Hon. Amina Gerba: Honourable senators, every year on November 19, we celebrate Women’s Entrepreneurship Day, which is intended to give women the means to actively participate in our country’s economic life.
I rise today to pay tribute to a Vickie Joseph, a female entrepreneur and diversity success story. Vickie is a graduate of Montreal’s International Academy of Design, a serial entrepreneur and a philanthropist. She worked for many businesses before she created !Nu.I by Vickie in 2006, a fashion company known for its original creations designed for women who want clothing that is both elegant and comfortable.
Vickie is also the co-founder and president of V Kosmetik International, which specializes in the manufacturing and distribution of beauty products. Her makeup line, V Kosmetik, has 50 shades for darker skin tones and is available in Canada and around the world, including the United States, Morocco, Senegal, Tunisia, Benin, Saudi Arabia and South Africa.
Vickie believes that with success comes a responsibility to help others. For that reason, she co-founded, with her husband, Frantz Saintellemy, Groupe 3737, an important entrepreneurial incubator that promotes newly emerging businesses.
She also co-founded FemPreneurs to help women develop their businesses with special programs for women of diversity.
Recipients of several awards, Vickie and I are members of the first cohort of Excellence Québec, which I invite you to learn about online.
Colleagues, as I have often said, the prosperity of diversity contributes to the prosperity of our country. We must do everything we can to support female entrepreneurs, and Black ones at that. As a Black female entrepreneur myself, I know the systemic barriers Vickie had to overcome to get to where she is today. She deserves our recognition.
Please join me in honouring an inspiring female entrepreneur and diversity success story, my friend and sister, Vickie Joseph.
Some Hon. Senators: Hear, hear!