Five deserving Canadian small business owners receive $20,000 grant to support business growth
TORONTO, July 6, 2022 /CNW/ - Pizza Hut® Canada is celebrating a successful first year of its Equal Slice Program, having supported more than 50 small businesses across the country. In partnership with Initiative for a Competitive Inner City (ICIC), the Equal Slice Program provides free education, virtual training and mentorship opportunities specifically to minority, immigrant, Indigenous, and disabled-owned small businesses throughout Canada. Five deserving participants received a $20,000 grant to help grow and strengthen their business.
"At Pizza Hut, we believe opportunity is meant to be shared, just like pizza," says Tatiana Carrascal, President and General Manager, Pizza Hut Canada. "We were inspired to start the Equal Slice Program to support small business owners across Canada and ensure they have access to the education, training and resources they need to succeed. We're excited to be able to support minority business owners to further drive equality in the Canadian business landscape."
Year One of the Equal Slice Program welcomed more than 50 minority business owners from across Canada. As part of its 2022 campaign, Pizza Hut Canada is excited to profile entrepreneurs behind four successful small businesses:
Asha Wheeldon, Kula Foods – Vancouver, BC
Kula is a plant-based food producer on a mission to provide Afro-Caribbean nutrition to plant-forward and plant-curious customers in a united community. Through their warm collaboration and inspirational voice, they help their customers feel nourished and empowered
"Equal Slice's focus on teaching and mentorship is something I haven't seen another program offer to the BIPOC community on a national scale. Hearing from other entrepreneurs and being able to learn from their success stories was incredibly motivating."
Cassie and Christine, I'll Know it When I See It™ – Vancouver, BC
I'll Know It When I See It™ is a two-woman show creating sweet + slightly snarky paper goods™ and gifts. Sometimes nostalgic, often funny and occasionally Asian-inspired, their products include greeting cards for all occasions, stationery, stickers, magnets, puzzles, wine tags and more.
"Participating in the Equal Slice Program helped us think strategically and take our business to the next level. It allowed us to interrupt the inertia of our day-to-day business activities to critically think about where we are and where we want to go."
Diséiye Thompson, DISÉIYE – Toronto, Ont.
DISEIYE is a made-to-order contemporary eveningwear brand. The self-titled brand emerged in 2016 by Nigerian born artist Diseiye Thompson, and draws design inspiration from their culture, their various intersecting communities, especially the ballroom community, as well as their vast knowledge of fashion history.
"My favourite part of the Equal Slice program was the invaluable mentorship. Being able to connect with fellow business owners with diverse backgrounds and experiences helped me put things into perspective about my own journey."
Jean-Philippe Vézina, Jardins Lakou – Montréal, Que.
Inspired by the Creole gardens in Haiti, Jardins Lakou is a new bio-intensive micro-farm. Located in Dunham in Quebec's Eastern Townships, the farm produces healthy and fresh Afro Caribbean vegetables, including Ocra, sweet potato and varieties of eggplants.
"The Equal Slice program was a terrific opportunity to develop my network. I still work with the business coaches today. Being able to participate in training and education specific to my business goals was a huge asset."
A cohort of ICIC's Inner City Capital Connections (ICCC) program, Equal Slice provides participants with a free, 40-hour "mini-MBA" program that incorporates education, virtual webinars and coaching led by university professors and local experts. Business owners are invited to take part in digital learning sessions and one-on-one business appointments with their mentor to discuss and help tackle immediate challenges facing their business.
Canadians can nominate small business owners from minority backgrounds in their networks and communities to be considered for Year Two of the Equal Slice Program, which kicks-off fall 2022. The application deadline for the 2023 Canada cohort is August 5, 2022. To learn more and nominate someone, please visit icic.org/urban-business-initiatives/inner-city-capital-connections/equal-slice-canada.
To learn more about Pizza Hut and the Equal Slice Program, and to read about small business owners who participated in the Equal Slice Program, please visit www.PizzaHut.ca/EqualSlice.
About Pizza Hut Canada
Pizza Hut is proud to be one of Canada's largest pizza restaurant chains with over 500 locations locally. Globally Pizza Hut is one of the world's largest pizza restaurant companies with more than 18,000 restaurants in over 100 countries. No matter where you find a Pizza Hut, they are making sure each meal customers enjoy is safe, delicious, and unmistakably Pizza Hut.
Pizza Hut, Inc. is a subsidiary of Yum! Brands, Inc. (NYSE: YUM). Hungry for more information?
The Initiative for a Competitive Inner City (ICIC) was founded by renowned Harvard Business School Professor Michael Porter in 1994 as a research and strategy organization that today is widely recognized as the preeminent authority on urban economic growth. ICIC drives inclusive economic prosperity in under-resourced communities through innovative research and programs to create jobs, income, and wealth for local residents.
Inner City Capital Connections (ICCC) is a tuition-free executive leadership training program designed by ICIC to help business owners in under-resourced communities build capacity for sustainable growth in revenue, profitability, and employment. ICCC is uniquely designed to provide three critical elements for sustainable growth: Capacity-building education, one-on-one coaching, and connections to capital and capital providers. To learn more, visit icic.org.
SOURCE Pizza Hut Canada
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