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Beaver’s Den pitching competition a great success for young entrepreneurs

On May 13 and 14, Rupertsland Institute (RLI) hosted the inaugural Beaver’s Den during the Sôniyâhkêw (they earn): Métis Youth Side Hustle Summit. Contestants competed for financial incentives to kickstart and fund their side hustles.

“What an incredible weekend for Métis Youth to inspire, encourage, and support.” said Donna Bell, manager of Indigenous Relations and Supports at NorQuest College and member of
the Rupertsland Institute Board of Governors.

35 Métis youth (age 15-29) pitched and presented their business ideas and ventures to a panel of four Beavers (Judges): Austen Houle of Apeetogosan (Métis) Development Inc.; Aimee Parker of ATB’s Entrepreneur Centre; Krista Leddy of Beadedchickadee; and Jason Lizotte of Nipiy Industries. The event was hosted by Ross “Memphis” Pambrun who announced and introduced each participant to the Beavers and the audience of over 150.

“The youth from all Regions did absolutely amazing at the first Beaver’s Den” said Carol Ridsdale, President of the Region 6 Métis Nation.

Businesses pitched included everything from ice cream bikes to video games to bannock and tea mixes, carpentry and pressure washing businesses, and sustainable solutions.

“Support for startups through organizations such as RLI and MNA is crucial for the success of Indigenous businesses, and we are excited to use this funding to give back to our communities,” said Levi Wild, co-founder of Children of the North Corporation. Wild received $2,500 from the competition for his business, a project management company focused on project management and consulting services for Indigenous communities to incorporate renewable energy into their infrastructure.

Watch the video recap: