Finance

Improving social outcomes and launching products into underserved markets

Justin Sweeney is a social entrepreneur who uses the tools of business and finance to improve social outcomes and launch products into underserved markets. He leads an eco-friendly cosmetics company (alongside his wife, Judith) that specializes in healing salves and great-smelling daily-care products for eczema and sensitive skin. On the finance side, he has managed the social finance activity of Kaleidoscope Social Impact since 2018 and has grown their pool of capital from a few hundred thousand well into the millions, catalysing 100’s of affordable housing units and over a dozen social enterprises in the process. He lives in Kings County, New Brunswick, where he and his wife raise their two children close to nature.


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How this award winning serial entrepreneur is giving back to his community

Larry Hachey and his wife Donna reside in Quispamsis and have been married for 37 years and are very proud of their two children, Shawna and Christopher. Both are UNB Graduates with multiple degrees. Shawna is a Cruise Director for Celebrity Cruise Lines, as well as a fashion entrepreneur. Christopher is a software engineer working in cyber-security.

Larry enjoys woodworking during his downtime while he and Donna enjoy boating in the Summer and travelling to warmer climates during the colder months.

Career
Larry has spent most of his career, before becoming an entrepreneur, in business development roles of increasing responsibility. In 1998, after learning as much as he could from several important mentors, Larry took advantage of an opportunity to start his own business.

Founder of three start-up companies:

  1. First Affinity Capital. Built the company to become the largest small ticket equipment finance broker in Canada. Started in 1998 and sold in 2005.
  2. Gateway Capital Inc. Financial Services company offering retirement advice, services, and products. Started in 2008 and sold in 2010.
  3. Canlease Inc. Leading supplier of equipment finance services for small businesses in Atlantic Canada. Started in 2010 and is very active.

Community Engagement
Larry is very proud of his community, his province and of being a Maritimer. He feels blessed to live here and feels that he owes much back. Larry has severed on dozens of boards and committees of organizations that do good work and relevant work, including:

  • The University of New Brunswick Immediate past Chair (2 terms) of the Board of Governors for Canada’s oldest English Language University
  • Saint John Airport Inc. Immediate past Chair of the Board of the Greater Saint John Airport and its vital link to the world.
  • Enterprise Saint John. Past Chair of the Greater Saint John’s chief Economic Development Agency
  • University of New Brunswick Alumni Association. Past President of the Alumni Association, representing over 90,000 alumni across the world.
  • Greater Saint John Chamber. Past President of Canada’s second-oldest business membership organization.
  • Teen Resource Centre. Past Chair of Great Saint John’s leading youth engagement centre
  • Credit Counselling Services of Atlantic Canada. Past Chairman of Atlantic Canada’s largest debt counselling organization.

Awards

  • Province of New Brunswick Merit Award – Community Service
  • Ernst & Young Atlantic Canadian Entrepreneur of the Year Award
  • Saint John Board of Trade Entrepreneurial Achievement Award
  • Greater Saint John Chamber Business Excellence Award for Community Engagement
  • University of New Brunswick Alumni Award of Honour

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Building a real estate empire one property at a time

Bob Dhillon is the Founder, President & CEO of Mainstreet Equity Corp, based in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Mainstreet is publicly traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX:MEQ). As of Q1 2023, assets were valued at close to CDN$3B and MEQ reported its 23rd year of consistent, year-over-year, double-digit returns through its continued organic growth.

Year-to-date holdings currently consist of 16,802+ apartments across western Canada (British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Winnipeg, Manitoba). Along with its healthy balance sheet success, Mainstreet is a strong and proud champion of affordable housing.

In 2018, Bob gifted CDN$10M to the University of Lethbridge towards the creation of the Dhillon School of Business (DSB). Bob’s strong belief that education and entrepreneurship are the engines of national prosperity, along with his strong desire to give back to the province that provided him with so many opportunities, motivated his decision to make this substantial and transformative contribution. One of the primary areas of study at DSB is a world-class research and emerging technologies. Bob is also very proud of the fact that DSB was the first post-secondary institution in Canada to mandate an indigenous studies course requirement.

Bob is also the owner of National Payments, a Visa and MasterCard-approved merchant-processing business in the financial services sector.


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Bringing Awareness to Entrepreneurs and Providing Insight to the US Capital Markets

Maz Pawar is the CEO of SA Capital Partners. He is a Senior Mergers & Acquisitions M&A professional with several years of experience in originating, negotiating, and executing complex transactions. Recognized as a high performer and team leader that is self-motivated, enthusiastic, committed, and thrives in a fast-paced environment, has a proven ability to develop and maintain strong working relationships at all levels within the organization. Although based in Chicago, Maz provides capital to many Canadian ventures and sees Canada as part of his venture ecosystem.


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The importance of family is at the root of everything the Couillard Group does

Jessica Theroux joined the Couillard Group in 2014 coming from a background in commercial real estate. She successfully completed a Bachelor of Commerce degree at the Haskayne School of Business as well as her Certified Financial Planner (CFP) designation and Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU) designation.

Jessica is the founder of a not-for-profit foundation, Souls for Sisters, and is passionate about women’s rights and education around the globe. She is also a registered yoga instructor and donates her time teaching weekly providing support to Souls for Sisters.

