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boomchickapop-featuted MEDA - Read online

Minnesota couple builds kettle corn firm into an internationally known brand

When Angie and Dan Bastian started a business in 2001 to build a college fund for their children, they had neither money nor experience.

They didn’t understand sales, marketing, retailing or branding. Sixteen years later, their popcorn company, Angie’s BOOMCHICKAPOP, was acquired for $250 million.

Folake Owodunni and Maame Poku won $10,000 at MEDA’s pitch competition.

Waterloo firm aims to deliver affordable emergency service to Nigerians

In many North American communities, people who have a medical emergency dial 911.

“In my home country of Nigeria, there is no one to call,” Folake Owodunni says.

MEDA president and CEO Dr. Dorothy Nyambi addresses the annual convention

MEDA continues to expand its reach in creating business solutions to poverty, growth made possible by record gifts from supporters, the organization’s annual convention in Tucson was told.

During the fiscal year ended June 30, MEDA impacted the lives of almost 843,000 clients, working in 76 countries with 26 active projects, along with 543 investment and investment partners.

mary-fehr-featured MEDA - Read online

Leamington woman returns home to take a leadership role in family business

Mary Fehr’s decision-making on a career path took her thousands of miles away from home, to multiple places before returning to the family business a decade later.

Fehr, daughter of Uni-Fab president Abe Fehr, told the story of her journey along with her father in a seminar at MEDA’s annual convention in Tucson in early November.

Uni-Fab is one of Ontario’s largest custom metal fabricators. It works in the aerospace, machine and tool and oil and gas sectors, primarily in North America, with some of its products shipped worldwide.

Coffee with a side order of changed lives

Electric Brew owner buys beans directly from Central American growers

By Marshall V. King

GOSHEN, Indiana — Myron Bontrager doesn’t tell his customers that the coffee he sells them will change their life.

But if they ask, or if he has a chance, he’ll tell them about how it changes the lives of the people who grew, picked and processed it.

He’ll tell a customer in Goshen or Elkhart, Indiana, where locations of The Electric Brew hum with business, that it cost him 1.25 cents from that $2 cup of coffee to buy fair trade coffee directly from a cooperative of producers in a coffee-growing region far closer to the equator than northern Indiana.

Veemo is an elec- tric assisted ride- sharing vehicle

Evaluating people and crunching numbers key to success for New Hamburg man

Successful angel investing — providing funds to early stage companies — requires paying attention to details, expecting high financial returns and being okay with losing everything, Dale Brubacher Cressman says.

“You’ve got to go into it recognizing you could lose your entire investment,” says the New Hamburg man. “It’s not like any other investment. If you are not prepared to lose (all) the money, you shouldn’t be investing.”

Tim Penner discusses a convention program with board member Mryl Nofziger

Outgoing chair reflects on nine years with the MEDA board

When Tim Penner reflects on his MEDA involvements over the years, he uses words like exhilarating and opportunities.

“It’s so exhilarating that all of these great things have happened,” says the Kansas businessman.

Penner completes nine years on the board, most recently as chair, at MEDA’s annual meeting in Tucson in early November.

Javed Iqbal (on right), his wife Bushra (third from right) and their son (second from left) pose with red radishes along with PAVE team members.

Pakistan project helps farmers increase income through improved harvests

MEDA’s Partnerships and Value Expansion for Inclusive Seed Systems (PAVE Pakistan) project works to improve the livelihoods of small-scale farmers from villages in the Sheikhupura and Gujranwala Districts of Punjab in eastern central Pakistan.

Punjab is the main agricultural province of Pakistan.

SheCycle team members, l-r: Anna Kuepfer, Abigail Loewen and Leah Wouda

Students persevere after unsuccessful pitch at MEDA competition, win larger prize

When a group of Waterloo university students presented their business idea at the MEDAx pitch competition last fall, they were surprised and disappointed not to win the $5,000 prize.

SheCycle aims to improve the health of Ugandan women with an antimicrobial, reusable sanitary pad.

Bananas along the road

Recent media reports say bananas — a breakfast and dessert staple for many — may soon be more expensive. A banana-killing fungus is threatening production in several countries.

Most of the bananas that North Americans eat come from Guatemala, Costa Rica, Columbia or Ecuador.

Ahmed Al Omari

Outfitter aims to make the Jordan Trail a go-to destination

Every year, hundreds of thousands of adventure seekers walk the Camino de Santiago, a network of trails that run through every major European city.

A lesser known, spectacular hiking experience is available on the 398-mile (640 kilometre) Jordan Trail that runs the length of Jordan.

Jordan Dolson of Legacy Greens

Owner of Kitchener grocery store promotes healthy choices

Jordan Dolson knows that merchandising choices she makes at her grocery store mean Legacy Greens is less profitable than it could be.

And she’s okay with that.

For Dolson, 35, providing healthy food options for her customers in Kitchener, ON is more important than padding the bottom line. “It’s more of a passion project than a way to get rich,” she says with a smile.

Business as a Calling Book Cover

Tim A. Dearborn is one of the keynote speakers at MEDA’s upcoming convention: Taking the Leap, to be held Oct. 31 to Nov. 3 at the Westin La Paloma in Tucson, Arizona. The excerpt below is from his book: Business as a Holy Calling: A workbook for Christians in business and their pastors.

Renewables will bring power to a billion unserved Africans within a decade, experts say.

Renewable energy will likely bring power to many under-served areas of Africa within the next decade, industry observers say.

As many as a billion people, most of them in Sub-Saharan Africa, lack access to electricity. The United Nations Sustainable Development Goal #7 targets universal access to power by 2030.