January 25, 2017 — Murad Al-Katib, President and Chief Executive Officer of AGT Food and Ingredients Inc., inside the companies processing plant in Regina. TROY FLEECE / Regina Leader-Post

January 25, 2017 — Murad Al-Katib, President and Chief Executive Officer of AGT Food and Ingredients Inc., inside the companies processing plant in Regina. TROY FLEECE / Regina Leader-Post

Unique ‘pitch’ event features innovative entrepreneurs

Upcoming Kelowna event ChangeUP to feature social entrepreneurs making a difference in the world

Okanagan social entrepreneurs will have the chance to pitch their ideas and at the same time hear a story of a successful young difference-maker.

Murad Al-Katib will be the keynote speaker for ChangeUP 3, a pitch competition featuring local social entrepreneurs making a difference in the community, coming up in November.

Al-Katib will speak to the event about his company, which has delivered 700 million refugee meals made of Saskatchewan lentils, chickpeas, and wheat into the United Nations and International Red Cross and Red Crescent Syrian refugee programs.

His company along with the aid agencies came up with an idea to create family parcels, where essential items were bundled together. Prior to this, each item was distributed separately, meaning families had to pick up each item on a daily basis, and the NGOs struggled with loss of product.

The local event is called Okanagan Changemakers (presented by Valley First, a division of First West Credit Union) and will feature six Okanagan social enterprises vying to be named the Changemaker. The six finalists are Volinspire, Start Fresh, Hope for the Nations, Junior Achievement, Change Gamers and Silver Surfers.

Keynote speaker Al-Katib was named the Ernst & Young Global Entrepreneur of the Year (EY) and is the founder of AGT Foods and Ingredients, said to have made a significant impact on the world’s food security.

As explained by Mark Weinberger, the EY Global Chairman and CEO; “Through his vision and approach, Murad has transformed an industry and today leads a company which has seen exceptional growth in the last decade. He also demonstrates a clear purpose by embodying compassionate entrepreneurship, using his capabilities to make a positive impact by feeding millions and educating refugee families. Murad’s success and passion make him an exemplary EY World Entrepreneur of The Year winner”.

To purchase tickets for the Nov. 2nd event and to hear Al-Katib share his experience building a values-based business, visit the Okanagan Changemakers website.