NextGen 2016 The Next Generation of Leaders

The Grand Prize Winners for 2016

Carmelo Marsala

Spray-Net Inc.
Idea: Better Exterior Paint

2016 Grand Prize Winner

Carmelo Marsala is the founder and president of innovative exterior spray painting company, Spray-Net. As a student painter limited to off-the-shelf products and the exterior substrates that could be painted, he saw there was a void to fill within the exterior painting industry. At 19 years of age and with the goal of bridging the gap between regular house painting and factory painting, Carmelo founded Spray-Net and the permanent paint solution. Using a proprietary line of custom formulated industrial-strength coatings and a specialized spraying technique, Spray-Net revamps and transforms exterior siding, stucco, brick, front and garage doors and windows on-site. In just one day, Spray-Net delivers a permanent, factory-hard finish that won’t peel and that looks absolutely brand-new, not repainted.

In 2016, Spray-Net will operate in a total of 37 franchise territories across every major city in Canada coast-to-coast from Nova Scotia to British Columbia with its sights on the US market. Read more about Carmelo and Spray-Net on our blog.

Jai Hobbs

Paleo Café
Idea: Healthier Eating

2016 Grand Prize Winner

Paleo Café was conceived by husband and wife team Jai and Marlies Hobbs, who were introduced to the Paleo lifestyle in 2011 through Jai’s CrossFit training. While there were so many indisputable benefits, the inconvenience and social isolation of the lifestyle was what gave the dedicated couple the idea to open the first Paleo Café in 2012. With a decade-long career in finance and a mortgage broking business to his name, Jai was the numbers man and used these skills when developing the Paleo Café brand. Initially he juggled both businesses, but with the undeniable success of Paleo Café, he sold the mortgage broking business he had built from the ground up at age 21 to pursue his true passion for promoting healthy living and focus on the Paleo Café brand fulltime.

While Jai’s role includes jet-setting around the country to recruit and train new franchisees, assisting with the construction and fit out of new stores, managing the team at Paleo Café HQ and using his finance background to provide business support to the franchisees, he admits the best part of his role is witnessing customers change their lives through living the Paleo way and seeing franchisees succeed under the supportive Paleo Café network.

Kathleen Jeanty

Madan BelFwi Fruit Mixes (BelFwi)
Idea: Juice & Smoothie Bar

2016 Grand Prize Winner

Katleen Jeanty is the Founder of Madan BelFwi Fruit Mixes (BelFwi), Haiti’s first all-natural fruit, juice and smoothie bar, known for selling tasty, refreshingly cold and yummy fruit salads, juices, smoothies, fruit floral bouquets, as well as a delicious variety of sweet and salty crepes. The 2015 Digicel Entrepreneur of the Year Regional Finalist started BelFwi in 2013 to take advantage of Haiti’s abundant natural fruit and vegetable supply that go to waste every year due to poor cultivation, transportation and packaging, in order to create employment opportunities for the country’s unemployed and improve the health of the population.

In just two years, the social enterprise has grown to three locations, a central processing center and is in the midst of launching a micro-franchise initiative to create even more employment opportunities in the impoverished Caribbean island.

Victor Mhango

Ziweto Agrovet Shops
Idea: Agribusiness

2016 Social Franchise Winner

I am a Malawian development professional and social entrepreneur with passion for growing youth led agribusiness enterprises. I have 10 years of development work experience with local and international non-governmental organizations in Malawi, mostly holding leadership positions in livestock based organizations including Heifer International and Land O’ Lakes. I hold a Masters in Development Studies from the University of Leeds, UK and Bachelor of Science in Agriculture from the University of Malawi.

My academic and professional qualifications and experience have equipped me with relevant knowledge and skills that I have decided to channel towards building social enterprises that would create value for young people and society at large especially in the agribusiness ecosystem. I founded Ziweto (Livestock) enterprise with an aim of revolutionizing the provision of veterinary services to smallholder farmers by creating a more sustainable entrepreneurial model. Through our company owned and franchised Ziweto Agrovet Shops, we are able to reach thousands of smallholder farmers with reliable, quality and affordable animal health services and products that are contributing towards improved productivity of livestock and therefore better livelihoods for the poor.

Our 2016 Winners

See the 2015 NextGen Competition Winners!

2015 Winner Details