Calgary’s Leftovers Foundation expands after winning TELUS small business contest
(Above) Lourdes Juan, founder of both The Leftovers Foundation and Knead Technologies, was a winner in the TELUS #StandWithOwners contest in 2021 and will be a judge this year.
This year’s TELUS’ #StandWithOwners program is open for new applicants
Strength, resilience and generosity – these are the pillars of the Leftovers Foundation in Calgary, a local non-profit that rescues food waste and delivers it to those in need.
Recently, the organization has also started expanding its mission further through the launch of Knead Technologies, which provides community foundations such as Leftovers with a technology platform to rescue more food that would otherwise be wasted.
“Rescuing food waste promotes sustainability and has a strong social impact. It’s a story that became particularly important during the pandemic,” says Lourdes Juan, founder of both Leftovers and Knead Technologies. “To-date, Knead has delivered 700,000 meals, equivalent to $2.7-million worth of food that would be thrown away, diverting 381,000 kilograms of carbon dioxide emissions that would have contributed to climate change.”
Ms. Juan loads food into a car for delivery. She expanded The Leftovers Foundation after winning an award from the TELUS #StandWithOwners program.
This commitment to supporting community was a key factor in the selection of The Leftovers Foundation during the TELUS #StandWithOwners program in 2021. With a strong sense of social purpose, Juan took home a prize package of $20,000 in funding, advertising and technology from TELUS and partners to help support the growth of her business.
Now, with her entrepreneurial success and recognition through the #StandWithOwners program, Juan is back to bring her experience to the judging panel for this year’s contest to help select the top five grand prize winners who will each be taking home $125,000 in funding, advertising and technology - the most significant prize packages to date.
“Each year we launch the #StandWithOwners campaign, we refine its focus. This time, we’re celebrating game-changers. Those business owners who are driving innovation in their fields, breaking new ground in how they serve their customers and communities and using technology to differentiate and grow their business,” said Roi Ross, SVP & President, Small and Medium Business (SMB) at TELUS Business.
Previous TELUS #StandWithOwners winners Victoria Mierzwa and Katerina Juskey of candle maker LOHN stand with Roi Ross, SVP & President, Small and Medium Business (SMB) at TELUS Business. This year's #StandwithOwners program is now open for new applicants. Winners can receive up to $125,000 in cash, advertising, and technology and business services.
This nation-wide search to find and celebrate business owners kicked off this past June and every innovative business – big and small – has the opportunity to be recognized and celebrated for their exceptional achievements and to help their growth goals come true.
“Through our #StandWithOwners program, we’ve seen how access to funding, advertising and technology can change the trajectory of a small business. And we understand the incredible value that recognition and exposure can provide business owners to help them scale-up,” Mr. Ross says.
Ms. Juan knows first-hand how beneficial this experience can be and says she is grateful for the TELUS #StandWithOwners contest in propelling her business forward.
“TELUS has been an incredible partner throughout the years for the Leftovers Foundation and for my other non-profit. The technology upgrade from TELUS helped the Leftovers Foundation redistribute food via the app we use, through Knead Technologies. It allows easy food rescue for volunteers, food donors and service agencies,” says Ms. Juan.
“Beyond the prize value we also received mentorship and connections that have helped the foundation and Knead grow, along with additional media opportunities to bring further awareness to food security issues in Alberta.”
So, what should applicants look for to stand out when applying to this years’ #StandWithOwners?
“We’re looking for owners who are changing the game in their industry and separating themselves from their competitors. We want to celebrate owners that see technology as a way to differentiate and grow. And owners who support their local community in a meaningful way,” Mr. Ross explains.
Businesses can apply to the contest at telus.com/StandWithOwners until September 6, 2023 for a chance to win one of five grand prize packages that include $50,000 in cash, $50,000 in advertising, over $25,000 in technology and business services from TELUS and its partners, a round-trip package to Vancouver to celebrate their achievement, as well as access to customized mentorship with our TELUS advisory panel, based on your business requirements. In addition, 15 finalists will each receive $20,000 in funding, technology and additional support. Throughout the summer, applicants will also be randomly selected as part of the “50 Day Countdown” to win further prizes.
This article originally appeared in The Globe and Mail.
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