Photos & Roundup: SEEDS Business Leadership Awards 2017

Congratulations to the SEED winners, entrepreneurs who have learned how to make it on their own terms. SEEDS stands for Self Employment and Entrepreneur Development. SEEDS is dedicated to supporting small business and aspiring entrepreneurs. They have helped over 2,000 people start businesses since 1997 through their specialized courses and business resources.

Their programs assist new entrepreneurs of all ages develop business plans, network and give them the tools to succeed. With 20 years experience of improving small businesses and developing entrepreneurs SEEDS has seen many barriers to self-employment. To limit these barriers for the community SEEDS has identified and focused their efforts on seven specific groups Women, Youth, Seniors, Disabled, First Nations, Underemployed and Immigrants

Credit: Seeds Website

Facilitators from the self-employed business community teach over 33 business courses. An example of one course covers marketing strategies, effective sales skills, and accounting

Credit: SEEDS website

Financial for business, business presentations, digital marketing, networking, or selling a business. Another would cover building an online presence, websites, blogs, online business resources, search engines, optimization, social media and internet marketing.

These classes are held at the Surrey Centre Library. Click here to apply to be a student.

Seeds Website Balwinder Cakakl – Facilitator at Seeds Credit: SEEDS website

The celebration of special milestone of the Self Employment Entrepreneurial Development Society’s (SEEDS) 20th Anniversary at the 5th Annual Business Leadership Awards held at Surrey City Hall on October 11th 2017, produced by Scantone Jones and Beverley Bly and many volunteers.

Monika Verma, VP of the Board, Scantone Jones, Executive Director, Sam Araki, Treasurer of the Board and Brad Archibald, Board Director Credit: Aziz Ladha Photography


Naomi, Volunteer at SEEDS Photo credit: Aziz Ladha Photography


Presenter, Debbie Palmer Photo Credit Aziz Ladha

Teaching business plan development to Surrey area high school students and being 100% self-sustained through fundraising and revenue generating projects, SEEDS is the place you want to volunteer if you are a businessperson passionate about giving back to the community and the economy.


Credit: SEEDS website

Self employed business professionals make up 98% of all employer businesses in Canada according to CBC. 41 % of employed Canadians work for businesses that have fewer than 20 employees. 2.7 million Canadians are self-employed. 86% of Canadian exporters were small business owners comprising68 billion dollars in exports. 40% of the private sector GDP comes from small businesses in Canada.

In Surrey, the entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well. With a higher percentage of immigrants and new Canadians as well as a larger capacity for creative thinking and self actualization, SEEDS is an integral part of helping those bright and eager learn the basics of how to get started.

Amber from First Canadian Barter and Joy TV’s Leah Bolton Photo Credit: Aziz Ladha
Joy TV Leah Bolton and Beverly Bly introducing the Key Note Speaker, Cathrine Ann. Photo credit Aziz Ladha

City Hall was filled to capacity and the glass doors from the Chamber had to be opened to make room for everyone wanting to celebrate with both the mentors and the mentees. Harris & DeBray provided background music for all to enjoy while networking and having some appetizers before the ceremony.

Debbie Palmer and Sam Araki, Treasurer of the Board Photo Credit Aziz Ladha

Congratulatory letters were received from Prime Minister Trudeau, Premier Horgan and Mayor Linda Hepner, which were projected on the large screen along with images of testimonials and past winners, and sponsors. Vera Ferguson from First Nations did the blessing and had the audience participate. The well renowned National Anthem Singer, Jeroen Vermeulen sang our national anthem while the participants stood for the Canadian Flag displayed on large screen.

Key Note Speaker Cathrine Ann Photo Credit Aziz Ladha

The awards began with the introduction of dignitaries, including Jack Arnold, Jagrup Brar, Bruce Hayne and Mike Starchuk, and board members, Scantone Jones, Monika Verma, Sam Araki and Brad Archibold, along with attendance by many past facilitators, and directors, nominees and families, by Master of Ceremonies, Leah Bolton , from JOY TV.

Lee Bolton from JOY TV and Scantone Jones, ED of SEEDS Photo Credit Aziz Ladha

Glenda Watson Hyatt delivered a very motivational speech and received a lifetime achievement award in the FOCUS category.

Motivational Speaker Glenda Watson Hyatt Photo credit Aziz Ladha

Other recipients were A Call to Action, AAJ Magazine, Strategic Partner, Vancity, Facilitator of the year, Debbie Palmer, who also did a sales presentation, Volunteer of the Year, Rachelle Parades and Life Time Achievement to Keynote Speaker, and well renowned world wide best selling author of Beautiful Buttons, Cathrine Ann.

Beverly Bly Photo Credit Aziz Ladha

The ceremonies completed and all guests returned to the Atrium to enjoy the music and an assortment of appetizers. Coffee was served by De Dutch Restaurant of Strawberry Hill. There was a mad dash to purchase spirits and get a personalized signed copy of Beautiful Buttons!

Sponsors included JOY TV, Vancity, First Canadian Barter Exchange, City of Surrey, City Surrey Libraries, SW Media Group, AAJ Magazine, Surrey604, Beautiful Buttons, Cathrine Ann, De Dutch Strawberry Hill, Surrey Now Leader, Safeway and Walmart – Surrey, Mark Joncas, Dave Hayer and Cathrine Ann

Leah Bolton from Joy TV Photo Credit Aziz Ladha
Leah Bolton from Joy TV and volunteer, Dereck Kankam Photo credit Aziz Ladha
Brad Archibald, secretary for the board with Jagrup Brar, Legacy Award winner. Photo Credit Aziz Ladha

For more information about how you can get involved with this inspiring organization and the great work that they do, contact SEEDS.



Shara Nixon
Shara Nixon loves to hear and repeat the stories of people’s lives and cultural viewpoints. She enjoys deep conversations and people who hold strong viewpoints. In her day job she is a social worker for business owners, helping them meet their goals. As an insomniac, she writes at night to clear her head. She is punctuationally challenged and uses too many !!!. She also believes in creative spelling as an art form. Her super-power is in connecting like-minded people and communicating with an intent to learn instead of respond. She writes about relationships, business savvy, online dating, finance and general things that piss her off. Shara believes that key to peace is education and connection!!!