Holistic health, gift box and pottery businesses to compete for $25,000 investment during Francophone Ignition Contest

ABRAM-VILLAGE – Jan. 28, 2022 – Entrepreneurs wishing to establish or expand holistic health services, a multicultural gift box service and a modern pottery studio will compete for an investment of $25,000 during the grand finale of RDÉE Prince Edward Island’s 2022 Francophone Ignition Contest on Wednesday, March 2, starting at 7 p.m. at the Village musical acadien in Abram-Village.

Mélanie Dufour from The BeLIVING Way (Tignish), Solange Aké from Fusion Gift Boxes (Stratford) as well as Marie-Paul Medeiros and Jacob Mathieu from Quince Pottery (Malpeque) will have only a few minutes each to present their entrepreneurial projects in a captivating and convincing manner (with the help of images projected on the big screen or with samples) to the three judges and the competition’s audience.

And just like in the TV shows Shark Tank and Dragons’ Den that inspired the competition, the judges will ask tough and possibly challenging questions about their business plans, sales projections, skills, experience, etc. They will then have to determine if the proposed business projects are bilingual and feature products or services that are exportable out of province or out of country and meet a real need in the market.

The judges will then retire to deliberate and choose to invest the $25,000 provided by Innovation PEI’s Ignition Start-Up Fund in the project they feel has the best chance of succeeding. The winning company will also receive a free course of their choice from the Collège de l’Île as well as free one-year memberships to the Greater Charlottetown Area Chamber of Commerce and the Greater Summerside Chamber of Commerce. In addition, all three finalists will receive a free membership to the Acadian and Francophone Chamber of Commerce of PEI.

The three finalist projects:

THE BELIVING WAY – Entrepreneur Mélanie Dufour of Tignish is looking to consolidate all of her naturopathic, coaching, juice sales and other health services under a new brand name, The BeLIVING Way, and add new products to her lineup. The company’s goal is to offer clients holistic and personalized programs, products and therapies based on four pillars: mental, physical, spiritual health/wellness and activity. Certified and accredited in various health therapies (coach, Reiki master, advanced breathing therapy and meditation), Dufour is the founder of The Glow Juicery PEI and The Recovery Studio.

FUSION GIFT BOXES – Solange Aké is the founder of Distinct Magic Decor, a company that bridges the diversity of West Africa, France and the Maritimes through distinctive event decor and gift boxes. The new gift division, called Fusion Gift Boxes, offers beautiful gift boxes containing a selection of Island and Maritime products, as well as brightly colored items designed and handmade by Solange (such as Ivory Coast table runners, aprons, bathrobes, etc.). These boxes can be customized, depending on requirement and budget.

QUINCE POTTERY – Marie-Paul Medeiros and Jacob Mathieu received training and began developing their artistic talents in Quebec and British Columbia. Settled in Malpeque in 2020, they converted the old village forge that was located on their property into a studio. They produce a variety of modern pottery pieces (straight lines, pale colors, Japanese influence) for a young and urban clientele. They sell their products in a display case in their driveway, at the Summerside Farmers Market and online (Etsy). The duo wants to purchase equipment and a shed, dig a well and develop a website.

A limited number of free tickets will be available to the public to attend the event. To reserve a seat, contact Josée Ouellette at josee@rdeeipe.org. Bar service will be available and snacks will be served during the judges’ deliberation period. Regular health measures will be in place; everyone will be required to bring their mask and PEI Vax Pass.

In addition to the partners already mentioned, the competition is sponsored by the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency and RDÉE Prince Edward Island.


PHOTOS: Solange Aké of Fusion Gift Boxes, Jacob Mathieu and Marie-Paul Medeiros of Quince Pottery and Mélanie Dufour of The BeLIVING Way are the finalists of the 2022 edition of the Francophone Ignition Contest. The final competition will take place on March 2 at the Village musical acadien in Abram-Village.



For more information, please contact
Felicity Montgomery
Francophone Ignition Contest