Futurpreneur and RBC, as part of the free digital workshop series Rock My Business, have awarded eight budding young entrepreneurs with $10,000 each to launch their dream businesses. The series teaches participants about testing the viability of their business, how to develop a solid business plan, and better understand cash flow.
Selected from over 100+ applications – these were the eight awards of $10,000.
The award categories:
- Five Youth Entrepreneur Awards for entrepreneurs aged 18 – 29
- One Emerging Black Entrepreneur Award for a Black entrepreneur aged 18 – 39
- One Emerging Indigenous Entrepreneur Award for an Indigenous Entrepreneur aged 18 – 39
- One Emerging Entrepreneur Award for an entrepreneur aged 30 – 39
“Futurpreneur brings to life the most aspirational and fundamental elements of entrepreneurship,” said Mark Beckles, Vice President, Social Impact & Innovation at RBC. “By opening up access to mentorship, online resources, and general knowledge sharing this program speaks to the very spirit of entrepreneurship. RBC is proud to support these leaders in their journey.”
The three-part Rock My Business series started in 2017. RBC Foundation in support of RBC Future Launch funded the series, as the bank’s 10-year $500 million commitment to empower Canadian youth for the jobs of tomorrow. Since July 2020 the series, which includes business coaching from resident entrepreneurs, has equipped over 8,000 young, aspiring entrepreneurs with the skills, confidence and knowledge needed to develop a launch-ready business plan.
Supporting aspiring entrepreneurs in Canada, the Rock My Business workshop series helps future business owners. The workshop series takes place every other month. Interested participants can visit the Rock My Business page on Futurpreneur’s website to sign up for the next available workshops. Participants who attend the Rock My Business Plan and Rock My Business Cash Flow workshops may be eligible for Futurpreneur’s next round of awards.
The 2022 award recipients:
- Marie-Renée Grondin, Timininous – Emerging Entrepreneur Award. Location: Quebec. Timininous is a Quebec-based company. It designs and manufactures merino wool thermal clothing and accessories for infants and toddlers so they can keep warm while joining their families on winter adventures. Merino wool is a sustainably-sourced renewable fibre that is also biodegradable. Founder Marie-Renée Grondin’s mission is to promote a more sustainable and socially-conscious shopping approach. By creating products that are durable and multifunctional, families buy less but invest in higher quality.
- Benjamin Feagin, AgriTech North – Emerging Indigenous Entrepreneur Award. Location: Ontario. AgriTech North is a first-of-its-kind, indoor vertical farm in North-western Ontario, growing fresh produce year-round at wholesale capacity. The company addresses rising food insecurity and environmental challenges. Consequently, it utilizes innovative hydroponic and aeroponic technology in a soil-less environment that also uses 90% less water. It doesn’t use chemical pesticides, herbicides, or fungicides. Their social mission is to reduce fresh produce costs in far north Indigenous communities by 25 percent. They also want to simultaneously increase its availability in communities without year-round access.
- Murielle Bien-Aimé, KOMANDŌ – Emerging Black Entrepreneur Award. Location: Quebec. Based in Montreal, KOMANDŌ is a clothing company that creates stylish and eco-friendly underwear for anyone who identifies as a woman. It also has a range of gender-neutral streetwear attire designed to empower individuals and encourage them to be themselves freely and fully.
- Elisabeth Turcotte, Déniche Ton Chien – Youth Entrepreneur Award. Location: Quebec. Déniche Ton Chien is a pet-pairing app that helps match adopters with their ideal pet. The app provides details about the top three dog breeds most compatible with their personality and lifestyle. An AI algorithm filters the database of more than 110 dog breeds available in Quebec. Then, it recommends the top three that align with the adopter’s wants and needs. The client can also learn more about the different breeds and understand their needs and personality traits before making a commitment to adopt.
- Marie-Ève Aubry, Albéric – Youth Entrepreneur Award. Location: Quebec. Albéric is a clothing brand that helps consumers creatively build a conscious and modern wardrobe. Each piece is meaningful and serves a purpose. The designer’s ethos focuses on responsible design and manufacturing practices to minimize her production’s impact on the planet and small communities. By implementing a non-traditional pre-order model, the company is able to promote all aspects of the circular economy and ensure that every piece is unique and feels like a limited edition.
- Lital Zaslavsky, Something Better – Youth Entrepreneur Award. Location: Ontario. Something Better is a company that is reinventing the children’s healthy snack category. Most commercial children’s snacks don’t have kids in mind. The nutritious snacks bore them, and the confectionary snacks don’t nourish them. Dry granola bars may not compromise for an indulgent brownie. And parents don’t feel comfortable feeding their kids indulgent brownies every day either. So Lital and Daniel are launching Something Better to bridge that divide. They make delicious snacks kids love, with a nutritional profile parents will cherish. They are currently formulating their first product with plans of officially launching by the end of 2022.
- Thomas Clark, Altrene – Youth Entrepreneur Award. Location: Ontario. Altrene offers a truly sustainable skincare line called “Insekt”. Its products contain sustainably sourced insect-derived extracts among other natural ingredients. It creates a unique formulation with exceptional skin and environmental benefits. Operating as an online store through its website and other third-party platforms, Altrene offers, at launch; a Face Cleanser, Face Moisturizer and Face Oil. Beyond personal care, Insekt promotes sustainable, cleaner business practices. It contributes to a circular economy and the preservation of our planet.
- Will Wang, Terra Optima Labs Inc. – Youth Entrepreneur Award. Location: Ontario. Terra Optima Labs Inc. strives to create circularity in the food industry by converting food waste to soil. Their goal is to grow more food, sustainably. Their objectives are to reduce negative environmental impacts from soil degradation, ease food insecurity, and address the enormous amount of food waste that Canada generates per year. Terra Optima is developing and testing technologies that leverage natural organisms. It’s also developing technology to transform food and organic wastes into soil amendment blends. This helps increase crop yields, restore soil vitality, and sequester carbon. These processes are odorless, efficient, and integrate directly within supply chains and create valuable products for agriculture and soil remediation.
About the Rock My Business Workshop Series:
Futurpreneur and RBC Future Launch proudly present Rock My Business, a free, virtual, three-part workshop series. The series will help you develop your idea, get started on your business plan and create a viable cash flow for your business. All while connecting with like-minded entrepreneurs in your community and across Canada. If you need direction to develop your business idea, have a strong business idea OR recently launched a small business that you’d like to grow, register today for our next series of workshops. Participants who complete at least two of the workshops are eligible to receive one-on-one coaching for free from our Entrepreneurs in Residence, helping you strengthen your idea and business plan further.
Futurpreneur has been fostering the entrepreneurial passions of enterprising diverse young entrepreneurs across Canada for over 25 years. We are the only national, non-profit organization that provides financing, mentorship and resources to aspiring business owners aged 18-39. More than 16,500 young entrepreneurs, spanning every province and territory, have successfully launched their businesses with Futurpreneur’s support. Their main street businesses help drive Canada’s inclusive economic prosperity in communities from coast to coast to coast. Futurpreneur is a founding member of the G20 Young Entrepreneurs’ Alliance, the Canadian member of Youth Business International, and the Canadian host of Global Entrepreneurship Week. www.futurpreneur.ca | Connect with us on Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook: @futurpreneur
Are you a young entrepreneur yourself? Perhaps you should read What Comes After the Lemonade Stand? Fuelling Self‑efficacy and Intentions in Our Next Generation of Entrepreneurs.