Visa Canada recently announced the 10 recipients of the third round of its She’s Next Grant Program in Canada. The She’s Next Grant Program supports growth with $10,000 CAD and one year of business coaching in partnership with IFundWomen. Through the program, recipients will gain access to funding, coaching and connections to help expand their businesses.
Coming out of the pandemic, less than fifty percent of businesses in Canada finished 2021 fully open with no restrictions. However, there is growing optimism among small businesses. 86 percent feel optimistic about their future coming out of the pandemic. However, 45 percent of Canadian businesses continue to require some form of financing. This is particularly true for a growing number of women business owners, and Visa remains passionate about supporting these entrepreneurs.
“Women entrepreneurs deserve the funding and support needed to allow their businesses to flourish,” said Stacey Madge, president and country manager of Visa Canada. “Women-led businesses were disproportionately impacted by the pandemic, and we hope our continued support will help build on the growing optimism we are seeing. This year’s She’s Next Grant recipients continue to embody the creativity, perseverance and perspective required of successful small business owners. In addition to being innovators and job creators in their own right, they are truly an inspirational and diverse group of women who represent the backbone of our economy.”
- Beeja May, Toronto, ON: Beeja May is an online store with a mission to slow down fast fashion. They provide sustainable shopping options for families by offering pre-loved and rescue children’s and maternity/nursing apparel, books and accessories.
- CASE, Toronto, ON: Through a siloed collection bin service for single-use plastic, CASE enables businesses to divert from landfills, one of the most popular types of consumer plastics, takeout containers. The containers are then picked up and sorted locally for reuse and recycling, enabling a circular economy model.
- Cooks Who Feed Inc., Mississauga, ON: Cooks Who Feed is a social enterprise uniting food lovers to end hunger. The company ethically produces kitchen textiles with a give-back model, providing meals to alleviate hunger. Their flagship product, their handcrafted aprons, provides 100 meals for every apron sold. All their textiles are handmade in India where they provide safe, fair trade work to marginalized women.
- Elleboxco Incorporated (dba Blume), Surrey, BC: Blume is the go-to acne-fighting, healthy skin focused, skin barrier boosting brand. They create skin, body and period care products that help consumers become the very best version of themselves.
- Maguire Shoes Inc/Chaussures Maguire, Montreal, QC: Maguire designs original shoes and accessories. They partner with hand-picked manufacturers around the world to produce them. Then they sell directly to customers, through their website, pop-ups, and boutiques.
- MFMG Cosmetics (Makeup For Melanin Girls), Toronto, ON: MFMG (a.k.a Makeup For Melanin Girls) is a community-driven beauty brand. They create products tailored to multicultural consumers.
- Sea Smart, Vancouver, BC: Sea Smart’s mission is to inspire and empower kids to love and protect our oceans. Founded by marine biologist Dr Elaine Leung, Sea Smart delivers fun, innovative education programs including school workshops, summer camps at the beach, shoreline cleanups and online programs. They help kids foster curiosity and connection with nature and empower them to be ocean heroes.
- Shivanesce Wellness Inc., Vancouver, BC: Yurn by Shivanesce is a wellness-focused online store created by a team of female BIPOC mental health professionals. Through their products, Yurn’s goal is to make self-care an essential part of healing in our daily life. They also prioritize psycho-education and wellness strategies. They aim to build an informed and empowered community of mental health advocates.
- Sitti Social Enterprise, Oakville, ON: Sitti is a conscious lifestyle brand committed to self-reliance of refugee and displaced communities through long-term employment opportunities. They support skill development training, empowered by an inclusive global economy.
- Unika Swimwear, Toronto, ON: Ūnika was created with a clear vision in mind: to provide custom inclusive swimwear available in XS-4XL to cater to all regardless of age, shape or size. They aim to empower every person by helping them recognize and appreciate their own individuality. Their end goal is to make one feel confident in a swimsuit, as everyone should.
About the She’s Next Grant program
Since the start of 2020, Visa has awarded over US$1.6 million dollars in grants and coaching memberships to women across the globe through She’s Next. In Canada, Visa furthers its commitment through its extended Canadian grant program. It includes initiatives like the Visa Canada Small Business Hub which has programs and solutions to support small businesses. The Hub drives efficiency and sales through the expansion of e-commerce, digital payments, marketing, and more.
Visa is a world leader in digital payments, facilitating transactions between consumers, merchants, financial institutions and government entities across more than 200 countries and territories each year. Our mission is to connect the world through the most innovative, convenient, reliable and secure payments network, enabling individuals, businesses and economies to thrive. We believe that economies that include everyone everywhere, uplift everyone everywhere and see access as foundational to the future of money movement. Learn more at Visa.ca.
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