Passion & Persistence: Stories of Business Resilience celebrates Canadian entrepreneurship during COVID-19
TORONTO, Dec. 3, 2020 /CNW/ – American Express Canada kicks off its newest content series, Passion & Persistence: Stories of Business Resilience, to highlight the determination and resilience Canadian Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) have shown throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. The series, in partnership with The Globe and Mail, tells the unique stories of three Canadian businesses; Farafena, Monos and Pai Northern Thai Kitchen, underscoring the challenges they’ve faced this year and the creative ways they’ve pivoted to overcome them.
This series launched alongside the American Express Business Resilience Survey, which revealed the after-effects the pandemic has had on small business owners. The survey found that 64 per cent of SMEs are facing cash flow and financing problems as a direct result of the pandemic, yet, 74 per cent remain confident in the future of their business for the next 1-3 years.
“At Amex, we’ve had a long-established focus of backing the small business community in Canada with products and services designed to keep them moving forward. At this challenging moment, it’s more important than ever to give a voice to businesses that need our support,” says David Barnes, VP Advertising and Communications at American Express Canada. “We’re excited to give these entrepreneurs the opportunity to share their stories with a national audience and celebrate the persistence, adaptability and creative thinking they’ve shown this year”.
This series launches on the back of a major Shop Small marketing campaign designed to spotlight the critical role small businesses play within our communities and help drive spending at local merchants. With this new series, Amex is diving deeper into stories of entrepreneurship and shining a light on the resilience of Canadian business owners.
The series kicks off with Oumar Barou Togola, the visionary behind African-Canadian superfood company, Farafena. Founded by Barou Togola and his business partner Dylan Beechey, the company invests in women farmers in Africa to grow and harvest the purest grains and fruits to bring nutrient-rich superfoods to consumers around the world.
“2020 has been the most challenging year we’ve ever faced as a business,” said Barou Togola. “The Amex Passion & Persistence series has given us a platform to share how we overcame hardships and remained optimistic. My hope is that our stories will help to inspire other business owners across Canada as they navigate their own unique hardships due to the pandemic.”
Like 35 per cent of businesses reported in the SME study, direct to consumer travel and lifestyle brand Monos faced low demand for its products. In the series, Monos co-founders, Victor Tam and Hubert Chan share how they tapped into innovation to find new opportunities in the market.
The third business owner featured in the series is the Toronto restaurateur behind Pai, Kiin, Sabai Sabai and Sukho Thai, Chef Nuit Regular. Weathering the pandemic came with unprecedented hurdles for Chef Nuit and her businesses, including forced closures and ever-changing Covid-19 guidelines.