April 21, 2023 – Pow Wow Pitch, a grassroots non-profit Indigenous entrepreneurship organization, is thrilled to announce the sixth anniversary of its partnership with Shopify. Since 2018, Shopify has been an integral part of Pow Wow Pitch’s success in its dedication to supporting Indigenous entrepreneurs and providing opportunities for their growth and success.
The partnership between Pow Wow Pitch and Shopify began at the Ottawa Summer Solstice Pow Wow in 2018. When pandemic lockdowns happened, Shopify scaled its support and investment in Pow Wow Pitch and Indigenous entrepreneurs across Canada and Turtle Island with a three-year landmark agreement that took Pow Wow Pitch to the next level. Since then, the two organizations have worked together to expand the Pow Wow Pitch’s reach, increase prize funds, launch a Pow Wow Pitch Box program and alumni network, and venture to powwows across Canada and the United States.
Shopify’s Build Native team engages Shopify employees and Indigenous merchants as mentors and judges of Pow Wow Pitch, presenters of the Indigenous Entrepreneur Awards, and trainers for bootcamps. Kyle St Amour Brennan, the Shopify Build Native Indigenous Entrepreneur Program Manager, also sits on Pow Wow Pitch’s Advisory Board, providing valuable guidance to steer the organization toward a bigger impact on a global scale.
“Working alongside an Indigenous team and leader at Shopify to create solutions for Indigenous entrepreneurs has been so special,” said Sunshine Tenasco, founder of Pow Wow Pitch. “It’s powerful to be co-creating the future of Indigenous business with other Indigenous leaders that share our values of empowerment through business and entrepreneurship. Shopify is constantly empowering us with new ideas, opportunities and solutions to make a bigger impact, and their mounting support has not only grown our confidence in ourselves but has also created the momentum needed to rally other industry partners around us. The gratitude we feel for Kyle, Shopify, and the Build Native Team is immeasurable.”
As Pow Wow Pitch ventures to new powwows this year, establishes good governance as a newly minted non-profit and hires its first full-time team members, Shopify will be right alongside. Later this year, they will be launching a special initiative to build an even larger platform together for Indigenous entrepreneurs.
“From the very beginning, the Build Native team at Shopify has been a trailblazer within our global scale-up, and our partnership with Pow Wow Pitch has enabled us to lend our expertise and support to rise to the opportunity of Indigenous rising,” said Kyle St-Amour Brennan, Build Native Indigenous Entrepreneur Program Manager at Shopify. “At Shopify, we recognize the importance of supporting Indigenous entrepreneurs, which is why our investment in Pow Wow Pitch is so critical to us. We see Pow Wow Pitch as one of the most innovative vehicles for building the confidence and community of Indigenous entrepreneurs. As we celebrate the sixth anniversary of our partnership, we are excited to continue working hand in hand with the Pow Wow Pitch team to bring even more opportunities to Indigenous entrepreneurs.”
Indigenous entrepreneurs can immediately benefit from this partnership by leveraging the 60-day Shopify free trial at shopify.com/powwowpitch to bring their ideas to life.
To learn more about how Shopify is supporting Indigenous entrepreneurs, we invite you to visit powwowpitch.org/shopify. Here, you can explore how our partnership with Pow Wow Pitch is empowering Indigenous communities and discover the many ways in which we are working together.