Work at CSI for the day with our new Lounge Pass!

WOSEN Entrepreneurs Secure Over 500K in Funding 

Nikky Manfredi

Nikky Manfredi

Communications & Content Specialist

We already know women entrepreneurs are doing big things. Our WOSEN program is proof of that. From Kelly Emery, co-founder of Troop, raising 300k in pre-seed funding to Temo Primrose landing her own Bell Media TV show, women founders are building the Next Economy to be equitable, sustainable, and prosperous. And they aren’t alone. Here are a few more entrepreneurs on the growing list of change-makers (who just so happen to be celebrating some big wins recently): 

Kayli Dale and Jacqueline Hutchings

A Friendlier Company

Photo by Taylor Pipe

WOSEN alumni, Kayli Dale and Jacqueline Hutchings, raised over $500K in pre-seed funding to expand their Guelph-based venture, A Friendlier Company, into other cities. Started in the pandemic, A Friendlier Company provides restaurants with green takeout containers. They’ve been a hit.

“When we started out, I don’t think we realized just how much people would love it and want this product,” Jacqueline told GuelphToday. “We started in Guelph, with about three restaurants in November of last year. And as we continued selling to Guelph, we started to notice there were other people in other cities that also wanted to get involved.”

Set to expand across Southern Ontario, they also recently completed a successful pilot project with Skip The Dishes that offered customers the opportunity to choose sustainable containers over single-use. During both the pilot and the fundraising initiatives, the community has shown incredible support. In fact, since their inception, A Friendlier Company has reused over 36,000 plastic containers and diverted 4,600 lbs of waste in landfills. We’re excited to see those numbers soar as their impact spreads across Ontario. The 500K is a great start to make that happen. 

Kishawna Peck

Toronto Womxn of Data Science

Kishawna Peck is on a mission to help a million women become data literate. Currently, only 15% of roles in Canadian data science belong to women. Kishawna, a WOSEN alumni, and the Executive Director and Founder of the conference Toronto Womxn of Data Science is often the only black woman in the room. She is committed to changing that; a recent $10,000 grant from Visa’s She’s Next Program for Canadian Entrepreneurs will help her do just that. Selected as one of ten recipients, Kishawna is now in the process of developing year-long programming for women in STEM with the long-term goal of transforming the industry. Congrats, Kishawna! 

Christal Earle

Braves Soles 

CSI Member Crystal Earle is designing truly circular fashion. Her venture, Braves Soles, creates handcrafted shoes, purses and other designs from upcycled tire soles and reclaimed leather. Crystal says, “Discarded tires and other usable materials fill landfills, ditches and waterways around the world. They are bio-hazardous and pose significant health risks – especially to the world’s most vulnerable communities. Yet materials such as tires, dead stock fabrics and reclaimed leathers ALSO present endless opportunities for circular fashion designs.” Recognizing the endless potential, Visa She’s Next Grant Program for Canadian Entrepreneurs also chose Crystal as one of their ten grant recipients.

Keep Reading
A group of people stand and sit around a piano, which has illegible writing on the front of it.
We exist in a world with overlapping crises that we wake up and face everyday. And so the next generation of climate action must tell a different story, and reflect a different reality. A reality where climate investments meaningfully improve the lives of residents, where every community in the country feels connected to the work, where we acknowledge the stakes and get down to the hard work of building a world that breaks down the individualistic silos and shows how much better life could be.
People stand or sit together in conversation on the ground floor of CSI Annex during Innovator Drinks.
Welcome to Connections at CSI, a monthly recap of CSI hosted events and rituals! These community gatherings are just a few of the many events and workshops organized by the entire CSI community.
June Callwood sits in an archyway at Casey House.
June Callwood’s life was full of social activism and fighting for what she believed in to make Toronto a better place for all. As we celebrate Women’s History Month, we’re highlighting Callwood’s life and many achievements.
Become A Member