We are proud to announce our Phase Two 2022 CANIE Award category semi-finalists!
We received hundreds of applications for our Phase Two Awards from across the country and from a wide variety of market sectors, each sharing their compelling stories of entrepreneurial success. Consistent characteristics exemplified among all entrants were examples of resilience, agency, and social innovation. Our esteemed adjudicators had a difficult task at hand.
Veteran Entrepreneur of the Year Semi-finalist: Kevin Leboeuf
Business: EDUCATED BEARDS
ABOUT KEVIN LEBOEUF
Kevin Leboeuf joined the military at 18 and was deployed in Afghanistan at the age of 19 with TF 3-08 as an EROC operator. Kevin’s military carrier was slowed down after being involved in an IED strike where his vehicle was bombed. After completing a 9-month tour, Kevin specialized in a high-risk search which consisted of a small, specialized team of 25 members. In 2016 he was promoted to Master-Corporal and was released from the CAF the same year for medical reasons.
This led Kevin to grow a beard for the very first time in his life. He liked the beard but did not like how itchy and dry it was.
After months of research and development for effective organic beard grooming products made with the highest quality ingredients available in the world, Educated Beards was born Dec 2017. Kevin considers himself a serial entrepreneur and is currently the Co-CEO and Co-Founder of Educated Beards Inc., an all-natural and organic men’s grooming product company located in Atlantic Canada. Kevin has taken his passion for wellness and curated a line of organic men’s grooming products that are effective, conscious, and safe for humans of all ages, pets, and the environment.
ABOUT EDUCATED BEARDS
Educated Beards is a leader in the industry of conscious men’s grooming. A brand that sets the standard for effective, organic, and premium products. They promote awareness of the importance of using clean, conscious, safe, and quality ingredients and living an educated lifestyle.
Educated Beards helps folks take care of their looks by manufacturing and supplying grooming products that are clean, conscious, safe, and top quality. They produce 100% natural and organic grooming products.
Veteran Entrepreneur of the Year Semi-finalist: Leendert Bolle
Business: HERO DEHYDRATED DOG TREATS INC.
ABOUT LEENDERT BOLLE
Leendert served in the Canadian Armed Forces from 1998 to 2008. Leendert is a family-oriented, hard-working, tenacious, innovative, and creative individual that is focused on the welfare of animals. A passionate entrepreneur, dedicated to the service of others who can be relied on to get the job done on time and on target. His extensive military background has developed Leendert into a successful, honest, and down to earth leader of HeroDogTreats.com
ABOUT HERO DEHYDRATED DOG TREATS INC.
As a health-conscious family, Hero Dehydrated Dog Treats Inc. promises to provide the best possible quality and most affordable 100% natural dog treats. Their products are available coast to coast through their national distribution channel.
A long-term goal of growing Hero Dog TreatsTM is to provide a safe work environment with professional support where veterans can work amongst peers to help ease the transition. They also support Canadian Service Dogs because they understand the power of “man’s best friend” in healing.
Veteran Entrepreneur of the Year Semi-finalist: Scott Harrigan
Business: GLOROPE CANADA
ABOUT SCOTT HARRIGAN
In 1992 Scott began his 25-year journey in the Canadian Armed Forces when he enrolled at the Royal Military College. At age 43 Scott found himself retired from his first career. He knew a second career in a cubicle was not in his future, so he ventured on his own with the aspiration of becoming an entrepreneur.
In 2016 Scott purchased Glorope. Glorope has become an extension of Scott’s personality, using his innovation and drive to help those around him while giving back to both the town and the military that shaped who he is today. He embarked upon a very challenging role as entrepreneur for his second career to chase his dream of creating innovative life-saving products.
ABOUT GLOROPE CANADA
Glorope Canada wants to change the way people feel about navigating recreational and labour-driven activities in the dark. Their advanced photo-luminescent technology brings an array of unique high-quality products that are built to last, require low maintenance, are easy to charge and remain vivid for up to 8 hours.
While specializing in safety, recreational and boating products, Glorope Canada’s ultimate mission is to improve the safety and enjoyment of a night hike, camping or working in poorly lit zones, GLOROPE products provide the most visibility out of dark conditions.
Veteran Entrepreneur of the Year Semi-finalist: Cheryl Lamerson
Business: LUNENBURG COMMUNITY CONSIGNMENT
ABOUT CHERYL LAMERSON
Cheryl Lamerson joined the Canadian Armed Forces at age 18 in 1975 with the desire to do something with Canadians and for Canada. Cheryl started as an Air Weapons Controller, and upon receiving her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, she dedicated 25 years of her 32 year career with CAF to service as a Personnel Selection Officer. During this time, she provided counseling, implemented CAF gender integration, and anti-harassment and diversity training.
