Teresa Sanders presents her business FILL during the Enterprize Challenge Wednesday evening at the Vernon and District Performing Arts Centre. (Kristin Froneman/Read Head Copywriting)

New Okanagan business takes home Enterprize Challenge award

FILL - refillable cleaning and hygiene products coming to the community

Back in December, Teresa Sanders read an article about what she calls “the myth of recycling plastics” that opened her eyes and her imagination. She decided to do something about it and came up with a business idea to provide refillable cleaning and hygiene products to the community.

Her idea will soon become a reality now that Sanders has been named the 2019 Enterprize Challenge grand prize winner.

“I am so pumped for the opportunity to reduce plastics in our community,” said an elated Sanders, who has won close to $20,000 in prizes provided by Enterprize sponsors. “I’ve seen refill stores in Chilliwack, Victoria, Vancouver, but noticed there was none here in the Okanagan. I am happy we can do this for the earth, but I am also happy for myself and to open the business FILL.”

Sanders was one of seven finalists who competed at the awards and challenger showcase, April 24 at the Vernon and District Performing Arts Centre. More than 200 people attended the event, which saw the finalists display their business ideas in the centre’s foyer before giving the final pitch to judges in front of a live audience.

See: Vernon Enterprize Challenge finalists named

“We had such an incredible calibre of entries this year,” said Kazia Mullin, Business Services Coordinator with Community Futures North Okanagan, which has organized the Enterprize Challenge for five years. “Judging from the applause and shouts of support, the audience enjoyed watching the finalists pitch their ideas to the judges. It was like watching the Dragon’s Den live and was exciting to see how well all of them did in their presentations.”

Also new this year was the People’s Choice Award, where supporters could vote for their favourite showcase and pitch via an online survey. Ashley and Michael Reina of Therabyte Inc., a cloud-based web application for therapists, won the People’s Choice, while Kayley Letendre of Sugarbee’s Ice Cream Company came second, and Marilyn Courtenay of the Boarding House Café placed third.

“This was an amazing opportunity to learn how to start a business,” said Letendre, who gave out samples of her French-style all natural ice cream during the showcase.

“I really appreciated the support and mentorship I had from my mentor, Scot McNair. He was instrumental in getting me to where I needed to be. Now the sky’s the limit.”

Sanders also thanked her mentor, Amy Gillies, a commercial lender at VantageOne Credit Union, for her support.

“I learned so much from working with her,” said Sanders, who is currently looking for a storefront to open FILL. “We had an incredible team at Community Futures and from the community who came in to help us with everything from marketing to creating a business plan.”

Ted Morrison, VP of Commercial Banking at VantageOne, who has served as an Enterprize judge for the past two years, says he was impressed with the calibre of all the contestants this year.

See last year’s winners: Business duo share love of the Okanagan

“We ended up with 18 presentations at the beginning of the challenge, and all of them were fascinating. I learned a lot. To see the passion in the room was enough for me to think that we have a good future here in the North Okanagan when it comes to business talent,” said Morrison, adding that VantageOne Credit Union has supported the Enterprize Challenge as a sponsor since day one and plans to continue its support.

Leigha Horsfield, General Manager, Community Futures North Okanagan, says the Enterprize Challenge would not be possible without the support of the sponsors who have not only donated the more than $30,000 in prizes but have helped in other ways.

“This year, VantageOne Credit Union and another 14 organizations sponsored the event to make the challenge and its prizes possible,” said Horsfield. “We are grateful for the support and are looking forward to seeing our challengers reach their goals of opening and marketing their businesses. We wish them all the best.”


@VernonNews
newstips@vernonmorningstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Just Posted

CSRD green light’s Blind Bay cannabis store, provincial approval required

Public survey shows 55 per cent in favour, 42 per cent opposed to proposed outlet

Driver of speedboat in fatal Shuswap Lake houseboat collision denied parole

Court says Leon Reinbrecht unwilling to accept culpability for “reckless, thrill-seeking behaviour”

Mould mitigation at Sicamous elementary school near complete

School District #83 superintendent says health concerns have been resolved

Snowy softball in Sicamous

The 2020 snowpitch tournament took place at Finlayson Park on Jan. 18 and 19.

Sicamous Eagles have late-season struggle ahead to maintain playoff hopes

A loss against the Columbia Valley Rockies on Jan. 18 put the Sicamous squad further in the hole.

VIDEO: Soldiers trade rifles for snow shovels to help dig out St. John’s

A state of emergency is set to extend into a fifth day

Police search for owner of another icy sailboat on Okanagan Lake

The frozen vessel was spotted near the 800 block of Manhattan Drive in Kelowna

Volunteer spends hundreds of hours restoring piece of railway history

Revelstoke Railway Museum now home to an authentic Kalamazzo No. 2 Section Handcar

Future of Penticton francophone school secured following funding announcement

$11.5M in funding means École Entre-lacs now independently owned and operated

ICBC to bring in ranking system for collision, glass repair shops

Change comes after the much-maligned auto insurer has faced criticism for sky-high premiums

City of Vernon to redirect reclaimed water into Okanagan Lake

MacKay Reservoir nears capacity; city to reflow water into lake near Kin Beach

‘It was just so fast’: B.C. teen recalls 150-metre fall down Oregon mountain

Surrey’s Gurbaz Singh broke his leg on Mount Hood on Dec. 30

Man accused in Kamloops murder claims woman died during rough sex

A Fraser Valley man stands trial for first-degree murder in connection with the 2016 death of a woman

Most Read