TORONTO — Pizza Hut Canada is celebrating a successful first year of its Equal Slice Program, which provides free education, virtual training and mentorship opportunities specifically to minority, immigrant, Indigenous and disabled-owned small businesses throughout Canada, in partnership with Initiative for a Competitive Inner City (ICIC). In its first year, the program supported more than 50 small businesses across the country. Additionally, five participants received a $20,000 grant to help grow and strengthen their business.
Some of the entrepreneurs include Asha Wheeldon, owner of Kula Foods in Vancouver; Diséiye Thompson, owner of DISÉIYE in Toronto; and Jean-Philippe Vézina, owner of Jardins Lakou in Montreal.
“At Pizza Hut, we believe opportunity is meant to be shared, just like pizza,” says Tatiana Carrascal, president and general manager, Pizza Hut Canada. “We were inspired to start the Equal Slice Program to support small business owners across Canada and ensure they have access to the education, training and resources they need to succeed. We’re excited to be able to support minority business owners to further drive equality in the Canadian business landscape.”
“Equal Slice’s focus on teaching and mentorship is something I haven’t seen another program offer to the BIPOC community on a national scale,” says Wheeldon. “Hearing from other entrepreneurs and being able to learn from their success stories was incredibly motivating.”
“My favourite part of the Equal Slice program was the invaluable mentorship,” says Thompson. “Being able to connect with fellow business owners with diverse backgrounds and experiences helped me put things into perspective about my own journey.”
“The Equal Slice program was a terrific opportunity to develop my network,” says Vézina. “I still work with the business coaches today. Being able to participate in training and education specific to my business goals was a huge asset.”