Canadian business owners are changing the small business sector, exploring the market’s opportunities, and shattering predefined barriers by introducing novel products and services with strategic business plans to increase revenue, foster growth, and promote expansion.
Here are 10 Canadian entrepreneurs bringing that change.
Ami Shah leads Peekapak’s team as their CEO and Co-Founder. A graduate of INSEAD in the highly ranked MBA program by the FT, she also holds a BBA from Wilfrid Laurier University. Ami is a talented marketing director who began her career at Procter & Gamble, where she developed significant marketing expertise. She has also served as director of retail marketing at a start-up in the consumer goods industry.
Ami founded Peekapak, an award-winning social-emotional learning (SEL) software platform, out of her passion for educating young people and her experience working with social enterprise organizations in Vietnam, India, and Canada. Peekapak supports schools and districts by empowering teachers, engaging students, and connecting parents to learning. For her work with Peekapak, Ami was awarded a Women of Influence award in 2022.
Maryam Munaf grew up in Abu Dhabi, learning about dates through her trips to the dates market with her father. Later, she graduated with a BSc in Nutrition and Food Technology and worked as a senior nutritionist at a top healthy catering company, where her role focused on healthy recipe development and weight management.
In 2013, she moved to Toronto and pursued her dream of developing a successful vegan product line. First, she created an online platform for healthy recipes and tips to inspire people to live healthier lives. Then, she founded Healthy Genie to prove that a treat could be healthy, delicious, and chic. Their product line was carefully created and developed by Maryam, who believes in eating ‘clean.’
Tanya Droege’s interest in natural products was born out of necessity. When she got pregnant at 18, she began making soap, shampoo, and toothpaste because she was financially strapped and concerned about the chemicals in products. Then, at 19, she was diagnosed with thyroid cancer, and her doctor suggested supplementing her diet with seaweed. Seeing the result and seaweed’s tremendous health benefits on her road to recovery and her passion for the plant, she wanted to share this knowledge with others.
Sealuxe makes a difference in your skin’s health by using seaweed in their products. They focus on developing all-natural, handmade products that smell amazing, have real benefits, and make you feel fantastic. Their products contain wild, sustainable seaweed harvested in British Columbia, Canada and have ethically sourced ingredients and sustainable packaging.
In July 2019, Traci Shepheard left her corporate job of more than 20 years to start MeditationWorks MINDSTREAM. Canada’s first mobile meditation studio aims to positively interrupt people’s days by educating them about the advantages of meditation. After participating in and working on numerous once-in-a-lifetime thrills, the idea for a mobile wellness experience, a mental wellness tour, emerged.
Traci has personal experience with the priceless advantages of meditation and how it can help with stress management. She wanted to create an aspirational, unique, and approachable meditation experience that comes to you. MeditationWorks is passionate about a life well lived. They offer virtual mindfulness, meditation, workplace wellness experiences, and a mobile Airstream Mindstream studio. It customizes conscious workplace wellness experiences that are right for you and your organization.
Lorne Blesse Jr
Lorne Blesse Jr. had two aspirations as a child growing up in northern Alberta along the great Peace River: to play hockey and to open his own company and be the boss. After realizing that he would unlikely play in the NHL, he opted to pursue his other passion of working for himself. He has worked for his First Nation as a young Indigenous community member in the Economic Development Department, where he has focused on helping young people launch enterprises. It re-ignited his desire to start his own business. He wanted to create the life he wanted.
Kiwetin Clothing is an Indigenous clothing brand based in northern Alberta. Their brand is for everyone who supports Indigenous culture. Through Kiwetin Clothing, he hopes that this clothing line will showcase Indigenous culture positively. Mixing aspects of the surrounding landscape creates something uniquely Canadian for all Canadians.
Nana Boateng Osei is the CEO of Bohten Eyewear, which creates Canadian-made eyewear using reclaimed materials. He is a Carleton University undergraduate who was British-born, Ghanaian-molded, and American-raised, with extensive expertise in the business and advertising fields. His journey into entrepreneurship began with planning adventure excursions and limousine evenings between Ottawa and Montreal.
