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YMCA celebrates local youth entrepreneurs

Young entrepreneurs from across Simcoe/Muskoka celebrated their business success at YMCA Geneva Park
Mackenzie Oliver Family
Mackenzie Oliver holding her Social Enterprise award with her family at the YMCA Youth Entrepreneurship Awards Gala.



The YMCA of Simcoe/Muskoka hosted the first ever Youth Entrepreneurship Awards Gala on Tuesday, October 27 at YMCA Geneva Park in Orillia.

The event recognized the entrepreneurial accomplishments of youth across Simcoe County and Muskoka.

Accomplishments included overcoming barriers, traditional business success, learning new skills, or successfully completing a youth entrepreneurship program.

Ten youth (aged 12-29), were selected by community members, partners and local youth groups from over seventy five nominations, to receive their awards.

The winner of the “Social Enterprise” category was Barrie’s Mackenzie Oliver, owner of I Love Me Club, a social enterprise focusing on increasing girls’ self-esteem and raising money for local charity.

Six other Youth Entrepreneur winners came from Barrie including Sarah Little, Andrew Mullins, Germaine Catchpole, Kevin Weiler, Owen Wong and Hira Waquar.

The YMCA Celebration of Youth Awards is one example of the Y's continued commitment to invest in the young people from Simcoe County and Muskoka.

The YMCA of Simcoe/Muskoka’s goal is to provide more opportunities for leadership development and entrepreneurship training for young people in the area.

“Youth already have what it takes to be leaders in their communities, said Brian Shelley, Vice President, Youth Engagement, Leadership Development and Camping, YMCA of Simcoe/Muskoka. “It’s our responsibility to provide them with the skills and opportunities for success. This unique program honours individuals who exemplify excellence and contribute to the well-being and future of our community. The YMCA of Simcoe/Muskoka and its partners are extremely proud of the opportunity to recognize these exceptional individuals.”

Categories of recognition and award winner are:

  1. Female Entrepreneur: Sarah Little owner DAISY COSMETICS: Vegan Cosmetic Company, Barrie

  2. Male Entrepreneur: Andrew Mullins owner GYMBAG: Fitness subscription box service, Barrie

  3. Francophone Entrepreneur: Adam LaLonde owner LONE APPAREL: T-shirt graphic design business, Penetanguishene

  4. Aboriginal Entrepreneur: Germaine Catchpole owner MNOPGWAD PRESERVES producing seasonal preservatives using all natural products, Barrie

  5. Technology Entrepreneur: Kevin Weiler owner DEFINITIVE GEAR: technology based business with a focus on reviewing technology devices and streaming from TwitchTV, Barrie

  1. Services Entrepreneur: Eric Bronee owner REDNECK WILDLIFE CONTROL: Large animals nuisance control services, New Lowell

  2. Artisan, Music and Entertainment Entrepreneur: Owen Wong owner OWEN WONG MAGIC: performs magic and illusions for corporate events and parties, Barrie

  3. Social Enterprise: Mackenzie Oliver owner I LOVE ME CLUB: social enterprise focusing on increasing girls self -esteem and raising money for local charity, Barrie

  4. Food Services: Matthew Eliot owner THE ICE CREAM FLOAT: sells ice cream from his boat to cottagers and visitors on Doe Lake, Oro-Medonte

  5. Immigrant Entrepreneur: Hira Waqar owner B4u Salon: threading and cultural make-up application, Barrie

For more information about YMCA youth services and programs, please visit