businessNOW™ is our round-up of business and organizational news from Peterborough and across the greater Kawarthas region.
This week, we’re featuring the Northumberland CFDC’s StrikeUP 2021 virtual conference for women entrepreneurs on Thursday, March 4th, featuring keynote speakers Manjit Minhas and Amber Mac along with a range of workshops and mentoring sessions. Also featured is The Avant-Garden Shop in Peterborough winning the Wild Bird Store of the Year award, Peterborough Microgreens launching an online store, and Movingmedia Canada partnering with the Canadian Mental Health Association Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge to spread messages of hope.
There’s also the opening of applications for the second cohort of the Innovation Cluster’s Women Breaking Barriers program, the Workforce Development Board’s EmployerOne survey of local businesses to better understand labour market demand, the Kawartha Lakes Starter Company Plus Small Business Recovery Grant Program, and free cybersecurity services for businesses in Kawartha Lakes and Haliburton County.
StrikeUP 2021 virtual conference for female entrepreneurs on March 4
Whether you’re an aspiring or experienced female entrepreneur, you won’t want to miss the free StrikeUP 2021 virtual conference happening from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Thursday, March 4th.
Hosted by the Northumberland CFDC with support from FedDev Ontario and the federal government’s Women Entrepreneurship Strategy, the conference is dedicated to help women entrepreneurs and provide a forum for growth, mentorship, and financing.
The conference features keynotes by two accomplished female entrepreneurs: Manjit Minhas, the self-described “beer baroness” who is the founder of the 10th largest brewery in the world and one of the “dragons” on CBC’s popular Dragons’ Den TV series, and Amber Mac, a world-renowned expert on all things marketing, technology, innovation, and transformation who co-hosts the award-winning podcast The AI Effect and, most recently, the Marketing Disrupted podcast.
Other workshop speakers and panellists include Sarah Stockdale (founder of Growclass), Dr. Shimi Kang (Harvard-trained physician and bestselling author), Linda P. Cousineau (founder and CEO of Empower-Growth Inc.), Rachel Bartholomew (founder and CEO of Hyivy Health), Dr. Shelley Morgan (founder and CEO of Rx Billing Genie), Julie Ellis (co-founder of Mabel’s Labels and chair of the board of Angel One Investment Network), Brenda Ahenkorah (founder and CEO of My Well Self), Melissa Davis (founder and CEO of Ugly Dukling), Ilana Ben-Ari (founder, CEO, and product design lead of Twenty One Toys), Alesia Blackwood (co-founder and owner of Unlock Math), Natalie Dusome (owner of Poppy And Peonies), Mallory Graham (owner of Tribal Trade Co.), Lesley Smith (owner of Imprinted Apparel Store), and Claudette Commanda (Algonquin Elder/Knowledge Keeper).
There will also be eight “Mentor Meetups”, one-hour interactive sessions where you can network and learn about topics including intellectual property, employee retention, strategic sales, mental well-being, exporting to the Asia-Pacific region, writing successful funding proposals, and more.
By registering for the conference, you could also win one of eight seats for a 90-minute virtual roundtable session with Amber Mac on Thursday, March 8th.
For more information, including the agenda, and to register for the free conference, visit www.strikeup.ca.
The Avant-Garden Shop in Peterborough wins Wild Bird Store of the Year award
Brenda Ibey, owner of The Avant-Garden Shop in downtown Peterborough, had announced her business has been awarded the 2021 Wild Bird Store of the Year by Newmarket-based Wild Bird Trading, the leading supplier to the wild bird industry across Canada for the past 28 years.
Ibey, who is celebrating 18 years in business, says she has seen a surge in the sale of bird feeders, bird food, and accessories this past year.
“People find bird watching very relaxing,” Ibey explains. “And that’s a good thing right now given the state of the world. We’re so pleased to be able to offer customers not only top quality products supplied to us by Wild Bird Trading, but also expert advice to help them get the most out of their bird-watching experience.”
For more information about The Avant-Garden Shop, visit www.avantgardenshop.com/.
Peterborough Microgreens launches online store
Stephanie Hendren, creator of Peterborough Microgreens, has officially launched an online store supplying microgreens products from her family-owned, sustainable urban farm in the west end of Peterborough.
Not to be confused with sprouts, microgreens are edible vegetable, herb, or grain seedlings. They are usually harvested when the first pair of fully expanded leaves appear, which is within one to three weeks from when they are planted. Microgreens are used in a wide variety of healthy, homemade foods. In addition to their nutritional benefits, microgreens are diverse in flavours, textures, and colours.
Hendren was one of the 10 women who took part in the first cohort of the Innovation Cluster’s Women Breaking Barriers program. Her business, which uses vertical farming to achieve mass plant growth within a small space, is working towards becoming a carbon-negative farm by using green power and implementing sustainable business practices, and is one of the only microgreens providers in Ontario to use compostable packaging.
“Microgreens can sit on your window sill and are easy to harvest at home,” Hendren says. “As the pandemic continues on, more people are looking for healthy lifestyle habits. I hope our customers can adopt these habits now and continue on following the pandemic.”
