An all-woman-owned Comox Valley business has recently received a grant from BMO Celebrating Women.
CORE Landscape Products, a female-owned eco-friendly outdoor building material company was chosen for the grant along with 18 other businesses in Canada, receiving $10,000.
BMO says Celebrating Women pledged $120,000 in grants to Canadian woman-owned businesses and is decided by a business’ contribution to social, environmental and/or economic sustainability outcomes.
CORE manager of digital media and marketing Emma Laliberte says learning that the company had received the grant was an honour.
“It was really exciting, we are a really small company in the Valley and to be alongside these other incredible women run companies was really quite incredible,” said Laliberte.
When the business set out in 2010, led by founder Caroline Rutledge — a fisheries biologist in the Comox Valley, they wanted to change building material composition after seeing damage building materials can have on salmon streams, according to Laliberte.
Since then, the company has grown to the point where they are selling eco-friendly products all over North America and into Costa Rica. A position they didn’t expect to be in.
“Caroline has big dreams, but starting small and having a small team and having a big impact like that is something you never really imagine,” said Laliberte. “We’re just an ambitious team of strong women.”
The grant will be used to push the company’s sustainability and become a B Corp certified company. Companies that are B Corp certified have the highest level of social and environmental responsibility, with companies like Patagonia at the top.
Laliberte said CORE is planning to move forward, working with local Indigenous artists, tiny home initiatives and branching their business out into the Australian market.
Other B.C. businesses on the list included Massy Books and Nada from Vancouver, RainStick Shower from Kelowna and Skwalwen Botanicals from Brackendale.