“Buy Veteran” Encourages Canadians to Support Veteran Entrepreneurs
Prince’s Trust Canada’s national directory makes it easy to locate
and purchase from Veteran-owned businesses
TORONTO, ONTARIO (October 17, 2022) -- Prince’s Trust Canada (PTC), a national charity established by His Majesty The King, today launches its 7th annual “Buy Veteran” awareness campaign to encourage people in Canada to celebrate and support Veterans by buying from and hiring Veteran-owned businesses. BuyVeteran.ca is a national directory that makes it easy to find local enterprises owned by current and former members of the Canadian Armed Forces and their families.
A signature initiative of PTC’s Operation Entrepreneur (OE) program, the directory features more than 680 businesses that are proudly Veteran owned and is searchable by province, city, category of goods and services, and includes an icon to identify sustainable businesses and products that operate using socially responsible and greener practices.
“This is a unique and tangible way for Canadians from across the country to help ease the transition and support former military personnel in their second careers,” says Farah Mohamed, CEO, Prince’s Trust Canada. “Buying Veteran creates jobs, improves social and economic outcomes, bolsters local supply chains and results in the creation of products and services that are innovative and address community needs and demand.”
Examples of Veteran-owned businesses listed in the BuyVeteran.ca directory include:
Vincent Sowa – Owner, Backed by Bees (Burlington, ON)
After serving in the Navy for 15 years, Vincent launched Backed by Bees in 2019. Having grown up immersed in the outdoors of rural Ontario, he knew he wanted to bring a sustainable product to the market. He now operates 700 beehives in Halton Region to produce sustainable mead and non-alcoholic, honey-based beverages and also runs a subscription food box service, delivering farm fresh goods throughout the region.
Leendert Bolle – Founder, Hero Dog Treats (St. Catharines, ON)
After serving 20+ years in the Army, Leendert is now committed to serving his community through entrepreneurship. He founded Hero Dog Treats, single ingredient dehydrated treats, so dog owners would know exactly what they were feeding their pets. He took part in PTC’s Operation Entrepreneur Boot Camp to help grow his business, which offers products in a variety of stores and online.
Dave Brimacombe – Founder of Wayward Distillery (Comox Valley, BC)
Wanting to make the world a better place, Dave was drawn to the Army’s peacekeeping and landmine removal initiatives. He served for 14 years before transitioning to the Air Force. Preparing for life after service, Dave took part in PTC’s Operation Entrepreneur Boot Camp in 2013, launching Wayward Distillery, Canada’s first honey-based distillery, in 2014. Faced with having to lay off employees during the pandemic, Dave pivoted to serve the community the best way he could - making hand sanitizer. Producing 20,000 litres a day, he supplied hand sanitizer to first responders, retail outlets across Western Canada and offered it free to those who couldn’t pay. He is back to producing his line of honey distilled Vodka and Gin, as well as other spirits, available in 300 retail locations across BC, via his tasting room, and online with shipping nationwide. Wayward Distillery employs Veterans, is Rainbow Certified, a net positive producer, and donates one percent of sales to protect pollinators.
Scott Harrigan – Owner of Glorope (Halifax & Dartmouth, NS)
After serving 25 years in the Navy, where he spent 1,450 days at sea, Scott was medically discharged from service. He purchased the Canadian franchise of Glorope in 2010. Looking to springboard his business, he participated in PTC’s Operation Entrepreneur programming in 2012, and in 2016, he bought the rights to Glorope international, expanding the product line to become a global leader in recreational and industrial glow-in-the-dark products. With the goal of saving more lives, he’s currently developing new industry-based products.
Gabrielle Breault – Chocolate Maker, Chocolate Sommelier and Founder of Petite Patrie Chocolate, (Kentville, NS)
Gabrielle joined the Air Force at 18, serving for 23 years before receiving medical release. With entrepreneurship as her goal, she travelled to Costa Rica in 2016 to learn how to make chocolate, and then to England to learn how to taste chocolate, earning the designation of Chocolate Sommelier. Preparing to launch her business, she completed the Operation Entrepreneur boot camp in 2017. She crafts her multi-award-winning fine chocolate in the traditional method, using cacao that is Pono Certified free of child and slave labour. She operates a café and fine chocolate shop in Kentville, offers Canada-wide shipping and plans to open an event centre.
Kevin Leboeuf – 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 was nominated to represent Canada at the G20 Young Entrepreneurs Alliance and his products have been featured in GQ and Rolling Stone magazine.
To find more Veteran-owned businesses visit BuyVeteran.ca.
Prince’s Trust Canada’s Operation Entrepreneur program helps Veteran entrepreneurs future-proof their businesses through a continuum of year-round training and support services including networking, skills development, mentorship and education. More than 660 Veterans have completed the highly successful FREE business boot camps, delivered in collaboration with various Canadian universities. 2022 marks the 10-year anniversary for Operation Entrepreneur which has supported more than 5000 Veterans.
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 job seekers and Veterans to explore, prepare for and gain access to purposeful employment for a more economically, socially, and environmentally just future. Our work is inspired by our Founder and President, HM The King, and is driven by his vision for a more sustainable future. Further information is available at princestrust.ca
Prince’s Trust Group
Prince’s Trust Canada is a member of The Prince’s Trust Group – a global network of charities including the work of Prince’s Trust U.K., Australia, Aotearoa New Zealand, USA and Prince’s Trust International. Together, we are providing meaningful support for young people, military communities, and environmental projects around the world. We draw on the strength and experience of a global network while developing and implementing solutions relevant to people living in Canada.
Andrea McLoughlin, Centric PR
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