His growth and discoveries taught him how to incorporate sustainability into product development, high-tech manufacturing, and consumer goods design. Bohten’s state-of-the-art African-inspired eyewear is engineered to optimize the viewing experience while adding an effortless luxury to your gaze. Their products successfully meet the industry standard by collaborating with the world’s top brand developers, engineers, and artisans. They envision shifting cultural paradigms, optimizing the eyewear experience, and bridging the lineage between our forefathers and future generations.
Fei Luo is the CEO and co-founder of Liven, the first precision fermentation protein company in Canada. Before Liven, Fei was an environmental consultant, providing sustainable solutions for the resource industry using biotechnology. Liven currently produces animal-free collagen ingredients, a unique ingredient offering equal specialty nutrition and functionality as collagen without using animal products. In addition, Liven is developing technology to make collagen from plant-based side streams, building a circular economy in the food value chain.
Liven creates plant-based foods to achieve their full potential in flavor, texture, and cooking experience while assisting alternative protein foods in attaining parity with their animal counterparts regarding nutrients and mouthfeel. By going animal-free, they aid in scalable, environmentally-friendly, and cruelty-free protein production to feed the growing population.
Angeza Mohammed is the founder of The Consulting Nest. She created The Consulting Nest because she desired something like this five years ago when she started her consulting company. She worked in the health system, focusing on population health, public health, health equity, diversity, risk management, integrated risk management, policy, communicable disease, harm reduction, and the overdose crisis.
Angeza desires to connect people, mentor them, and encourage everyone to lead a fulfilling life and career while creating the lifestyle they have always dreamed of. Hence, she founded The Consulting Nest as a marketplace for knowledge sharing. They help you connect with and hire highly qualified and vetted professional consultants in the health, government, research, academic, and non-profit industries to accelerate your initiatives, projects, and programs efficiently.
Ryan Benoit was born with cerebral palsy. He wanted to create a brand to allow people to be more positive and to help them gain a different perspective on life. He wanted to positively impact the general public and thought of no better way than a clothing line. He recognizes that a positive mindset can do wonders for an individual. This is what he wants to share with his positive clothing line.
Positive Inception is built on a foundation of love, creativity, dreams, teamwork, perseverance, and positivity. Inception means starting or beginning something in life that requires thinking positively and having positive thoughts and intentions. This inspirational apparel brand aims to inspire people with the amazing things in life, help them develop positive perspectives, and expose them to passion, creativity, and imagination.
Jad Robitaille is an experienced administrator with a track record of accomplishments in the transportation industry. She has a master’s in environmental studies from Queen’s University, focusing on sustainable buildings. She is skilled in project management, sustainable development, analytical skills, sustainability, renewable energy, and data analysis, and she is a strong professional in information technology.
Mini-Cycle is a resource for parents looking for elegant, comfortable, and durable clothing for their children. Their mission is to promote sustainability and reduce the impact of children’s fashion on the environment. They execute this in three steps. First, buy new, durable, and ecological clothing; second, buy back all clothing purchased from Mini-Cycle at a fair market price; and third, sell or reuse used Mini-Cycle items until they are completely worn and recycled a significant way. As a result, a closed-loop cycle (a mini-cycle) will be created in which only sustainable and environmentally responsible children’s clothing will be purchased and reused.
The possibilities of entrepreneurship are expanding as more people enter the industry with passion, dreams, a planned strategy, creativity, and determination to succeed. Incorporating digital innovations is helping small businesses to ease routine and complex tasks, thereby focusing on areas that require their attention and working towards the success and growth of the organization.
Entrepreneurial success stories inspire aspiring business owners to strive for their dreams and success. To read more about these success stories, subscribe to CanadianSME Small Business Magazine https://lnkd.in/dbqmSKN. For the latest updates, visit our Twitter page at @canadian_sme.