Inspiring stories of strength and resolve exemplify the impact of small businesses on their communities and the value of cooperation
Toronto, ON, March 28, 2022 – From the bakery shop owner who learned to knead dough from her grandmother to the gallery owner whose love of art was fostered by a high school teacher, small businesses of all shapes and sizes start with an idea and grow because they serve the needs of their community.
In celebration of the small businesses who serve their community everyday with their ingenuity and perseverance, Desjardins and its network of agents and advisors are showing their support by awarding 150 small business owners with grants of $20,000. Business owners have inspired many through their grit and determination and Desjardins wants to support them as they continue to pave the way for Canada’s socio-economic recovery and renewal.
“Small businesses create jobs, develop innovative solutions to our challenges and they serve the needs of our community. Investing in small businesses means investing into the vitality of our society,” says Guy Cormier, President and CEO of Desjardins Group. “The GoodSpark Grants are a true testament to our commitment to the success of our entrepreneurs, our small businesses. We are proud to be supporting them in this way.”
Through its $3M commitment, Desjardins sought to support small businesses that demonstrated a commitment to innovation, investment in their employees, and/or sustainable development – allowing them to foster growth that will have a positive impact on their communities.
“We are so glad to have the support of Desjardins to help our business grow sustainably, both financially and environmentally,” say Anna Hunter, owner of Long Way Homestead in Ste. Genevieve, Manitoba, who plans to use the GoodSpark Grant to provide enhanced training for her employees and welcome newcomers into the business. “I believe entrepreneurs are important to revitalizing rural communities by providing meaningful opportunities for employment and engagement. The GoodSpark Grant will help us do that.”
Throughout the pandemic, Canadians have seen how great things can happen when people come together to solve problems. As a cooperative, Desjardins has always believed that collaboration is crucial to addressing the needs of its members, clients and communities. The GoodSpark program, now in its second year, is one of many initiatives launched by Desjardins to support and work alongside businesses and entrepreneurs to help them succeed.
This year’s diverse grant recipients come from across the country, and in many different industries. This includes Oakville, Ontario-based Ink & Iron, an auto restoration shop working to get more women interested in auto restoration, that will be using the grant to bring on apprentices and training in the community. Other recipients include Halifax-based Greenii, a paper up-cycling business that is giving new life to paper waste and providing employment opportunities for new immigrants.
The other inspiring stories of this year’s GoodSpark Grants recipients can be accessed by visiting www.goodsparkgrants.ca