When Cheryl retired from the Canadian Armed Forces in 2007, she did not believe she would pursue another career. She discovered that her desire to help her community and her interest in volunteering combined with her organizational skills and love for repurposing secondhand items and antiques could be a viable business.
Cheryl had a vision to create a store where she could sell by consignment, staff with volunteers, and donate a portion of net proceeds to charities to give back to her community. Using her research skills, she did market research with community groups. There was resounding positive input to her new dream. In August of 2012, Cheryl and team opened the social enterprise micro business, Lunenburg Community Consignment with great success!
ABOUT LUNENBURG COMMUNITY CONSIGNMENT
Lunenburg Community Consignment aims to help the community by providing high-demand repurposed products. LCC sells gently used and antique household items and small furniture on consignment, with 20% of sales proceeds going to local charities. Through their social enterprise, Lunenburg Community Consignment keeps functional and well-maintained household items and furniture out of landfills.
Indigenous Entrepreneur of the Year Award Semi-finalist: Mallory Yawnghwe
Business: INDIGENOUS BOX INC.
ABOUT MALLORY YAWNGHWE
Indigenous Box is owned and operated by CEO Mallory Yawnghwe. Guided by great purpose, this formerly shy and nervous girl from the Saddle Lake Cree Nation #125 has accomplished things that she never believed to be possible.
Mallory, of the first generation in her family to not attend residential school, earned her Bachelor of Commerce in Supply Chain Management. She honed her Supply Chain Management skills and shared her knowledge and community connections as a consultant for various projects. Now Mallory has taken on her biggest challenge yet: Indigenous Box Inc.
ABOUT INDIGENOUS BOX INC.
Indigenous Box™ is a subscription box and corporate gift service that promotes Indigenous entrepreneurship by creating opportunities for emerging, under-represented and established Indigenous businesses to reach new customers and enter new market spaces.
They are guided by values based on the teachings of shared abundance through reciprocity and connectedness. At their core is a commitment to transparency, fairness, humility, continuous learning, and bold action.
In less than two years in operations, Indigenous Box Inc. generates over $1.2M in annual revenue, showcasing the beautifully crafted products produced by Indigenous businesses across Canada.
Indigenous Entrepreneur of the Year Award Semi-finalist: Bobbie Racette
Business: VIRTUAL GURUS
ABOUT BOBBIE RACETTE
Bobbie Racette, an Indigenous woman and member of the 2SLGTBQIA+ community, is founder and CEO of Virtual Gurus, Bobbie is a Cree-Metis woman who prides herself on building an inclusivity-first company, championing indigenous people and the 2SLGBTQIA+ community. Named as one of 50 Changemakers for 2021 by Report on Business magazine, Bobbie was also recently honoured by Startup Canada as Indigenous Entrepreneur and Woman Entrepreneur of the Year.
ABOUT VIRTUAL GURUS
Virtual Gurus is a talent marketplace that leverages proprietary technology to match organizations and entrepreneurs with highly skilled Canadian and American fractional administrative workers.
Virtual Gurus creates a better everyday life for individuals and organizations while contributing to a strong sense of community. Their mission is to be the preeminent provider of virtual assistant services in North America by providing superior quality customer service. Forbes recently announced Virtual Gurus as one of the top 19 Innovative Tech Startups to watch.
Indigenous Entrepreneur of the Year Award Semi-finalist: Kelly Lendsay
Business: INDIGENOUS WORKS
ABOUT KELLY LENDSAY
Kelly Lendsay is internationally recognized as one of Canada’s foremost innovators and organizational development experts in Indigenous engagement and workplace inclusion systems, models, and corporate/indigenous partnerships. His dynamic communications style and passion for innovation have earned him the reputation as an engaging thought leader and effective bridge-builder. Kelly fosters trusted partnerships for the workforce and economic development across Canada, USA, and Australia.
ABOUT INDIGENOUS WORKS
For over 20 years, Indigenous Works has served companies and organizations to strengthen their performance and results in Indigenous employment, workplace engagement and inclusion. Indigenous Works is addressing relationship building and is responding to the growing need for stronger partnership development between Indigenous-owned enterprises and corporate Canada.
Through their online inclusion training, advisory services, workplace inclusion diagnostics and various other services and products, they help members develop their partnership skills and strategies to forge effective and productive relationships.
Indigenous Entrepreneur of the Year Award Semi-finalist: Steven Vanloffeld
Business: eSUPPLY CANADA
ABOUT STEVEN VANLOFFELD
Steven Vanloffeld is an entrepreneur and multi-business owner from Saugeen First Nation, Ontario. Steven possesses an intimate understanding of the economic challenges and opportunities Indigenous peoples and communities face, having served as an elected member of council at Saugeen. In this leadership capacity, Steven was responsible for establishing the Saugeen Economic Development Corporation, bringing in the First Nations Market Housing Fund, and leading the development of the community’s new administration office.
