Entrepreneurs are by nature problem-solvers, and as the world faces the largest global health challenge of this century, we’ve been inspired by many small business owners in our network. More than ever before, these young entrepreneurs have had to dig deep to find their grit and resiliency. Some have had to completely turn their business models on a dime. Others are finding ways to support their communities or have answered the call to help Canada provide necessary medical supplies.

Here are some of their stories. We’ll add more in the coming days.

Amy Pilat – Founder and wine consultant at Wine Knows who turned her in-person event company into a virtual international wine-tasting venture

When Amy Pilat launched her small business Wine Knows she wanted to make wine approachable for everyone. Her business model hinged on in-person gatherings that could range from small groups of 10 people to large events of 38,000.

Amy Pilat, wine consultant and young entrepreneur

When COVID-19 hit Canada, Amy knew she would need to make some changes quickly. Her events calendar was almost sold out for April, yet she had no choice but to cancel. At the suggestion of a relative, she decided to take the leap into the unknown and offer her wine tastings online. Amy quickly gathered her contract staff to do some test runs, and then invited people on her email list to sign up. Within days her Virtual Guided Wine Tastings were a hit. Her online events include alternate wine selections and food pairings, and they offer friends a unique way to connect even though they’re physically distanced.

As bookings continue to roll in, Amy says her Virtual Guided Wine Tastings will continue to be one of her offerings from now on.

For more information about Wine Knows visit:



Camille Rouleau – Co-founder of Ballet Hop! who made a grand jeté from in-studio instruction to online classes

Since opening in 2016 in Montreal, Ballet Hop! has offered ballet-inspired movement and cardio classes designed to energize their students while they have fun.Ballet Hop class in full swing

At Ballet Hop! their goal is to help their clients find strength and flexibility through dance, and Camille had to conjure both of those when COVID-19 forced her to shut down her three studios in Quebec. They quickly moved their courses online, and for a small fee anyone anywhere can join in the fun and have access to their full roster of classes.

For more information about Ballet Hop! visit:


Ballet Hop! online courses

Elle AyoubZadeh – Founder of  Zvelle who launched a campaign to celebrate women heroes in healthcare

Elle AyoubZadeh launched her luxury leather goods label Zvelle in 2015, inspired by an urge to create a company devoted to elegance and curiosity. The Zvelle brand is built on the belief that a woman’s step is iconic. Zvelle sources its shoes and bags from Italy, so COVID-19 had an impact on Elle sooner than it did for others.Entrepreneur Elle AyoubZadeh curates luxury leather goods that inspire elegance and curiosity

Zvelle’s brand is about inspiration and Elle herself was inspired by the many healthcare workers around the world who are are risking their own health to care for those struck down by this pandemic. She decided to honour the women on the frontlines—the doctors, nurses, cleaners, and other staff , who are fighting the disease around the clock. So she asked people to nominate a healthcare worker to receive a pair of Zvelle’s luxury shoes especially designed as a tribute to Emily Stowe, Canada’s first woman physician.

To learn more about Zvelle visit




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