Teresa Sanders, owner of FILL Vernon’s Refill Store, holds her award after winning first place in the 2019 Community Futures North Okanagan’s Enterprize Challenge competition. <ins>Sanders is now a finalist for a Small Business BC award.</ins> (Photo submitted)

Teresa Sanders, owner of FILL Vernon’s Refill Store, holds her award after winning first place in the 2019 Community Futures North Okanagan’s Enterprize Challenge competition. Sanders is now a finalist for a Small Business BC award. (Photo submitted)

Vernon companies up for provincial honours

FILL and Numu Technologies are among finalists for Small Business BC awards

One uses data to help businesses grow their profits, the other uses jugs of household products to help people refill containers and keep plastics out of landfills.

Both are Enterprize Challenge alumni and both have been nominated for a Small Business BC Award.

FILL Vernon’s Refill Store has been nominated in the Best Community Impact and Best Innovation categories and NUMU Technologies has been nominated in the category of Best Innovation.

The Small Business BC Awards is a high-profile provincewide awards competition that also sees Vernon’s Pillow Talk Studios (Best Youth Entrepreneur), Sundance Martial Arts Ltd. and Summit Tiny Homes (Premier’s People’s Choice) named among the nominees.

FILL owner Teresa Sanders and NUMU owner Mitchal Derksen are no strangers to business competitions. Both participated in Community Futures North Okanagan’s Enterprize Challenge, a local business competition designed to give entrepreneurs a head start as they compete for more than $35,000 in prizes.

Derksen participated in Enterprize Challenge in 2018 with a dream of helping small and medium-sized businesses make better growth decisions and improve revenue with data and insights — the kind large companies have entire departments of analysts to support. After going through the competition, his focus shifted beyond offering a service and toward developing software to make “helpful data” even more accessible to a wider market.

“We feel very strongly that the work we do is innovative and helpful for clients, so we’re very excited to be included in a category that lets us celebrate that,” says Derksen, adding given the current business climate, NUMU’s work has been especially rewarding. “Forecasting cashflow helps develop resiliency so you can get through this and get through it stronger.”

Fellow Enterprize alumni Sanders and her store, FILL, are helping businesses cope with COVID-19 with natural hand sanitizer she created last year, and the store’s passionate community of “refillers” of everything from shampoos to laundry soap is also growing. After winning the 2019 competition, Sanders opened her refill store in December 2019, and recently celebrated 100,000 plastics saved.

“I am super excited to be recognized for this award and am touched that our community continues to see the value of saving plastic and our earth,” says Sanders. “FILL couldn’t save so much plastic without the support of the community. I never could have dreamed that the community would get so behind our little store.”

FILL has since expanded to open a new storefront in Kelowna.

CF North Okanagan wanted to draw attention to these nominations both to celebrate their achievements and to encourage the public to support them by voting. The public can vote for businesses until March 7 to help deserving nominees receive this special recognition at smallbusinessbc.ca/awards/

Excitement is also building for the 2021 Enterprize Challenge. A total of 23 participants are now in the learning stages as they work toward creating a promising business and a compelling pitch for judges. Derksen is among the one-to-one mentors supporting participants along the way.

On April 28, the finalists’ pitch, awards and challenger showcase will be live-streamed from the Vernon and District Performing Arts Centre, and the public can get tickets via Eventbrite.

READ MORE: Zeroes speak volumes for Okanagan businesses

READ MORE: Enterprize Challenge gives North Okanagan businesses a boost



roger@vernonmorningstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Awards

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Canadian Mental Health Association staff and volunteers experienced increased Crisis Line calls with COVID-related concerns. (CMHA photo)
North Okanagan MP pushes for national suicide hotline

Mel Arnold seeks support from North Okanagan-Shuswap municipalities for 988 hotline

HOPE Okanagan’s Stay at Home Gala will raise funds to help serve Kelowna and Vernon’s vulnerable. (HOPE Okanagan)
Non-profit hosts virtual gala to support Okanagan’s vulnerable

HOPE Okanagan wants to raise awareness and support for those struggling in the streets

Summerhill Pyramid Winery. (Contributed)
Fear of ‘hotel in a vineyard’ prompts Kelowna council to defer culinary school decision

City council needs assurance the educational facility proposed at Summerhill Winery will be used as stated

A fire at the TD Canada Trust bank in Lake Country overnight closed the branch down Tuesday, March 2. (Lake Country Fire Department)
Suspicious fire closes Lake Country bank

RCMP investigating overnight blaze at ATM

An individual experiencing homelessness stands on Leon Avenue in downtown Kelowna after receiving supplies from the Gospel Mission outreach team. (Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
New City of Kelowna shelter strategy in the works

The community shelter plan will be based on four core principles: choice, healing, community and safety

A health-care worker looks at a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at the Palais de Congress site as Quebec begins mass vaccinations based on age across the province, Monday, March 1, 2021 in Montreal.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Nearly 1 million COVID-19 vaccine doses arriving in Canada this week: Anand

Anita Anand says she’s received assurances from the vaccine manufacturer

A town was constructed on the side of a mountain top in Hedley to extract 7.1 tonnes of gold. (Mascotmine.com photo)
Hedley’s Mascot Mine gets $800,000 lift from COVID relief program

Grant will enable the historic mine to open again for tourists

The machines are akin to ATMs and allow drug users at risk of overdose to get hydromorphone pills dispensed to them after their palm has been scanned to identify its unique vein pattern. (CANADIAN PRESS)
Feds dole out $3.5M for ‘vending machines’ to dispense safer opioids in B.C.

Vancouver and Victoria both have a MySafe machine to help reduce overdoses

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Ice rescue on Shannon Lake. Phil McLachlan, Kelowna Capital News.
‘Ice season is over’; West Kelowna crews rescue man from icy lake

A man in his 60’s was pulled from the waters of Shannon Lake after falling through

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Kelowna’s lakefront visitor centre is one of 130 around the province. Tourism businesses have been hardest hit by COVID-19 restrictions on travel. (Destination B.C.)
Tourism, small business getting COVID-19 help, B.C. minister says

$300M grant program has delivered $50 million so far

The incident happened in downtown Castlegar. Photo: Betsy Kline
Castlegar teen recounts stabbing after stranger breaks into grandmother’s house

The unnamed teen survived a terrifying attack Feb. 21

Ponderosa Primary Care Centre in Penticton is considered a model for care clinics going forward by the South Okanagan Division of Family Practice. (Monique Tamminga)
Mayor of Oliver calls on province to address South Okanagan doctor shortage

‘None of the people in our acquaintance that we’ve come to know here in Oliver have their own doctor’

Most Read