On Wednesday, November 8th, 2023, Pow Wow Pitch, North America’s premier pitch competition for Indigenous entrepreneurs, presented in partnership with RBC, Shopify, and Mastercard, announced Puna Tripp, the Kanaka Maoli Founder of Hā Tonics, from Kailua, as the first-ever 2023 Mana Up Pow Wow Pitch Winner. The Native Hawaiian-owned business has won 5,000 USD and is advancing to the 2024 Pow Wow Pitch Finals for a chance to win $25,000.
Levi Wild, a passionate advocate for Indigenous empowerment from the Michif & Passpasschase Cree communities, shares how his initiative, the Children Of The North Project Corp., is uplifting Indigenous people to lead the clean energy transition. Based in a remote corner of the Northwest Territories, Levi’s entrepreneurial journey was born out of necessity and a profound commitment to his community.
Community, according to Cadence, is at the heart of her entrepreneurial journey. Drawing inspiration from her mother’s work ethic and dedication to the community, Cadence believes in originality and creating a positive impact. “That whatever I do needs to positively impact my community, and my community is the horse world and the Indigenous community so doing both,” she says.
Chrissy’s advice for budding entrepreneurs is crystal clear: “Invest in your personal and professional development… Celebrate your culture and heritage… Build a network of mentors and advisors… And the most important part is getting out there, living your dreams, and having fun!”
“I have learned to just go for it. To push through the negative talk and take the advice I was given when I was thinking of starting – to ‘just do it.’ Make mistakes and learn from them,” she emphasized. Streit further stressed the importance of community and collaboration, advising new entrepreneurs to “connect with the community, find resources, and find help in any way you can.”
A reflection of Secwepemc values, Ashley’s business integrates Indigenous approaches throughout. “A big lesson that I implement is putting the good vibes and energy into anything I am doing,” she says, stressing the importance of positive energy in her work.