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Two Saskatoon women entrepreneurs receive national recognition

Co-Owners of The Little Market Box Julianna Tan (left) and Shawnda Blacklock (right). Courtesy: Shawnda Blacklock

Two women entrepreneurs in Saskatoon have received the ‘Ones to Watch’ award by RBC for the 2021 RBC Canadian Women Entrepreneur Awards.

The national recognition is for women of influence who are chosen for their accomplishments.

Julianna Tan and Shawnda Blacklock are co-owners of one of the five businesses given the award in Canada, The Little Market Box.

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In this case, The Little Market Box was in a category for businesses open for three years or less.

Open nearly two years, the farmer’s market-type business has excelled, keeping around $1 million within the Saskatoon community in their first year.

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They hope to exceed that amount during their second year.

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Although the COVID-19 pandemic hit just after their store opened, they were still able to provide residents with goods from the city and surrounding areas by becoming creative and flourishing through their online store.

All of their achievements could not have been reached without the help of their hardworking and passionate staff members, Blacklock said.

“I didn’t think that we were ones to watch. We’re just two girls who are just kind of doing our thing in Saskatoon and to be recognized across Canada … it’s kind of mind-blowing,” said Blacklock.

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Tan and Blacklock recently signed a lease to expand their business and look to continue helping local Saskatoon businesses sell their products.

There are currently around 100 vendors with their products on the shelves in The Little Market Box, with a long list of many others wanting to join in.

The co-owners are hoping to get the keys to their new space located closer to downtown Saskatoon by January, and have everything moved over by March.

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