Whether for-profit or not-for-profit, you can receive the support to grow or begin your startup. The Hub offers U of G students and alumni funding, dedicated office space and access to experienced entrepreneurs so that you can develop a strong business model that can be rigorously tested and intelligently scaled.
People, Planet, Profit: For Welo, you can't have one without the other
For Welo, it all started with Jack's passion for clean eating and Stef's desire to solve digestive challenges. When Stef saw a Naturopath and was recommended a probiotic, she saw results almost instantly. It was at that moment that they saw an opportunity to create a product that was low sugar, preservative-free, used clean ingredients, plant-based, and functional. That's when Welo was born, a food product company focused on probiotic health and clean ingredients.
In the beginning
Jack and Stef were natural partners together with complimenting strengths, but they knew they needed support to get their idea off the ground. After joining the John F. Wood Centre for Business and Student Enterprise and the Hub Incubator program, they were able to envision the launch of their business, identify key tasks, and focus on the best ways to launch their business.
As they launched their business, Welo had their fair share of challenges from growing too quickly, managing resources, lack of experience, and allocating cash flow appropriately. However, they used every hurdle as an opportunity to learn and grow.
"We learned that if you have an idea, don't let people bring you down. You may get laughed at or told your crazy, but you need to listen to your own intuition and just go for it. Being a young entrepreneur, with limited savings and no connections, isn't a problem. It's an opportunity to become scrappy and creative."
Success, sustainability and community support
Welo takes their business model a step further by taking pride in their dedication to the triple bottom line: people, planet, and profits. Welo (short for We Love) generously donates 5% of all beverages sold to support water wells being built in Kenya. They also foster children in Kenya, are environmentally focused (their boxes can be upcycled into crafts), prioritize the wellbeing of their staff, and strongly believe in investing in their community.
All of Welo's manufacturing is done in Ontario and their current focus has been growing their online sales. With an incredibly impressive presence on retail shelves in Canada, they are also setting their sights on international expansion, with business partnerships in Japan, Camen Islands, and Dubai.