| December 7, 2020
Mentorship is at the core of the support Futurpreneur offers to young entrepreneurs across Canada. Each year, we celebrate our fantastic mentors across the country who have volunteered tirelessly to support over 13,000 young entrepreneurs in our community, helping them launch and grow successful businesses from coast to coast to coast.
The Vivian Prokop Mirchandani Mentorship Award goes to a mentor who demonstrates a sincere and empowering commitment to mentoring young entrepreneurs and supporting the small business community.
Out of the many heartfelt nominations we received from entrepreneurs across Canada, we selected the five finalists below. On November 19, we announced the winner after receiving thousands of votes from around the country.
Meet our Mentor Of The Year, and the rest of our incredible finalists:
In 2009, Laurie Bellerive acquired the Centre Athlétique du Cap-de-la-Madeleine. Her determination, interpersonal skills, leadership and commitment have led to the success her company enjoys today. Driven more than ever by the desire to help people adopt and maintain healthy lifestyle habits in the longer term and find the physical activity that would motivate them, she decided to open a second branch of the Centre Athletique T-R on des Récollets Boulevard and a third one in Bécancour.
“Laurie Bellerive is more than a mentor; she is a passionate person, a person with heart! She believes in our project as if it were her own; she is there for us at all times despite her busy schedule, the issues she may have with her business, her personal life. She is responsive, caring and genuine. That is why we always get an accurate picture of our situation. We can say that after 18 months, after a roller coaster of emotions, hours without sleep, numerous problems, we are still here, day after day, to welcome our customers and make sure that they are loyal!”
– Judith Sarrazin, Vegecolo Inc. (Entrepreneur & Mentee)
Want to know more about Laurie’s mentorship journey? Check out our live Q&A with Laurie on Futurpreneur’s Instagram.
Carolyn MacLaren is the Director of Continuing Education at the University of the Fraser Valley. Prior to that, she was the principal of Flexible Talent, a dynamic business consulting practice that focuses on human resource strategy development. In addition to her role as a mentor for Futurpreneur, she is the Vice Chair of the Langley Animal Protection Society (LAPS), President of the Fraser Valley Potters’ Guild, and an active community volunteer.
“Carolyn has become a friend/mentor for life. When I’m having a bad day or things get hard, she’s definitely the first person I reach out to without hesitation. Carolyn deserves the Mentor of the Year award because she not only goes above and beyond, but because she loves to see young people succeed. The next mentee would be so lucky to have her. She deserves the recognition for all the work she has done in helping me launch my business. I’ll never really be able to repay her!”
– Lanna Lucas, Hunter Browns (Entrepreneur & Mentee)
As the founder of Life Works Well, Helen brings over 20 years of expertise to creating high-performance and heart-centred workplace cultures that deliver proven results and increased revenues. She is the lead editor and author of two Thomson Reuters HR publications – Employment Policies that Work and Best Practice Terminations and is working on her upcoming book “Create a Mentor Culture.” Helen is passionate about the value of mentoring and believes that everyone should have the opportunity to be mentored so they can learn and grow and in turn give back to others.
“Helen is more than just a mentor. I have worked with several mentors in the past, and what separates Helen from others is her genuine care and passion to help us succeed. Just knowing that we have her in our corner, always routing for us, gives us confidence to do things we sometimes otherwise would not. She is approachable, genuine, caring, always thinking outside the box, or emailing us with ideas. She goes above and beyond.”
– Carina Virtucio, Vrtu (Entrepreneur & Mentee)
“Helen has been a most caring, consistent and useful mentor. She has helped me navigate some personal challenges and brainstorm new ideas and directions for my business. Helen has been most generous with her time and I can honestly say she truly cares and is deeply committed to her role as mentor”
– Diliana Popova, Artichoke Art Inc. (Entrepreneur & Mentee)
Leah Coss is on a mission to change the way we value & educate people in society. In order to prepare today’s kids for a future filled with artificial intelligence, technology and ongoing change, she has built education platforms & methodologies that promote essential human skill development in children & youth. She is the founder & co-founder of growing organizations such as Build a Biz Kids, BBK Network, The Fuel Academy & Your Current Future, and is also a mentor for Futurpreneur Canada.
“Leah is a valuable mentor who deserves to be recognized for her generosity, time, commitment and effort, and for being someone to look up to. Her authenticity inspires me to become a better version of myself. When it comes to making decisions, I know exactly who to turn to for guidance, even after the program is completed. She has been a trusted advisor, an impeccable role model and a true mentor who has played a significant role in my entrepreneurship journey.”
– Hillina Ghulam Nabi, Kids Innovative (Entrepreneur & Mentee)
Aryn Ballett wants to live in a world where everyone can follow their dreams. As a vintage clothing store owner who freelances as a film/TV costumier and event planner, Aryn considers herself fortunate to work alongside dozens of the most creative, inspiring, and energizing people in Newfoundland. She is also a mentor for Futurpreneur Canada. When she’s not in her shop, Scout, or on set, you can find Aryn coming up with new ideas – if only there was more time to try them all.
“Aryn taught me to focus and has been able to do so even when her own business was going through the same struggles as mine. Three months into the mentorship, in January, we were hit with a record-breaking snowstorm that not only shut us inside our homes in a terrifying way for over two weeks, but also shut down our city. No travel, aside from on foot in snow gear, no shipping and no businesses were open. She helped me recover from that by helping me focus on the best strategies to tackle the shutdown. In March, due to Covid–19 everything had to shut down again. She helped me re-orient and pivot to new ideas and change my business model to suit the new times and my customers’ new needs. Aryn’s guidance, support and brainstorming, has been critical to my business. She creates an environment where I did not feel afraid to test new ideas, knowing I had her support. She kept me focused and ultimately saved my business even when she was herself dealing with the same uncertainties.”
– Tiffany Elton, Dear Dawcy & Ritual Botanicals (Entrepreneur & Mentee)
Find out how Futurpreneur’s mentors can support you in your entrepreneurship journey.