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Annual “Buy Veteran” Campaign Kicks Off Across Canada

November 5, 2020

Annual “Buy Veteran” Campaign Kicks Off Across Canada Encouraging Canadians to Support Veteran-Owned Businesses During Remembrance Week, and Beyond

Prince’s Trust Canada is also calling on the business community to mentor aspiring veteran entrepreneurs

Toronto, ON (November 5, 2020) — Prince’s Trust Canada, a national charity established by His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales, is launching its annual awareness campaign to encourage Canadians to celebrate and support our veterans in more ways than one.  In addition to showing our gratitude during Remembrance Day to those who served our country, there are tangible ways that Canadians can support veterans year-round such as buying from a veteran-owned business, or lending mentorship to aspiring veteran entrepreneurs.

The “Buy Veteran” campaign and mentorship initiative are part of Operation Entrepreneur, a program aimed at helping Canadian Armed Forces members, veterans, and their families successfully transition from service to explore second career options, and build the community necessary to confidently start phase two of their lives.

“Throughout neighbourhoods across Canada, there are veteran entrepreneurs and heroes among us who have served our country and are now pursuing their passions and second careers, creating positive economic and social impact in their community,” said Sharon Broughton, Chief Executive Officer of Prince’s Trust Canada.  “During these unprecedented times, we are reminded of their strength, resiliency and tenacity. Their careers in the Canadian Armed Forces taught them leadership, strategic planning, creative problem-solving, execution, focus and determination. Veterans are highly skilled and experienced individuals who possess many attributes required to succeed as entrepreneurs.”

“Our Buy Veteran campaign is a way to celebrate veteran business owners and the important contributions veterans make after service. One of the easiest ways to directly make a tangible impact is to buy and use the services of a veteran-owned business near you,” adds Broughton.  “When you buy from a veteran-owned business, you’re not only getting an excellent product or service, you’re directly supporting those who have served our country, thanking them for their service and encouraging them on their new life mission.”

The Canadian Veteran Business Directory (www.buyveteran.ca), provides a platform to search local veteran-owned businesses in every province and from a wide range of products and services including coffee shops, dog treats, florists, consultants, designers, cabinet makers, home inspectors, fitness coaches and more.  All members of the Canadian Armed Forces community, including veterans, serving members and their families, can list their businesses in the directory at no cost.  Since launching the directory in 2016, there are currently more than 440 veteran businesses listed across Canada, and growing.

In addition to buying veteran, Canadians can become mentors to established and aspiring entrepreneurs.  Operation Entrepreneur’s mentoring initiative matches veterans with business professionals and community leaders to share their expertise and provide valuable perspective, advice and encouragement to help veterans reach their personal and business goals.

“Our mentoring program welcomes participants from all sectors and diverse professional backgrounds,” says Kathleen Kilgour, Senior Program Manager of Operation Entrepreneur.  “Everyone brings life experiences and shared connections, no matter how far apart our differences may seem. Mentoring is a symbiotic relationship that is as just as valuable and life-changing for the mentee as it is to the mentor.”

Operation Entrepreneur is currently looking for volunteer mentors who have demonstrated entrepreneurial success, professional experience, and passion for the cause.  For more information and to sign up as a mentor or mentee, please visit www.operationentrepreneur.ca/programs/mentoring.

The award-winning Operation Entrepreneur (POE) program provides a continuum of training and support services plus the network building opportunities needed to start and grow successful businesses – including its hugely successful business intensive ‘boot camps’ offered through select Canadian universities – at no cost to veterans.

Ryan Pagnacco is a graduate of the Operation Entrepreneur boot camp at Memorial University in 2017.  He served 15 years in the military, and is the owner of Enable Innovation Product Development Inc., based in Waterloo, ON.  “In the military you receive incredible training and have so many different experiences, but sometimes it isn’t obvious how they can be applied to a civilian career. With entrepreneurship, I’m using a wide range of transferrable skills I acquired in the military to help me run my business,” says Pagnacco.

The boot camps provide veterans and transitioning members of the Canadian Armed Forces with a crash course in business essentials including; marketing, finance, accounting and other need-to-know business practices. To-date, 570 veterans have graduated from POE’s boot camps, and many graduates go on to become mentors in the program.

About Prince’s Trust Canada

Prince’s Trust Canada is a national charity whose vision is a sustainable future for Canada, where young people and communities thrive. Through innovative partnerships and guided by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, their programs help young people overcome barriers to employment and prepare for the future of work, provide entrepreneurship training and support for Veterans, and address climate change mitigation and adaptation. Their work is inspired by their Founder and President, His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales, and is driven by his vision for a more sustainable future. princestrust.ca

Media Contact:
Tran Nguyen, Centric PR
416-220-4285
tran@centricpr.ca

Prince’s Trust Canada, Marketing and Communications Manager:
André Garneau
647-355-3106
andre.garneau@princestrust.ca