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Local Entrepreneurs Honoured at Alberta Newcomer Recognition Awards

Oct 23, 2023

Lethbridge, AB…The Alberta Newcomer Recognition Awards were held Thursday, October 12 in Calgary and four local individuals were recognized at the event. The awards celebrate the outstanding contributions of Albertans born abroad. They honour individuals – youth, women, seniors, entrepreneurs, community builders and others – who have enriched the province through volunteer activities, leadership, innovations, business, or academic and professional achievements. Nominees must have been born outside of Canada but are now Canadian citizens or permanent residents, and currently living in Alberta. They can have resided in Canada for many years or be new to the country.

One of the honourees this year is Clement Esene. Clement is the Executive Director of BIPOC Foundation, which is
located at Tecconnect. Clement and his team work extremely hard and have created programs to help underrepresented and newcomer entrepreneurs overcome socio-economic barriers in BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan,
and Manitoba. Born in Nigeria, Clement, and his wife Sinmi moved to Calgary, Alberta before settling in Lethbridge.

“I am deeply honored and humbled to receive the Alberta Newcomer Recognition Award for our work in enhancing small communities. Our work is dedicated to advancing economic empowerment, financial inclusion, and representation for underrepresented entrepreneurs, while catalyzing innovation and creating open and relatable pathways to opportunities. I am grateful to be part of such a welcoming and inclusive province, and I look forward to continuing our efforts to build stronger, more vibrant communities together."
-Clement Esene, BIPOC Foundation

Clement was chosen as a winner in the Small Community Enhancement Award category.

Guillermo Aceytuno, owner of Onsite Auto was selected as a recipient of the Entrepreneurial Spirit Award. A graduate
of Lethbridge College and previous winner of the Chinook Entrepreneur Challenge in the technology stream, Guillermo is taking his love of cars and innovation to lift his company to new heights. With a drive to incorporate innovation and technology, Guillermo continues to strive to make the automotive world more inclusive and easier to navigate for both customers and mechanics. Guillermo is very familiar with EDL and their initiatives as he at one point was a Tecconnect Incubator client.

"As an immigrant to this country, I have learned the opportunities that Alberta and Canada bring to the table for newcomers. I would love for immigrants arriving to Canada to understand the rewards of following through with their ideas and recognizing the networks available for supporting them to achieve their dreams. Also, it’s important for them to focus on the advantage of new technologies so together we can make a more efficient transition while at the same time improving our communities.
-Guillermo Aceytuno, Onsite Auto

Economic Development Lethbridge (EDL), through the Regional Innovation Network of Southern Alberta (RINSA), ElevateIP and other partnerships continues to work with rural and remote, underrepresented, and new-Canadian businesses and entrepreneurs. EDL provides business advice, networking events, learning opportunities, both live and online on several topics that help benefit the local and regional entrepreneurial eco-system.

"We're thrilled to honor newcomers like Clement Esene and Guillermo Aceytuno, who have made exceptional contributions to Alberta's entrepreneurship and innovation landscape. Their dedication enriches our community, and we're committed to showcasing their successes on our social media channels, fostering a more vibrant and innovative Alberta for all."
-Renae Barlow, Economic Development Lethbridge

Other local award winners include Trushar Patel, an associate professor and biomedical researcher at the University
of Lethbridge and Josephine Naicker, an instructor at the University of Lethbridge for Accounting Information Systems
and Data Analytics.

For more information, contact:
Mark Neskar
Director, Marketing & Communications/Economic Development Lethbridge

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