From A to Z in YYC: Students to Work on Social Ventures over Summer

From A to Z in YYC: Students to Work on Social Ventures over Summer

We are pleased to announce that not one, but two Calgary post-secondary students have been selected to join the Trico Foundation team this summer. During their time with us, these students will have the opportunity to focus on developing their social enterprises with 50% of their time being devoted to their venture as they see fit, 30% of their time working with our team on bringing their venture through our A.S.E.S.S. toolkit, and 20% of their time  supporting our other social enterprise initiatives.

Today, the Trico Foundation team is very excited to share that Alexandra Daignault (Mount Royal University) and Ziad Paracha (University of Calgary) will be joining us from May to August as we are truly inspired by their passion for their ventures. We look forward to working with them as they develop their social enterprises, learning from them as they bring their ventures through our A.S.E.S.S.  process, and collaborating with their respective mentors (Ray DePaul & Houston Peschl). See below to learn more about Alexandra, Ziad, and the ventures that they will be working on over the summer months.


Alexandra Daignault is an English major with interest in Postcolonial Studies at Mount Royal University. The social enterprise Alexandra has started is called Solidariteas. Alexandra explains:

Solidariteas is a social justice tea making company. We focus on bringing communities together to solve local issues. Our first flavour of tea launched in February. Working within community and in consultation with local Elders, we developed a tea blend focused on raising awareness for missing and murdered Indigenous women in Canada. We believe that everyone benefits from living in a society where all women are respected, supported and empowered. $1.50 from each bag sold goes toward support the violence prevention and healing programs at the Awo Taan Healing Lodge. We intend to launch two more flavours for this particular tea line, chamomile and an earl grey of sorts. From there, we hope to expand to working with other communities, developing additional tea lines. Since we launched our mint blend one month ago, we have sold over 180 bags of tea. This represents over $270.00 donated to our community partner.”

Alexandra Daignault

“I am so incredibly grateful for this opportunity. Solidariteas is fundamentally about bringing communities together to solve local issues. When I first started learning about the Trico Foundation, I was amazed by the work that they do to support local communities and initiatives. As my understanding of the organization grows, I am both humbled and excited to be working with such an exceptional and empathetic team this summer. I can hardly wait to participate in what will surely be a hugely collaborative learning experience.”

Ray DePaul, Director of the Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship on Alexandra:

Ray DePaul


“Alexandra is so inspiring. Her passion to have a positive impact has fueled the tireless work of actually taking action. Alexandra has committed herself this school year to making her social enterprise a reality and I’m thrilled she will be able to build momentum throughout the summer at the Trico Foundation summer student program. Investing in our young social entrepreneurs is a long-term investment in our communities.”



Ziad Paracha is a passionate and active member of the local and global community. He is completing his Bachelor of Commerce, Accounting with Minor in
at the Haskayne School of Business, University of Calgary.

At the age of 14, Ziad began mowing lawns for residents in his community and eventually progressed towards creating a landscaping business in which he could provide professional services. As he worked towards this goal, he was able to expand and is currently the owner and founder of Green Thumbs Solutions & Maintenance in which he provides all services regarding lawns as well as snow removal for residential and commercial areas in Alberta. In 2014, Ziad’s passion allowed him to undertake a mission through ASCOVIME, a non-profit organization which involves providing free medical care and educational supplies to underprivileged and malnutritioned people in Cameroon, Africa. Since his return, Ziad founded and is now the president of ASCOVIME Canada and is currently involved with and working towards developing new and effective strategies to provide health care and attention to the greater population of Africa.

Ziad Paracha

Currently, Ziad has been working on an innovative project in collaboration with University of Calgary, Alberta Health Services, W21C, Innovate Calgary, and a few more sponsors. BClean and its idea evolves around developing industry leading technology to accurately remind, record, and report all hygiene activities with a mission to reduce the spread of infections in health care settings. BClean was founded as an idea from entrepreneurial class at the University of Calgary. Since then BClean has progressed dramatically to be recognized for its innovative technology and practical need in Alberta. BClean competed in the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) Fast Pitch as well as the Hong Kong Canada Business Association competition where it was distinguished as a “breakthrough in wearable technology in the health care industry” and a “fundamental priority to ensure this revolutionary health solution platform is implemented not only in health care but also other industries”. 

“I am thrilled to have an opportunity to be a part of Trico Foundation where BClean can grow from an innovative idea to a company that is able to have positive social impact. It is exciting to be working in collaboration with talented and creative entrepreneurs from across the city to create a more vibrant community”

Houston PeschlInstructor of Entrepreneurship, Innovation, and Sustainable Development at the Haskayne School of Business on Ziad:

Houston Peschl

“Ziad is a great example of a growing trend of Haskayne Students that see business can be a force for good, and I look forward to hearing about his experience as a summer student with the Trico Charitable Foundation this summer.”

We plan on keeping you updated as Alexandra, Ziad, and the Trico Foundation team embark on this journey, so be sure to keep your eyes open in the coming months.