Hendren has been growing microgreens on her kitchen window sill for years after being introduced to them by her professional chef sister. She runs Peterborough Microgreens with her partner Daniel Etmanski, who specializes in building climate-controlled grow rooms for indoor farming.
Five varieties of live microgreens are now available for order, including pea shoots, broccoli, mustard, clover, and a radish mix, with free delivery offered within Peterborough. For more information and to order, visit www.peterboroughmicrogreens.com
Movingmedia Canada partners with Canadian Mental Health Association Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge to spread messages of hope
Peterborough-based Movingmedia Canada Inc. has partnered with the Canadian Mental Health Association Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge (CMHA HKPR) to share messages of knowledge, hope, and belonging via digital billboard advertisements throughout Peterborough and Kawartha Lakes.
Given the impact of the pandemic on mental health, the advertisements are meant to spread messages of hope and resiliency as well as direct anyone who may be struggling towards care.
“We are extremely grateful for the support of Movingmedia who approached our organization hoping to donate the advertising space for this project,” says Jake Veitch, CMHA HKPR’s manager of community engagement and education. “Without them, this initiative would not have been possible. Our goal is to share messages that instill hope and encourage individuals to be open about their mental health.”
CMHA HKPR continues to provide essential mental health supports to individuals in the city and county of Peterborough, Kawartha Lakes, Northumberland, and Haliburton. Call 705-748-6711 for information on programs and services or, for immediate support, contact Four County Crisis at 705-745-6484 or toll-free at 1-866-995-9933.
Apply for second cohort of Women Breaking Barriers program by February 12
Applications are open for the second cohort of the Innovation Cluster’s Women Breaking Barriers program.
You have until noon on Friday, February 12th to become one of the 10 female entrepreneurs who will participate in the six-month program, which is designed to fast track the development of businesses founded by women in the science, technology, engineering, mathematics (STEM) and social innovation fields.
The program provides specific and advanced training sessions geared towards female founders, as well as weekly mentorship with advisors, peer-to-peer learning, and community networking. At the end of the six months, participants have the opportunity to pitch their businesses to angel investors. There is no cost to participate in the program.
The next six-month cohort of Women Breaking Barriers begins on Monday, March 1st. To learn more about the program, including eligibility requirements, visit innovationcluster.ca/breakbarriers/.
The Innovation Cluster is also holding a free virtual information session on Zoom for interested applicants from 12 to 1 p.m. on Tuesday, February 2nd. The session will provide an overview of the program, the application process, tips for your application, and more. For more information and to register, visit eventbrite.com/e/135880946569.
Workforce Development Board’s EmployerOne survey of local businesses to better understand labour market demand
Workforce development boards across Ontario are running the EmployerOne survey, a survey of local businesses to better understand labour market demand.
designed to collect information from employers on a range of issues including the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on your workforce, projected vacancies, hiring intentions, recruitment strategies and challenges, as well as employers’ perspectives on candidate skills, education, and training.
After analysis, responses from local businesses will be compiled and released to local schools, community partners, government agencies, and the public so that they may see the characteristics of the local labour market.
For more information about the EmployerOne survey for eastern Ontario, visit eotb-cfeo.on.ca/employer-one-survey/. You can complete the survey at surveymonkey.com/r/EmployerOne_Survey_Eastern_Ontario.
The survey runs until Friday, February 26th. All survey responses are confidential, and will only be used for statistical purposes and published in aggregate form.
Apply for Kawartha Lakes Starter Company Plus Small Business Recovery Grant Program by January 29
There’s still time to apply for the Starter Company Plus Small Business Recovery Grant Program, offered by the Kawartha Lakes Small Business Entrepreneurship Centre (KLSBEC).
KLSBEC has shifted the focus of its Starter Company Plus program to support businesses negatively affected by COVID-19 and suffering a loss in revenue.
You have until Friday, January 29th to apply for the program, which supports newer small businesses that have been in operation full-time for one to five years and find themselves with unexpected challenges. These challenges could be expenses related to physical changes or operational changes.
The program’s goal is to help businesses adopt new tools, increase their online presence, and implement new business strategies. Grants of up to $4,000 will be awarded to seven eligible applicants to help offset costs associated with this transition.
For more information and to apply, visit www.kawarthalakes.ca/en/business-growth/starting-a-business.aspx.
Free cybersecurity services for businesses in Kawartha Lakes and Haliburton County
In partnership with information technology consulting firm E-Tech, the Kawartha Lakes CFDC and the Haliburton CFDC have launched a new initiative designed to provide critical cybersecurity and support services to small- and medium-size enterprises in Kawartha Lakes and Haliburton County.
As more and more businesses switch to online sales and services due to the pandemic, they are at risk of being vulnerable to security breaches or hackers. The new program includes a network security assessment for participating businesses, which can identify and detect a wide range of internal cybersecurity threats, as well as a one-hour cybersecurity awareness training webinar covering topics including phishing, ransomware, social engineering, safe web browsing and more.
Funded through the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund delivered in partnership with FedDev Ontario. This new program is open to small- and medium-size enterprises in Kawartha Lakes and Haliburton County at no cost. Businesses can register at www.etechcomputing.com/managed-services/cyber-security-services/.