News release: Be.Build.Brand. Entrepreneurship Program 2021 winners earn cash awards from Scotiabank and a major boost for their start-up
TORONTO, July 30, 2021—Toronto Community Housing (TCHC) is pleased to congratulate the winners of its 5th annual Be.Build.Brand. (B3) business start-up contest. Thanks to Scotiabank's generous support, these entrepreneurs will have the opportunity to turn their ideas into viable businesses.
This year's pitch contest for the nine finalists was held virtually, for the second year in a row.
The evening's first place winner was Rayya Brown. Ms. Brown's company concept, Ray Soleil Naturals, approaches hair care for curls, coils and beards with a holistic lens. As the first prize winner, she received a pitch prize of $2,500 from sponsor Scotiabank, as well as a range of marketing, design and mentoring supports.
The second prize of $1,500 was awarded to Srimathanky Srikugan. As a nursing student, she created her business, Daringly Caring, with a mission to provide self-care tools geared towards good mental health. Ms. Srikugan created a customizable journal and other approaches which aim to bring more wellness to frontline workers.
Third-prize winner Myuri Srikugan describes herself as an artist, a student and an entrepreneur. Her business, That Good Stuff, offers products and services which help address concerns around women's safety across Canada. She earned a $1,000 prize.
A key feature of the program includes 10 weeks of business courses, including exposure to relevant entrepreneurship content, industry guest speakers, and capacity-building opportunities. Participants receive support for their entrepreneurial ideas in the pre-incubation stage and help in turning their ideas into viable business plans.
Winners will receive Scotiabank pitch prizes, as well as follow-up mentoring and support, including free branding and marketing from a professional agency, and access to Digital Main Street for website development.
George Brown College is another key partner in the popular program, which is being offered twice this year for the first time. Applicants to Be.Build.Brand. must be Toronto Community Housing tenants between the ages of 18 and 29 who are not previous recipients of Be.Build.Brand. funds.
"We are thankful to Scotiabank for their investment in our entrepreneurship program. TCHC's Be.Build.Brand. program plays a valuable role in equipping young entrepreneurs."
- Sheila Penny, Acting President and CEO, Toronto Community Housing
"Scotiabank is proud to support TCHC's Be.Build.Brand. Entrepreneurship Program to help Toronto Community Housing tenants with the support they need to bring their entrepreneurial dreams to life. Through ScotiaRISE, we are helping to reduce barriers to meaningful opportunities and improve education and employment prospects for those who need it most."
- Sandra Odendahl, Scotiabank's Vice President of Social Impact & Sustainability
About Toronto Community Housing (TCHC)
Toronto Community Housing is Canada's largest social housing provider. We are owned by the City of Toronto and provide homes for nearly 60,000 low- and moderate-income households in more than 100 of the city's neighbourhoods. Our buildings represent a $10-billion public asset.