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Curvy Collective crowned- ATB’s Build Her Business champion

A Calgary entrepreneur is one step closer to expanding fashion choices through her business Curvy Collective after winning ATB’s Build Her Business crowdfunding competition.


Aymie Rondeau raised just over $9,000 in her winning campaign to create an online shopping platform that offers inclusive designer fashion not otherwise available in Canada. The chartered accountant came up with the idea after becoming frustrated with the lack of fashionable, high-quality designs available for plus-sized, professional women.


 

“We believe that plus-sized women deserve safe, non-judgmental spaces to shop in, and the same quality of service and design, and quantity of fashion that is available to straight-sized women,” Rondeau said. “Curvy Collective’s goal is to change the conversation around how the world views and accepts people in larger bodies, and how plus-sized women view themselves: as confident, capable and worthy.”

Curtis Stange, President and CEO of ATB Financial congratulated Rondeau and all the entrepreneurs who participated in the competition.

“We are thrilled to have been part of so many success stories,” Stange said. “Local businesses are vital to the health of our economy and ATB prides itself on helping entrepreneurs like these get started.”

ATB’s Build Her Business competition was a unique crowdfunding campaign designed specifically for women as means to start and grow their business ideas. People were asked to contribute to the campaigns in exchange for a reward which varied depending on the size of the contribution.

Participants launched their campaigns February 1, 2019 and were supported and mentored throughout by en entire Build Her Business support team. To make sure we were empowering our participants with the resources they needed to succeed, we also brought in previous BoostR success sensations to help with holistic mentorship. These included:

Entrepreneur


Business

Location

Kathy Leskow Confetti Sweets Edmonton
Katie Nedjelski girl gotch and Bloom Kids Essentials Calgary
Hannah CMNGD Commongood Linens Calgary
Tracy Persson Cozy Intentions Grande Prairie
Heather Heystek Bravery Blends Lethbridge
Erin Grukic Sensational Path Lethbridge
Joyce Jebose Joyce’s Closet Caglary


We held eight live webinars, multiple 1:1 touch points, built a fully committed and engaged Facebook page with more than 150 actively engaged members, entrepreneurs, mentors and advocates and an entire content portal with helpful resource tools to consider along the crowdfunding journey. 

Here are some other awesome statistics surrounding the competition and how we were able to move the needle for Women Entrepreneurs:

  • We had a record 22 participants in the competition.
  • 19/22 met their goal - representing an 86% success rate, far exceeding the benchmark we used of Kickstarter, which started in 2009, has wider reach and has a general success rate of 36%.
  • In addition, most campaigns run for a period of 45 days, whereas Build Her Business only ran for 28.
  • We had an ATB BoostR record funding in one campaign of over $66,000.
  • We funded close to $230,000 from the crowd resulting in an average of over $12,000 per campaign, surpassing the current BoostR average of $10,000/campaign.

Aymie Rondeau was one of seven semi-finalists whose campaigns were judged by some of the biggest names in business including Angela Brown, CEO of Moneris, Marcela Mandeville, CEO of Alberta Women Entrepreneurs and ATB vice-president Ed Straw.

“ATB recognizes women entrepreneurs face unique challenges when it comes to accessing capital and connecting with the right networks,” Stange added. “We are not only committed to supporting women overcome those barriers but we’re helping to remove them when it comes to innovative banking solutions.”

All the participants who met their goals will be able to keep the money raised through crowdfunding.  

Aymie Rondeau with Curvy Collective will receive a personal mentorship session with Manjit Minhas, as well as a $5,000 MasterCard from Moneris and ATB and a three-month coaching program with Anita Kemp, of ‘The Purposeful Entrepreneur,” valued at $1,500.

Other finalists include:

  • Designer Jolanda Slagmolen-Flores — Sencillo Cabinets (Calgary)
  • Artist Stephanie Hoogveld — Women of Wonder (Calgary)
  • Herbalist Aga Wajda-Plytta — Herbologie (Edmonton)
  • Nurse Kathleen Cesarin — AOS (Edmonton)
  • Workwear designer Jess Black — Jess Black Inc (Edmonton)
  • Baker Ashley Prince — More Fun! Gourmet Sweets (Leduc)

For more information on the Build Her Business initiative, we encourage you to check out the campaigns still posted on BoostR and feel free to contact Shannon Pestun, Director, Women’s Entrepreneurship

ATB Financial

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