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Innovation Guelph announces 2017 Rhyze Award finalists; Erin business among winners

GUELPH - Innovation Guelph (IG) announced May 3 the 10 local women-owned businesses who are recipients of the 2017 Rhyze Award.

The following businesses will receive $1,000 in seed funding to support the growth of their businesses.

Additionally, all businesses receive a reserved spot in the Rhyze Academy, Innovation Guelph’s program designed to support women entrepreneurs as they develop business, financial and work-life integration skills.

Erin’s Deborah Keeble  with her business Edible Promotions is among the winners.

Other recipients include:

- Athena Prodoegies, a book, workshops and events designed to empower women and girls;

- Estate Transition Planner Canada, offering estate planning support and resources;

- EZ Health Coach, providing diabetes education, foot care, and home care service;

- Fallowfield, an independent children’s shop offering ethically made organic clothing;

- Fourchette Culinary Academy, teaching interactive cooking lessons;

- Milk and Thistle Paper Co., greeting cards with original illustrations;

- Research for Change, a consultancy strengthening the community benefit and social service sectors;

- ResilienSeed Consulting, offering resources and services related to mental health; and

- Root and Bone Herbals, handcrafted herbal culinary and body care products.

Finalists were selected from 60 applicants across Guelph and Wellington County vying for cash awards and business mentoring.

Funding for the cash awards was raised through the Rhyze Project’s successful 2015 crowdfunding campaign and ongoing sponsorship from Meridian Credit Union.

“The Rhyze Project is now in its third year, and we are truly thrilled by the growth of this vibrant entrepreneurial program,” said Kristel Manes, director of operations for Innovation Guelph and The Rhyze Project.

“Each year, the Rhyze Award has attracted an increasingly diverse range of women entrepreneurs and business types, proving this program is a vital and accessible touchpoint for women seeking resources and financial support for their businesses.

“With the Rhyze Academy now established, and our youth-focused Rhyze on the Road program in development, we continue to cultivate a connected and dynamic entrepreneurial ecosystem for women in our region.”

Among other eligibility criteria, applicants were required to identify as female; be 30 years of age or older; have a new or existing enterprise based in Guelph and/or Wellington County; and demonstrate passion and viability of their business idea.

Applications were subject to an intensive review process by an impartial volunteer panel from Guelph’s business and academic communities.

All Rhyze Award recipients will be formally recognized at a ceremony on June 29 at the Frank Hasenfratz Centre for Excellence (700 Woodlawn Rd. W., Guelph).

The event runs from 5 to 8pm and is open to the community.

Attendance is free but registration is required. RSVP online:

May 19, 2017


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