In December 2019, the ThriveNorth program successfully completed its five-year mandate. Managed by Futurpreneur Canada, the program helped young entrepreneurs in Northern B.C. launch and grow their businesses by connecting them with resources, financing and mentorship.
We had so many great finalists in this year’s ThriveNorth Business Challenge that we decided to create a series to showcase their incredible stories of success! We will be showcasing local business owners, community partners and business experts in the region over the coming weeks so stay tuned!
Our first great success story comes from Kristoffer Pucci, a finalist in the “Growth Opportunity” category in the Business Challenge. This category was set up to support young people who have already launched a business and are looking to grow its operations in pursuit of a long-term vision.
Kristoffer is one of three co-owners of Divide Rides, a ski and snowboard company located in Prince Rupert that makes gear out of locally harvested wood and high end environmentally friendly materials. He is an environmental management professional and field technician with a strong connection to the local environment, which plays a vital role in the business. One of the ways Divide Rides benefits its community is through increasing the value of wood sourced from the area. Spruce that would otherwise be sold overseas for a few dollars per square foot is turned into a product that is sold locally for many times that amount. It also ensures that the community itself can benefit from the end result of that wood.
The three entrepreneurs behind Divide Rides have a vision of producing skis and snowboards that will compete in the global marketplace. Kristoffer knows that Divide Rides is unique, as few companies in the world are hand-crafting environmentally-friendly skis and snowboards locally the way they do in their small Prince Rupert shop: “Local ownership of businesses is good for my community because it keeps the value of that business local. Value does not simply mean economic value, though that is certainly a big part of it. Value also means the products that the business offers, and the benefits that the clients or customers get from those products.”
Kristoffer and team are also very focused on encouraging physical health within their community. In addition to encouraging exercise by selling sports-related products, the trio of co-owners are also part owners of a local ski hill – Shames Mountain and support various bicycle and running events in the community. Kristoffer is enthusiastic about how growing Divide Rides will allow them to focus even more on these efforts: “As we grow as a business, so will the benefits to our community.”
Written By: Kristin Knapp, Content Copywriter, Futurpreneur Canada