Nadine McCallen, owner of natural skincare business The Willow’s Bark, is the grand prize winner of the 2018 Win This Space entrepreneurial competition.
The announcement was made tonight (March 1) at the grand finale event at The Venue in downtown Peterborough.
As the winner of the competition, McCallen receives a prize package valued at more than $45,000 that includes a free year-long lease for a downtown Peterborough storefront.
McCallen will be opening a new store called Ritual Apothecary and will sell locally produced skincare, herbal remedies and household products from a variety of sustainable companies focusing on wildcrafted, organic, and unrefined ingredients. She’s also looking to create a social space where people can blend their own teas, sit and read a book, or participate in a workshop.
The Win This Space competition is an initiative of the Peterborough Downtown Business Improvement Area (DBIA) in partnership with Peterborough & the Kawarthas Economic Development, Community Futures Peterborough, and Shorelines Slots at Kawartha Downs.
“It’s inspiring to see all these creative ideas for new businesses that people want to open here in downtown Peterborough,” says DBIA Executive DIrector Terry Guiel. “I’d like to congratulate Nadine on all her hard work and earning this lifechanging prize. Thanks as well to all our contestants who put a lot of time into sharing their dreams and ideas with us.”
McCallen was one of the top 10 finalists in the competition chosen by a panel of judges on November 30th. Over the past three months, the finalists have fine-tuned their proposals at workshops focused on marketing, financial planning, and business plans.
McCallen was selected as the grand prize winner by the eight Win This Space judges: Bryan Buchanan (General Manager, Shorelines Slots at Kawartha Downs), Dean Findlay (Chief Building Official, City of Peterborough), Gail Moorhouse (Interim Executive Director, Community Futures Peterborough), Michael Konopaski (Managing Director, Inclusive Advisory), Mike Watt (Owner of Flavour Fashion, Plush Boutique, Save Our Soles, and Ptbo Northern Originals), Suzanne McCrimmon (Director of Business Development, Peterborough & The Kawarthas Economic Development), Sofie Andreou (Founder, Sofie Andreou & Associates), and Sasha Lai-Svirk (Chief Digital Officer, BrandHealth).
VIDEO: The Willow’s Bark
One of benefits of the Win This Space competition is that it helps entrepreneurs work through their business ideas to make them a reality. While Tina Bromley of Tiny Greens was the winner of the inaugural Win This Space competition last year, other participants in the 2017 competition also launched their businesses.
“Last year we had five Win This Space participants open shop,” Guiel says. “It doesn’t end with Win This Space. It’s a lot of work to open a storefront and we’re here with our Win This Space partners to make sure that those with determination and a strong business plan have the support they need to pursue their entrepreneurial dream.”
Other Ontario communities — including Sudbury, Pembroke, Gravenhurst, North Bay, and more — have also adopted the Win This Space model to encourage business development in their own downtown areas.
Sponsors for the Peterborough 2018 Win This Space competition are:
- Peterborough Downtown Business Improvement Area
- Community Futures Peterborough
- Peterborough Utilities Group
- Atria Development
- Ashburnham Realty
- Trent University
- Monkman Gracie & Johnson Insurance Brokers
- Shorelines Slots at Kawartha Downs
- Peterborough & the Kawarthas Economic Development
- Inclusive Advisory
- XXIV Social
- Strexer Harrop and Associates
- Birchview Design
- LETT Architects
- Kawartha Local
- Birchbark Media
- Greater Peterborough Chamber of Commerce
- Inclusive Advisory
- Sofie Andreou & Associates
- Ontario Carpet Supermart
- Red X Technologies
- Shaw Computer Systems
- Chalk Therapy
- Brant Basics
- Peterborough This Week
- Oldies 96.7
- 90.5 Extra
- Snapd Peterborough
- The Wolf 101.5
- CHEX Peterborough
- Fresh Radi