Last month, we announced the winners of the 2023 RBC Inclusive Entrepreneurship Awards in recognition of their passion and dedication to inclusive leadership over the course of their one-year Fellowship cohort. Award winners include Fellows who showcase leadership not just in their cohort but in their communities, the startups they work with, and the entrepreneurial ecosystem.
These awards are made possible by the support of RBC Future Launch, who are committed to empowering today’s youth for the jobs of tomorrow. With RBC’s support, the Venture for Canada Fellowship Program equips young leaders with the skills, networks, and resources necessary to thrive in the entrepreneurial world.
We sat down with this year’s winners of the RBC Inclusive Entrepreneurship Award and asked them which standout moments from their Fellowship experience stood out to them and shaped their perspective as an entrepreneur. Many of our Fellows spoke about the importance of feeling seen and how being entrepreneurial can enable you to inspire others without even realizing it. Here are their responses:
“At VFC’s training camp, I lived with my wonderful colleagues who came from different walks of life, yet we all had this spirit to create, to include, and to uplift. At the end of the first week, we shared thank you’s to those who made a positive impact on our time so far. Many tears were shed, and many hugs were given. Underlying several of these testimonials was the notion that the entrepreneurial spirit is one that helps people to be seen and heard. You may even be moving and inspiring others without ever realizing it. I am grateful to be part of this community, as I am continually instilled with a growth mindset and the desire to contribute in any way I can.”
- Andrew Canete (Alliston, Ontario)
“During my time as a VFC Fellow, a pivotal moment reshaped my entrepreneurial perspective, prompting a deeper reflection on the challenges of diversity and inclusion within academia and the corporate sphere. It stressed the importance of putting oneself in others’ shoes, actively listening, and openly sharing experiences. Acknowledging that everyone possesses a unique, significant story emphasized the value of being receptive to hearing these narratives. Furthermore, the experience highlighted the duty to speak up for those unable to advocate for themselves, urging a commitment to amplifying marginalized voices in the entrepreneurial sphere. These principles have since underpinned my entrepreneurial approach, prioritizing empathy, inclusivity, and advocacy for a more compassionate and equitable landscape.”
- Stacey Osazuwa (Calgary, Alberta)