Annual “Buy Veteran” Campaign Kicks Off Across Canada to Encourage Canadians to Support Veteran-Owned Businesses
National directory established by Prince’s Trust Canada celebrates Veteran entrepreneurship and sustainable businesses making positive impacts
Toronto, ON (Nov 1, 2021) - Prince’s Trust Canada, a national charity whose mission is to empower young people and Veterans to build resilient, future-ready communities, is launching its annual awareness campaign to encourage Canadians to celebrate and support our Veterans in more ways than one through gratitude, and tangible gestures including buying from and hiring Veteran-owned businesses in your community. BuyVeteran.ca is a national platform where Canadians can find local enterprises owned by Veterans; and the directory is free to all members of the Canadian Armed Forces and their families to list their businesses. Since 2016, the directory has grown to include more than 630 businesses that are proudly Veteran owned.
“The service of our men and women in the Canadian Armed Forces doesn’t end when they leave the military; in fact, many medically released Veterans are under the age of 40 and have their whole lives ahead of them,” says Kathleen Kilgour, Senior Program Manager, Prince’s Trust Canada. “Veteran entrepreneurs are continuing to create positive economic and social impact in the community by contributing to the local economy, becoming mentors, affecting positive change, and inspiring others to pursue their passions – not to mention in their spirit of camaraderie, Veteran entrepreneurs create hundreds of employment opportunities for fellow Veterans.”
BuyVeteran.ca is a hub for entrepreneurship and is part of Prince Trust Canada’s Operation Entrepreneur (OE) program that assists Veterans and their families with successfully transitioning from service to second careers. The newly designed directory is searchable by province, city, category of goods and services and now includes an icon to identify businesses that incorporate sustainability from locally made, all-natural products that use recycled materials, to consulting services that help businesses build more responsible and greener practices.
“The BuyVeteran.ca directory highlights a diverse range of businesses including those that are environmentally-conscious, that foster employee and community well-being, are women-owned, and reflect diversity in leadership roles, as well as businesses that are creating job opportunities for Veterans and youth,” says Sharon Broughton, Chief Executive Officer, Prince’s Trust Canada. “As a national charity dedicated to building a sustainable future for Canada, our goal is to continue to expand our programs by fostering an inter-connected vision of sustainability as it relates to environmental, economic, and social impacts.”
Some sustainable businesses that are Veteran-owned and listed in the BuyVeteran.ca directory include:
- Kevin LeBoeuf – Founder of Educated Beards (Fredericton, NB)
In 2016, Kevin made the life-changing decision to begin his release from the Canadian Armed Forces having been diagnosed with PTSD. He marked the transition by growing a beard, and soon founded his own line of premier organic grooming oils using natural and environmentally friendly ingredients. In a few short years, he has been nominated to represent Canada at the G20 Young Entrepreneurs Alliance and featured in GQ and Rolling Stone magazine.
- Moira McKenzie – Owner of Flowers by Moira (North Bay, ON)
After 36 years of service in the Royal Canadian Air Force, Moira returned to North Bay, ON, and opened a floral boutique to share her inspirational approach to flower design. As a graduate of the Operation Entrepreneur Boot Camp, she has committed her floral boutique to sustainability by eliminating the use of single-use plastics including ribbons, wrapping, and floral foams, and only uses recycled or reusable containers for her arrangements.
- Cole Rosentreter – Founder of Pegasus Imagery (Edmonton, AB)
Cole and his team of military Veterans apply their aviation, engineering and analytic acumen to a successful technology company that uses autonomous aircraft and software to collect data for governments and industries. From emergency management of environmental disasters such as wildfires, as well as wildlife monitoring, agricultural surveillance, and public security, they deliver high resolution images, real time data, and solutions to make informed and sustainable decisions.
- Richard & Brady McNish – Owners of Dog House Brewing Company (Petawawa, ON)
A father-son team who recently completed the Operation Entrepreneur Boot Camp in 2021 and are pursuing their passion of brewing craft beer in the Ottawa area. Their private label beers are inspired by the military history of Garrison Petawawa with names such as “War Dog” and “18-Pounder” which was the symbol of Canadian artillery during the First World War. Richard is a helicopter pilot and a serving member of the Canadian Armed Forces (31 years), and Brady is a Combat Engineer Officer currently, with eight years of service.
- Jeremy Mitchell – Owner of Sierra Whiskey Leatherworks (Guelph, ON)
A Royal Highland Fusiliers of Canada Reservist since 2001 and Guelph Police Tactical Unit Team Leader for more than a decade, by 2019 Jeremy realized he had to refocus and deal with the side effects of being a front line first responder. With Operation Entrepreneur Boot Camp as a springboard, he creates heirloom quality leather goods embossed with unique designs that pay homage to his past work and supports local suppliers.
To find more Veteran-owned businesses in your community, visit BuyVeteran.ca.
This past year has emphasized the importance of economic resiliency and being adaptive. Prince’s Trust Canada is helping entrepreneurs to future-proof their businesses by offering a continuum of training and support services year-round including networking opportunities, mentorship, and education. Its highly successful Business Boot Camps are delivered in collaboration with select Canadian universities – offered virtually in 2019 and 2020 - and at no cost to Veterans. 2022 will mark the 10-year anniversary for Operation Entrepreneur, a remarkable suite of programs that has supported more than 4000 Veterans, with more than 600 attending our Boot Camps.
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, our 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. Our work is inspired by our Founder and President, His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales, and is driven by his vision for a more sustainable future.
Tran Nguyen, Centric PR