thanks Marta!

Raj Dhiman - Not your typical chemist at

"When you’re passionately driven by a meaningful cause, you find in yourself more energy than you ever imagined possible." ~ Marta Nowinska

"Building a successful business is like F1 racing: it takes determination, direction and a dependable driver." ~ Marta Nowinska

"I envision a world where cash and alternative economies work in tandem, allowing people to buy, share, swap or gift depending on what's right for their budget." ~ Marta Nowinska (quoted in Toronto Life, The Money Issue, Fall 2013)