Canada’s Entrepreneur Ecosystem Gets a Boost As Funding Recipients Announced

Canada’s Entrepreneur Ecosystem Gets a Boost As Funding Recipients Announced

October 18, 2018 Today, Startup Canada and TruShield Insurance announced the four recipients of the Entrepreneur Success Fund, which provides grants to organizations that develop tools, technologies, programs, and initiatives that support entrepreneur access to information, training, mentorship, capital, and connectivity to corporate Canada, and initiatives that have the potential to benefit more entrepreneurs through leveraging the Startup Canada network to scale.

Entrepreneurial success is about freedom, independence, solving problems, creating jobs, growing revenue, making an impact, and building a better tomorrow. But, the road to success is not guaranteed, with 4 out of 5 businesses failing in the first five years.

Through the Entrepreneur Success Fund, Startup Canada and TruShield Insurance aim to reduce the high rate of entrepreneurial failure by investing in the initiatives to connect entrepreneurs with training, mentors, markets, and growth opportunities. The recipients are awarded grants of up to $2,500, featured on, and will scale their impact through Startup Canada’s network of more than 50 Startup Communities.

The recipients of the 2018 Entrepreneur Success Fund are:

  • CommuniHelp, a Toronto-based platform that connects skilled professionals to volunteer opportunities in their area. CommuniHelp’s Co-Founder Hanna Zaidi will use the grant to market and scale the platform across Canada.
  • The Ville Cooperative, a Fredericton-based holistic community center that provides education and health programs, and food security through their cooperative farmers market. The Impact Coordinator at The Ville Cooperative Nick Curtis, will use the grant to provide their Impact Market participants with micro-loans, giving them a small jump-start to enhance their business capacity and reach more clients.
  • Mentorly, a Montreal-based online platform that matches creatives across all industries with mentors. Ashley Werhun, Co-Founder and CEO will use the grant to invest in  Mentorly’s user experience and welcomes the opportunity to scale with the Startup Canada network
  • LatAm Startups, a Toronto-based company that connects LatAm startups to Toronto’s ecosystem while helping them to scale their businesses across North America. Its CEO Miryam Lazarte will use the grant to host a two-week bootcamp to inspire newcomers to build new high-tech companies.

More than 150 applications from across Canada, were adjudicated the Members of the Entrepreneur Success Advisory Council, including Nevin Buconjic, the Leader of Startup Sault Ste. Marie, Patrick Lyver, Leader of Startup Durham, Melloney Campbell, Leader of Startup Peel,  Nunzio Presta, CEO of BizON, Maria Locker, CEO of Mompreneur, Scott Bowman, Senior Director at Futurpreneur, and Emily Rose Antflick, Founder and Chief Community Cultivator at Shecosystem.

“I started Startup Canada to connect, unify and strengthen Canada’s entrepreneurship community; to unleash the entrepreneurial potential of individuals and our entire nation,” said Victoria Lennox, CEO of Startup Canada. “Today, I am thrilled to have the opportunity to further promote, support and scale the teams of LatAm Startups, Mentorly, The Ville Cooperative, and CommuniHelp, to advance our shared purpose of growing Canada’s entrepreneurship potential.”

“Here at TruShield Insurance, we know the obstacles small business owners have to overcome to make it past the daily finish line,” says Tony O’Brien, Executive Vice President, TruShield Insurance. “That’s why we’re so proud of the recipients of the Entrepreneur Success Fund, because not only are they winning every day, but they’re working to ensure other entrepreneurs like them continue on their journeys and overcome the high rate of small business failure.”

For more information please contact:

Maddie Stiles
Marketing, Communications and Digital Production Administrator
613-627-0787 ext. 105

About Startup Canada

Startup Canada is the national rallying community and voice for Canada’s 2.3 million entrepreneurs. Since launching in 2012, Startup Canada has grown to represent more than 200,000 entrepreneurs and 50 grassroots communities from coast to coast to coast. Through digital programs and flagship events, Startup Canada is the network promoting, inspiring, educating, connecting and giving a voice to Canada’s entrepreneurs; supporting them to start, operate and scale businesses that build a better Canada for the world today and for future generations. For more information, visit

About TruShield Insurance

TruShield Insurance is a proud supporter of Canada’s small business community and a member of the Fairfax family of companies. We focus on serving Canadian small business owners, entrepreneurs, and startups. We provide affordable, flexible, and tailored insurance solutions for small businesses. Visit us online at to learn more about our products and request a quote. TruShield Insurance is a trademark of Northbridge Financial Corporation.


Maddie Stiles

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