2023 William F. Bell Young Entrepreneur Award

1 min to read

Our late mayor, Bill Bell, established in 2006 an annual Young Entrepreneur Award.

This year's recipient is Annie Rong

This 17-year-old Richmond Hiller resident is the successful founder of a custom tote-bag company, Fill Your Tote!  Her distinctive artistic ideas have made Fill Your Tote! stand out for its sleek and original style. 

Annie, along with 9 others, took part in Summer Company, a program helping students ages 15-29 learn how to run their own business. 

As a participant of Summer Company, Annie was able to step out of her comfort zone. She encountered challenges, like pricing issues and tough gatekeepers, but never gave up. Her focus on forming quality connections and partnerships paid off with her tote bags being sold at the 2023 CNE, various markets and fairs, and gift shops.

This year’s participants also included: 

  • Zainab Abidi (16) – Ginger Boost produces ginger shots infused with black seed oil, aimed at boosting energy and enhancing performance for athletes
  • Imran Alidina (22) – Project Mbappe Academy is a soccer training academy dedicated to coaching children between the ages of 6 and 17 to develop their skills and passion for soccer
  • Alicia Au (22) – Maman Jeyran Foods produces and sells frozen-ready-to-heat halal Persian food
  • Megan Brown (19) – Nature Gemz Accessories makes and sells handmade bags and jewelry with eco-friendly materials
  • Alison Chen (19) – ReadySetGo Music Academy offers violin and music lessons to children between the ages of 4-17
  • Andrew Cho (17) – Shine4LessNow is a pressure washing business that provides high-quality driveway and garbage can cleaning services
  • Kevin Huang (18) – HOG – Hooked On Your Giftedness supports and empowers autistic children to build social skills and connections through various programs and activities (swimming, arts, etc.)
  • Sabrina So (19) - TutorSOS is an on-demand tutoring and matching platform to help students with various topics and support with post-secondary applications
  • Daniel Tan (17) – Ecoholics produces and markets a natural flea, tick and mosquito repellent spray designed for pets