Outside of work, Jessica spends her time with her husband Greg, two boys, Bennett and Austin and her daughter Aidah. She is passionate about yoga, food and travel!


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How to make payment processing easy!

Hamed Arbabi is the CEO and Founder of the Vancouver-based payments company, VoPay, and is recognized as an innovative thought leader in the fintech industry. Known for his drive to innovate and change how firms conduct business, Hamed has used his expertise to turn VoPay into a dominant force in the world of financial technology.

A serial entrepreneur, Hamed has successfully built and grown multiple startups and leveraged his knowledge of business expansion to develop them into successful, disruptive ventures. With over fifteen years of executive-level experience in spearheading comprehensive strategies and business developments, Hamed has a proven track record and an in-depth knowledge of the global financial industry.

Hamed’s overall vision for VoPay revolves around innovation and digital transformation. What began as a simple idea ultimately founded the pillars of his venture: that financial services should be easy, affordable and accessible to all.

Committed to his community, and dedicated to giving back, Hamed has founded and supported multiple non-profit organizations that focus on helping children access technology. He firmly believes that given the right educational tools, young people can expand their skills and take control of their futures by opening doors to new opportunities.


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Simplifying accounting and bookkeeping for small businesses

Rob Boynes is the co-founder of huumans, Canada’s first modern accounting and bookkeeping company aimed entirely at small businesses. Built by the people behind Wagepoint, huumans is focused on helping to make running a successful small business as accessible to as many people as possible through the democratization of data and knowledge. A recent resident of Nova Scotia, Rob’s career has been based predominately in product-first, early-stage technology start-ups throughout Europe and the US, with an earlier foundation in media, broadcast and brand.


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From law, to the circus, to estate settlement – a wild entrepreneurial story!

Davide Pisanu is a graduate of McGill University’s Faculty of Law, Davide has over 10 years of legal experience with Davis Polk & Wardell and Canada’s Department of Justice under his belt. He then transferred into the financial sector by working as an advisor to institutional investors and asset managers with McKinsey & Company, before taking on the role of SVP at Cirque du Soleil, where he managed the resident show division and affiliated businesses before becoming part of the ClearEstate founding team.


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Be the entrepreneur that you want to be

Nick Mombourquette is the founder and president of NewGround Financial Inc. NewGround specializes in employee benefits programs for SMB’s with 5-500 employees. NewGround also works with entrepreneurs to provide tax efficient wealth planning strategies. They pride themselves on providing national-level service and advice, with a local approach. Based in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, NewGround serves clients in NS, PEI, NB, ONT and AB.

Nick also founded and co-hosts The Interesting People You Meet Podcast, where he interviews people from all walks of life, with interesting stories and perspectives.

Nick has a BBA from Mount Saint Vincent University and holds a Certified Employees Benefits Specialist designation from Dalhousie University. He lives just outside of Halifax with his wife and three young children.

Nick is a fitness enthusiast who enjoys almost every genre of music. In his spare time, when he doesn’t have a book in his hands, he enjoys spending time with his family and playing golf in the summer and hockey in the winter.


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A former high school teacher is on a mission to create a unique, inspiring, community-based learning experience for young people

Adam Robb was raised on the traditional lands of the Anishinaabek, Haudenosaunee, Lūnaapéewak and Chonnonton Nations on fertile farming lands connected with the London Township and Sombra Treaties of 1796 and the Dish with One Spoon Covenant Wampum. After one year of university, it became clear that the learning he needed in life would be found with mountains, lakes, gardens, community centres and around campfires and not as much inside classrooms as he had once thought. He kept that realization in mind as he became a teacher himself. For the past 15 years as a high school teacher, Adam has since helped to create unique experiential education programs allowing for self-discovery for youth on Treaty 6, 7, 8 territories as well as the traditional lands of the Beaver, Cree, Ojibway, Secwépemc, Stoney, and Métis. The focus of these programs has always been about connecting youth to the land as a way of learning self-resiliency, problem-solving, risk-taking, relationship-building, history, technology, politics, science, economics and protocols from Traditional Keepers of knowledge. Adam has teamed up with other amazing educators to create learning programs that were recognized provincially (AB Education), nationally (EECOM, KF & CAGBC) and internationally (OECD & ILFI). The Howl Experience is the manifestation of all Adam’s beliefs about learning; it has to be experiential, community-based and focused on solving real problems and achieving real results. He is proud to be working alongside several past students on this project and of the many incredible past students out there making a real difference. Adam is most proud that he is able to do this work alongside his own amazingly insightful children and his inspiring partner.

Shawna Peddle is a partnership broker, collaborator, and convenor of like minds to address complex social issues. She has expertise in program design and implementation related to community resiliency, risk communication, environmental risk assessment, climate change adaptation, and disaster risk reduction. In her current role, Shawna oversees community investment programs and partnerships at Co-operators, a financial services co-operative, including corporate giving and volunteerism, the Co-operative Development Program, the Advisor Community Fund, and the Co-operators Community Funds. Shawna holds a Master of Forestry from the University of Toronto, and a Graduate Diploma in Social Responsibility and Sustainability from St. Michael’s College, University of Toronto.

Learn more about Howl Founder Adam Robb, and how he helped to develop programming that allowed youth to grow and learn more than through traditional education at https://www.experiencehowl.com


Learn more about Co-operators holistic business solutions here.


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