Farmbound’s showcase at Kelowna Vegan Festival. Photo: Sydney Morton/Capital News

Okanagan small businesses shortlisted in grant contest

Three Okanagan businesses have made the top 75

Three Okanagan businesses have been shortlisted in the top 75 for the first Canadian Fedex Small Business Grant Contest.

The contest offers a total of $100,000 that will be disseminated to 10 Canadian small businesses. The grand prize will offer a $25,000 grant along with a meeting with FedEx Express Canada president Lisa Lisson, a branding marketing workshop, and a meeting with a Canadian business consultant. Silver will win $15,000 as well as a meeting with a Canadian business consultant, and Bronze will be shared with eight winners who will each receive $5,000.

Related:A fresh Kelowna business stands out of the bunch

Jaye Coward, Farmbound

Coward, an herbalist who believes in using plants and food as medicine, created Farmbound during a permaculture design course. Farmbound is a subscription-based organic food delivery program where local and organic food is delivered to the door, creating a more accessible way to support local farmers in the Okanangan.

“I just have this intense passion for local food, so I decided that with my business I could focus on what I am good at, which is selling and then the farmers could focus on what they are good at,” Coward said. “I wanted to figure out what was preventing people from buying local food and it’s access. The farmers market is only open a few days a week… so on my platform I am bringing the farmers market to people.”

The prize money would help Coward expand her business and fulfill her desire to work with consumers about adjusting their purchasing habits including waste and sustainability.

Sierra Birch, Birch Hill Studio

“It’s an amazing opportunity for a small business like mine,” Birch said. “It was really amazing that our followers on Instagram really made sure people voted for us.”

The boutique in Vernon was overwhelmed with support from its online following, and attributes its success thus far in the contest to them. Birch however, wants to give back even more to the community if her boutique is named in the top 10 finalists. With the money, she plans on making more of the sweaters and t-shirts where she donates $10 or $20, depending on the item purchased, to Cici Life Farm Sanctuary, Hoof Prints Barnyard and the Free To Be Talks program. Birch wants to focus on reinvesting her winnings into the Okanagan community.

“If you give back to your community, they are going to give back to you,” Birch said.

Chris Pafiolis, Sweet Legs

After starting the body positive brand with his wife, Addie, Sweet Legs focused on looking great but also feeling comfortable at any size. The business idea stemmed from their want to instill confidence to wear whatever they want and be comfortable doing it instead of being told by the fashion houses and influencers.

“We folded it into our company and have now stuck to those values. If you want to wear robots (patterns on your leggings), wear robots. Why should you not wear them?” Pafiolis said.

When the couple found out they were short listed for the grants they could not believe it, after a last-minute submission they thought they had no chance of making it.

“It’s unbelievable, it is kind of humbling and at the same time kind of mind-blowing to think that there are thousands of businesses that were put into this and that we made the short list. It’s mind-blowing to see our following and how quickly our own business has grown. Usually you don’t get to see from the outside very often, so it’s been unbelievable. It’s just great to see,” Pafiolis said.

Related:Women in Business: Empowerment and confidence through fitness

The winners will be announced June 19.

To report a typo, email:
newstips@kelownacapnews.com
.


@sydneyrmorton
sydney.morton@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

More wildfires discovered near Lumby, Cherryville

Canadian Armed Troops in Okanagan, Mabel Creek blaze creeps towards lake

Apple Triathlon organizers to keep a close eye on air quality

Organizers bring event is back this weekend after taking 2017 off

Naramata firefighters diverted after fires breaches Burns Lake camp

The crew was sent to Vanderhoof after a wildfire reportedly overtook a camp near Burns Lake

UPDATE: Elderly woman injured crossing Kelowna street

Crews on scene helping struck pedestrian

UPDATE: Kelowna’s crying judge refuses to pull herself from case

Judge Monica McParland has refused to pull herself off the case.

Armed Troops in Okanagan to help firefighters

Canadian Armed Forces arrived in Vernon Thursday, being deployed to West Kelowna fire

Safeway union urgest rejection of mediator recommendations

Says mediator asks for too many concessions

Naramata firefighters diverted after fires breaches Burns Lake camp

The crew was sent to Vanderhoof after a wildfire reportedly overtook a camp near Burns Lake

To address peacock problem, B.C. city moves ahead on trapping plan

Surrey’s new bylaw focuses on ensuring people no longer feed the birds, ahead of relocation

Hospitals to see ‘delays’ in care after losing Saudi students, health group says

About 1,000 Saudi residents called back to kingdom after suspending diplomatic relations with Canada

Bernier diatribe against ‘extreme multiculturalism’ boosts Liberal coffers

Party spokesperson Braeden Caley says online donations doubled, social media engagement quadrupled

‘Disjointed’ system hinders British Columbia First Nations in wildfire fight

More than 550 wildfires were burning in B.C. and crews were bracing for wind and dry lightning

Castlegar bridge designed by architect of collapsed Italian bridge

Riccardo Morandi designed the Kinnaird Bridge, which is part of Highway 3.

Federal government announces over $115 million to Royal Canadian Navy

Defence Minister Harjit S. Sajjan was at Victoria’s CFB Esquimalt to announce missile system upgrades

Most Read