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Visa Canada Announces Next Round of She’s Next Grant Recipients as part of Ongoing Support for Small Business Recovery

Building on the success of the first Grant Program earlier this year in partnership with IFundWomen, Visa awarded another ten Canadian women entrepreneurs with $10,000each and coaching to recover, grow and expand their businesses

TORONTO, Sept. 23, 2021 /CNW/ – Today, Visa Canada announced another round of recipients of its She’s Next Grant Program in Canada to boost women entrepreneurship, aiding in COVID-19 recovery and empowering growth and innovation. In collaboration with IFundWomen, ten additional Canadian women entrepreneurs each received a grant of $10,000 CAD and one-year business coaching to support, grow and expand their businesses. 

Small businesses, especially those run by women, continue to struggle because of the pandemic, with the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) estimating that total debt held by small businesses in Canada is $139 billion.i Many businesses find themselves in a tough position because sales haven’t bounced back to where they were pre-pandemic, and according to Visa’s 5th edition of the Back to Business global study, 2 in 5 Canadian small businesses think challenges caused by the pandemic will outlast the pandemic itself. Grant programs can help with this, offering financial support, while also fueling growth and innovation.

“Aiding in small business recovery and empowering entrepreneurs to keep growing and innovating is critical right now as we continue to live in a pandemic-challenged world,” said Stacey Madge, president and country manager, Visa Canada. “When it comes to where to shop, Canadians prioritize shopping locally, and now more than ever, appreciate what each small business brings to their communities. That’s why we have an ongoing commitment to them, particularly women-led businesses that have been disproportionately impacted during the pandemic. We congratulate the ten women entrepreneurs selected, they come from all sorts of backgrounds and industries, and truly are an inspiration.” 

“We thank Visa for their continued support of women entrepreneurs across Canada,” said Karen Cahn, Founder & CEO at IFundWomen. “The She’s Next Grant Program has broken down barriers for women to access grant funding by removing a revenue requirement and allowing applicants to convey their growth potential throughout the application. This additional round of grants is a demonstration of Visa’s unwavering commitment to Canadian small businesses, and women-led small businesses specifically, and we look forward to the impact these grants will have on the recipients and their communities.” 

This round of She’s Next Grant Program recipients span diverse backgrounds and industries from apparel, food & beverage and home goods, to professional services, non-profit and social good-for-profit, each offering innovative solutions and products:

  • Brave Soles, Toronto, ON: Brave Soles believes in the power of circular fashion to build a better future for all of us. The focus of the company is on crafting classically styled footwear and accessories with upcycled materials and ethical, small scale production chains. 
  • EarthPup, Toronto, ON: EarthPup is addressing the food waste problem in Canada by turning nutrient-dense food otherwise destined for landfill, into healthy dog treats. To date, they have rescued over 1,100 pounds of food from going to landfills. 
  • Employ to Empower, Vancouver, BC: BIPOC-owned, Employ to Empower (ETE) is a registered charity that focuses on empowering individuals who face barriers by cultivating community through entrepreneurship and self-advocacy opportunities. 
  • Kind Karma Company, Toronto, ON: BIPOC-owned, Kind Karma is a social enterprise that employs at-risk and homeless youth in Toronto to handcraft fine jewelry. In addition to fair hourly wages, proceeds from sales are returned to youth artisans to support their individual goals such as funding education, housing and courses. 
  • Monday Girl, Toronto, ON: The Monday Girl Social Club is a BIPOC-owned company revolutionizing the way young professional women build their careers in Canada with a unique career platform that gives members access to exclusive networking opportunities, resume reviews, coaching, a resource library, courses, job board, mentorship, and more. 
  • Nuba, Oakville, ON: A mother and daughter team passionate about sharing the traditional Egyptian beverages that have been passed down through generations in their family. Nuba brews natural & healthy herbal infusions with unique ingredients like hibiscus flowers, Tamarind & Carob for amazingly delicious, authentic drinks. 
  • Our Ancestories Corporation, Oakville, ON: Our Ancestories, a BIPOC-owned publishing company, creates children’s books that share positive stories based on African History. 
  • Remix Snacks, Markham, ON: Remix Snacks is a BIPOC-owned snack company that was born from a simple mission created by two dietitians looking to fill a void in the snack industry: to create simple, healthy snacks that are good for the consumers’ well-being and good for the environment by using beans as a source of plant-based protein, and upcycled ingredients to reduce food waste. 
  • The Plot Market Garden, Victoria, BC: The Plot Market Garden is combating food insecurity on Vancouver Island by providing healthy, fresh produce to locals. 
  • Toronto Womxn in Data Science, Toronto, ON: Toronto Womxn in Data Science has the vision to empower a million data-literate womxn, increase retention and recruitment of womxn in data professions and increase innovation in this space. Founded by a group of BIPOC womxn, they provide programming that celebrates womxn in data, educates those interested in the field through events, mentorship, and data product co-creation. They encourage the diversification of the talent pipeline for data science and other data careers.

Since the start of 2020, through its global She’s Next Grant Program, Visa has awarded over $1.5 million dollars in grants and coaching memberships to women across the globe. In Canada, Visa furthers its commitment by way of its extended Canadian grant program, and with initiatives like the Visa Canada Small Business Hub which has programs and solutions to support small businesses in driving efficiency and sales through the acceptance of digital payments and the expansion of businesses online.

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