On May 26th, the University of Windsor’s EPICentre, in collaboration with Libro Credit Union, held the highly anticipated Social Enterprise Coaching Pitch Competition. The event showcased nine aspiring social entrepreneurs’ hard work and innovative ideas. The competition was exciting, with a distinguished panel of judges consisting of Lori Atkinson from Libro Credit Union, Hakeem Subair, founder of One Million Teachers, and Gurbeen Bhasin, founder of Aangen. The judges had the difficult job of choosing two winning teams out of the cohort. The presenting teams were:
- Allergy Eatables – Sadia Malik: Allergy Eatables addresses the needs of individuals with severe food allergies by providing them with allergy-friendly and delicious products. By ensuring safety and inclusivity, Sadia’s venture aims to enhance the quality of life for those restricted in their dietary choices.
- Cangro AgriFoods Inc. – Fuseinat Brimah: Cangro AgriFoods Inc. aspires to create a sustainable ecosystem for “farmpreneurs” cultivating tropical cultural produce locally. Focusing on farming as a service, Fuseinat envisions a future where communities can access fresh, locally-grown produce.
- Chef Help – Erica Goodman: Chef Help offers home visits with a purpose, combining nutritious meals with social connections for Windsor seniors. Erica’s initiative combats malnutrition and isolation, addressing two critical issues faced by the elderly population.
- Downtown Windsor Community Collaborative (DWCC) Community Kitchen – Robert Cameron: The DWCC Community Kitchen aims to foster healthy nutrition and social inclusion through collaborative efforts among residents. Robert’s project promotes community-driven solutions by creating and sharing meals, leveraging buying power, and developing microbusiness initiatives.
- EVOLVE – Laura Parent and Bianca Stefina: EVOLVE focuses on destigmatizing mental health and promoting community well-being. Laura and Bianca organize low-to-no-cost wellness events to encourage community connections while supporting existing mental health resources in the Windsor-Essex region.
- Gamechangers Leadership Academy – Frank Renaud: The Gamechangers Leadership Academy empowers individuals by enhancing leadership skills through movement and mindset development. Frank’s project aims to cultivate solid and aware leaders capable of making a lasting impact in their organizations and communities.
- Green Gift – Abhishek Patel: Green Gift provides a platform connecting individuals willing to donate items with those in need. Abhishek’s venture promotes sustainability, reduces waste, and offers a practical and cost-effective way to obtain necessary items.
- One Act – Kennedy Murray: One Act bridges educational gaps for elementary students who thrive outside the traditional learning system. Kennedy’s initiative ensures a flexible learning journey by customizing tutoring sessions, encouraging collaboration, and offering creative classes.
- Persian Arts & Cultural Centre – Maryam Safarzadeh: The Persian Arts & Cultural Centre is a hub for Persian art styles and events, fostering cultural exchange and understanding among diverse communities. Maryam’s project showcases the richness of Persian culture.
With such a talented pool of participants, the judges faced a challenging decision. After careful deliberation, two teams were chosen as winners. While all the teams exhibited exceptional dedication and creativity, the following stood out:
- First place went to Maryam with Persian Arts & Cultural Centre
- Second place went to Fuseinat with Cangro AgriFoods Inc.
The EPICentre 2023 Libro Social Enterprise Coaching Pitch Competition brought together aspiring social entrepreneurs with inspiring visions for positive change. The event showcased diverse initiatives addressing critical social issues and demonstrated the power of entrepreneurship to drive meaningful impact. Congratulations to all the participants and winners for their commitment to fostering social innovation. We eagerly anticipate witnessing the growth and success of these ventures in the future.