ABOUT eSUPPLY CANADA
As an online distributor of office, janitorial, and industrial supplies, eSupply Canada Ltd. serves Indigenous communities and businesses, industry, and governments, as well as the public.
eSupply Canada offers a wide variety of products from over 1,000 leading manufacturers, providing their customers with an unparalleled product selection. eSupply Canada Ltd. services customers from coast to coast, shipping to communities and places of business in urban, rural, and remote locations.
Black Entrepreneur of the Year Semi-finalist: Agunbiade Seun Richards
Business: DOOR2DOOR PICK UP COURIERS
ABOUT AGUNBIADE SEUN RICHARDS
Agunbiade Seun Richards is a social entrepreneur, researcher, and community volunteer. In December 2019, he established Door2Door Pickup Couriers in Saint John, New Brunswick as part of his academic project as a Ph.D. student. Little did he know that the Covid-19 pandemic was about to shake the world, and delivery services were going to be regarded as essential for living during the lockdown crisis.
In addition to running his business, Seun volunteers for various community steering teams, including Saint John Local Immigration Partnership on the Newcomers Advisory Panel, City of Saint John Strategic Planning Steering Committee, and the Saint John Community Free Tax Clinic of the Canada Revenue Agency.
ABOUT DOOR2DOOR PICK UP COURIERS
Door2Door Pickup Couriers is a last-mile delivery service provider, passionate about people, research, and technology.
Their product offerings include direct-to-home delivery services for residents, courier services for Small Businesses, bulk delivery services for e-commerce companies, and global shipment of parcels through DHL Express partnership program.
Black Entrepreneur of the Year Semi-finalist: Janét Aizenstros
Business: AHAVA DIGITAL GROUP
ABOUT DR. JANET AIZENSTROS
Dr. Janét Aizenstros is the founder and CEO of Ahava Digital Group (ADG), a women-led digital consultancy business working with Fortune 500 companies to help them connect with women consumers using data and technology.
Her background spans roles at TD Canada Trust and Canon. Throughout her career she has advised in a broad range of industries that honed her skills in finance, supply chain operations, data analysis, and strategic planning within multinational enterprises and governments. Dr. Aizenstros’ ability to navigate foreign markets with ease originates from her fluency in English, French, German, and Hebrew.
ABOUT AHAVA DIGITAL GROUP
Ahava Digital Group is a women-led digital consultancy which helps to shift the perspective of Fortune, B-corporations, and media companies to grow devoted long-term relationships with women consumers in an emotional and intuitive way fueled by DATA and TECHNOLOGY to deliver an ROI. Their goal is to be the fast-growing digital consultancy globally representing women through advertising using data and technology.
Black Entrepreneur of the Year Semi-finalist: Eno Eka
Business: ENY CONSULTING INC.
ABOUT ENO EKA
Eno Eka is a business analyst and consultant based in Calgary, Alberta. She is an award-winning career coach and keynote speaker who has been recognized for helping more than 100,000 professionals in 90+ countries kick-start their professional careers.
She is a business analysis content developer and course instructor at the University of Manitoba, and the Founder of Business Analysis School.
ABOUT ENY CONSULTING INC.
Eny Consulting Inc. is an award-winning boutique consulting & coaching company headquartered in Canada. Since 2018, Eny Consulting has been providing small businesses with business and technology advisory. Their expertise includes Business Process Management, Project Management, IT Service Management, Digital Marketing, Software Development, Human Resource Management, and Management Consulting. They pride themselves on delivering top-notch, best-in-class consulting services to our clients.
Black Entrepreneur of the Year Semi-finalist: Sharon Nyangweso
Business: QUAKELAB INC.
ABOUT SHARON NYANGWESO
QuakeLab’s owner and founder, Sharon Nyangweso is an immigrant from Kenya, who was increasingly frustrated at the DEI initiatives she would come across as a communications professional.
Through many years of research on systematic inequity, Sharon knew that inequity is structural. This prompted Sharon to create the QuakeLab method, which approaches DEI and organizations using design thinking at its core, with data and research as guiding principles.
ABOUT QUAKELAB INC.
QuakeLab is a full-stack inclusion agency that provides the tools, expertise, and methods to take your vision for inclusion from idea to action. They use proven design thinking frameworks and results-based management to position inclusion as a functional and integrated part of your business structure, and not as a fluff piece hidden within your HR policy.
Headquartered in Ottawa, Canada, QuakeLab engages a global team of functional experts in areas which include human resources, finance, web development, branding, user experience design, business management, and more.
Congratulations to all of our Phase Two 2022 CANIE Award Semi-finalists. We look forward to celebrating the inspiring stories of each entrepreneur and their business over the coming months.