She didn’t win, but Edmonton-based entrepreneur Mallory Yornwe told her time on the APTN reality show bear lair It was a life changing experience.
In an interview with CBC, Yawnghwe said, “As an Indigenous entrepreneur, it’s been really cool to see a space being created to really showcase what we do for our communities. is,” he said. radio active.
This program started airing last Sunday. Each episode sees three different companies selling their products or services to “bears” or five established indigenous professionals for the chance to win funding from the $180,000 pool and the opportunity to receive guidance from the bears. pitch to
“I think something like this has been long overdue,” Yawnghwe said.
The show was the brainchild of Gina Jackson, advocate and entrepreneur of the Frog Clan of the Shishar Nation BC
The show’s website says it wants to be a platform to “foster the spirit of Indigenous businesses across the country.”
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A member of the Saddle Lake Cree Nation, Yawnghwe operates subscription box service Indigenous Box Inc. It aims to help people discover other Indigenous businesses by providing subscribers with samples of various products.
Yawnghwe and two other companies appeared in the first episode of the show.
The winner was Matt Lapointe, a Metis business owner who runs an Alberta K9 out of Lake Gull, Alta. 40 kilometers north of Red Deer. Using his experience as a retired officer with the RCMP and Brad His Tribe Police Service, Lapointe started a program to breed, raise and train dogs for detection services.
The team was able to get their hands on $10,000 and has already received more calls from people looking to use their service since the episode aired.
“We understood the need for detection dogs in our communities,” Lapointe said of his attempt to help indigenous communities prevent deaths from drug poisoning through drug detection.
Lapointe also said that if someone told a younger version of himself that he would work to train sniffer dogs all over the world, he wouldn’t believe it.
But now, he hopes the show will inspire others to pursue their dreams.
“If the show could inspire new Indigenous entrepreneurs, it was absolutely worth it for all of us.
Métis entrepreneur Jason Lizotte appeared on the show to raise awareness for his product.
Lizotte, a welder by profession, decided to build a portable, automated, solar-powered hand washing station after finding it difficult to find a place to wash her hands after filling up her truck while at work. did.
The Grande Prairie entrepreneur realized that the need extended beyond his circumstances. He created hand-washing stations to help people maintain hygiene during the pandemic.
In an interview with CBC, Risotto said, “Because of the pandemic, we are very kind to children and people with disabilities and we don’t want to touch anyone.” Edmonton AM.
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This product has been in development since 2019 when Lizotte started building handwashing stations in their garages.
Stations are sold to various communities, tourist destinations and trade fairs. It is also used for festivals.
Lizotte said one of the best parts of being on the show was the community support.
“Having Indigenous entrepreneurs featured on a TV show like this is very uplifting.”
Risotto said people across Canada are excited to discover Indigenous talent. He is scheduled to appear in the episode airing on October 2nd.
bear lair It was greenlit for a second season.