For women under the age of 40, initiating and/or administering an enterprise or business.
Award Presented by:
Kim Mathieson, VP Human Resources, Piller's Fine Foods
Afra is an incredibly kindhearted and brilliant young mind. In 2020, at 17 years old she launched Eterna Beauty, which started as a cosmetics small business now is one of the biggest eyelash extension companies in our region known for service and certifications. With Eterna Beauty, Afra aims to not only make the women in her community look & feel beautiful but also teach other women to successfully build their beauty business from scratch. With her business Afra is able to dedicate a large percentage of her earnings to people in need, local or international.
After graduating from her Event Management post-grad program in Spring of 2019, Amelia knew it was time to start the business she always dreamed of. She began wedding planning with a peer from school. Soon the pandemic hit, and every booking they had was canceled or postponed. It was time to change things up. Amelia posted a picture on her socials of her mom's floral pressing hobby and received tons of positive feedback. Immediately she saw the opportunity to preserve wedding-specific florals with the help of her mom. Together, they started Grant Wedding Wishes and have never looked back.
Dr. Atinuke is the founder of EM Wigs, an online, black-owned wig boutique offering quality, convenient and affordable hairstyle solutions to BIPOC women. She believes that whether it is for fashion or to cover hair-loss, no woman should experience a self-esteem crisis. In 2019, EM Wigs started in Guelph. Atinuke completed her PhD in 2020 and moved to Kitchener alongside her business in 2021. She expanded her services to other women as the issues are similar. EM Wigs has grown rapidly through Atinuke’s commendable management skills, contributing to the local innovation and economic growth. She is a wife, mother, and a community builder.
Cheryl is a real estate agent, designer and overall, just an incredibly passionate, innovative and empowering entrepreneur. She’s inclusive and brings women together to celebrate alongside like-minded women. She is doing real estate differently. She’s bringing women together through empowerment and shared knowledge in so many different ways - fundraisers for Marillac Place, female focused realtor networking events promoting collaboration over competition, as a committee member of a female podcasting community, coaching fellow mom-owned businesses, and more! What she’s doing is incredibly inspiring. Her passion for her career and helping women succeed and feel supported is next to none.
Waterloo Region native, Danielle Rose is the CEO and Co-founder of Ceragen, a Kitchener based biotech company developing probiotics for plants to increase crop yields in hydroponic fruit and vegetable production. As a resident of the University of Waterloo Velocity startup incubator, Ceragen is working to transform Canadian and Global horticulture by increasing crop yields as much as 20%. As CEO of Ceragen, Danielle leads a team of scientists and engineers who are pushing the boundaries of applied microbiology and plant growth promoting bacterial research.
Georgia McNab is a talented milliner and successful business owner of Off the Block in Cambridge, Ontario. Off the Block specializes in custom-made one-of-a-kind hats using repurposed unique materials that showcase the personality and style of the wearer. Her hats have gained popularity not just in her local community, but also nationally and internationally, with clients from all over Canada and the USA. Georgia's innovative and artistic approach to millinery has contributed to the growth and diversification of arts and culture in Waterloo Region. She is a leader in entrepreneurship and a role model for women in the creative industries.
As a businesswoman and professional coach and mother of two, Kyley Paul is a serial entrepreneur and lifelong learner who has founded three companies over the past eight years. Kyley is the founder of a consulting company in the food and health regulatory industry that supports other start ups in navigating the Canadian market. Working with the Waterloo Region Small Business Centre, she shares her knowledge and provides mentorship to local emerging companies as they navigate business-related challenges. Kyley is also a dedicated volunteer in the community, sharing her time with the Business Education Program, OK2BMe, Junior Achievement, the United Way and coaching powerlifting for the Special Olympics.
Liz Foley is a professional dog trainer that has created an international community of support and services for dog owners and dog lovers. She is a business owner, trainer, host of a top-10 podcast, community leader, and mentor. Liz's talents as a dog trainer and entrepreneur are widespread and impactful. She has created and executed many initiatives that have grown her business internationally and served to connect individual dog owners from across the world. Leading by example, she shows people how to be more thoughtful, understanding, intuitive, and respectful not only in their relationships with their dogs, but with other humans.
Loyda Rodriguez is owner lead coordinator of Modern Functions, an Event Coordination Service based out of Waterloo Region, a proud Latina and mother of two. Loyda has a passion to work with entrepreneurial women, raising awareness to new and upcoming businesses especially owned by mothers and minorities. With over 5 years in the wedding industry and countless heartwarming reviews from her clients, she strives to provide each client with the best attention possible to ensure their vision of a perfect day come to life. Offering coordination for events such as workshops, book launches, multi-day retreats and of course weddings, Modern Functions has been Loyda's greatest joy & accomplishment.
Patrice Whiffen is the Founder of Patrice Whiffen Marketing + Events, a boutique marketing, events, and multimedia firm specializing in sports and entertainment. With fifteen years of experience working with brands such as The Toronto Maple Leafs, Big Machine Label Group, PrimeTime Sports & Entertainment, The Hamilton Tiger-Cats, Warner Music Canada, Boots and Hearts Music Festival, The CFL Alumni Association, The Kitchener Rangers and many more, Patrice has established herself as a young leader in social media marketing, event management and multimedia.
A multi-venture founder, local tech leader, and passionate women’s health advocate who has inspired many, Rachel Bartholomew is a powerhouse on the Waterloo Region entrepreneurship scene. Rachel has transformed herself from a soft-spoken young woman of promise to a profoundly courageous and entrepreneurial leader who is making significant contributions to women’s health and the Waterloo Region. Rachel’s personal experience with cervical cancer inspired her to create Hyivy Health, a Waterloo venture that provides and advocates for patient-centred pelvic health care services.
Shelby owns Clean & Tidy which is an all natural cleaning and organization company for residential and small commercial businesses in KW and surrounding areas. Shelby started the company with just her and quickly grew to now a team of 40 and over 600 clients a month after just 9.5 years in business. She puts the needs of her team and clients first. Thinking of the products being used and ensuring they are safe for all to be using and benefitting from in the locations they are cleaning. Allowing for a safe environment
Stephanie Melo is a local marketing manager and so helpful with local businesses and in our community. Stephanie specializes in Social Media Management, Content Creation, Digital Marketing Services, Tech Support & More! Stephanie shows such a passion for what she does and her clients, no-matter your budget! Stephanie will do whatever to make it work! She is so quick and efficient! You can ask her to get something done and she will do it in such a timely manner. She can make your business look professional and get it where it needs to be in the digital marketing world!