Ideas for Eco-Friendly Fashion and the Belief in Equal Education Win Start Something with Alesse Grants and Mentoring

Apr 5, 2011 | Corporate Member News

Eco-friendly fashion and the belief in equal education are what’s driving two young Canadians to ‘start something’ of their own and inspire social change.

Today, Start Something with Alesse is pleased to announce Sheyla Abdic and Sedina Fiati as the two winners of a $5,000 grant and mentoring with the contest’s role models, Christine Ho and Marième Ndiaye, to help turn their visions into reality.

After being shortlisted from hundreds of entries from across the country to the final six, these two young entrepreneurs’ projects rose to the top with the help of Canadians who cast their votes between February 14 and March 4, 2011.

Meet the Winners:

Sheyla Abdic, Ontario
Project Name: Ace One Tutors (formerly E-Quality Tutors)

Sheyla Abdic believes passionately in the fundamental right of education, but knows first-hand how important extra tutoring can be to those who need it. She’s been a tutor herself for five years and understands that in some cases those who need quality after-school help just to keep up with their peers can’t always afford it. Sheyla wants to bridge the gap with Ace One Tutors, allocating funds for a scholarship geared towards low-income families that will help cover tutoring costs. She also aims to make bookings accessible and easy, as they’re based online. Believing in the motto ‘To Teach is to Learn Twice’, Sheyla also hopes to encourage tutors (as well as high-achieving students) to work weekly with a child from a low-income family, gaining valuable experience themselves. 

“In a country like Canada, children have the fundamental right to education. However, receiving extra-help, often needed to succeed in school in the form of after-school tutoring, is still a privilege enjoyed by those who can actually afford it,” says Sheyla.  “I am so honoured to be one of the two winners of Start Something with Alesse. I am planning to use the funds to start building my business and online infrastructure for the company as well as identify the areas with the most need.”

Sedina Fiati, Ontario
Project Name: Cyclista

An avid city cyclist and true fashion-lover, Sedina Fiati refuses to sacrifice fashion or function. With Cyclista, she wants to create an eco-friendly line of cycling clothes that function well, but maintain a truly stylish edge. Sedina envisions using eco-conscious materials like bamboo and fleece as well as reusing and refashioning used clothes so everything will be chic, but still practical. Sedina believes that just because you choose to cycle, you shouldn’t have to wear a different wardrobe when you get to your destination. Sedina hopes that the Cyclista line will resonate with those like her who currently dare to cycle the streets in heels, skirts and other fab clothes. After all, says Sedina, we don’t want our skirts flying up while cycling, no matter how pretty they are!

“Receiving funding and support from the role models will allow me to start a business that not only fills a very real need, but also embraces the ideas of sustainability and being in harmony with the earth,” says Sedina. “The Start Something with Alesse contest will help me make this business a reality and begin developing my clothing line.”

About Start Something with Alesse
Start Something with Alesse is a one-of-a-kind Canadian initiative. Inspired by the resourcefulness and community-focused characteristics of Generation Y (or those born between 1980 and 1999), the contest provides funding and guidance to highly motivated young Canadian adults looking to pursue their personal goals.

“Sedina and Sheyla are a true reflection of today’s generation – ambitious and community-minded, and we are thrilled to help them achieve their truly inspirational goals,” says John McKendry, Pfizer Canada Inc. “These two winners have shown us their passion to  ‘start something’ of their own and we can’t wait to see how they turn their dreams into reality.” 

Entries were accepted from October 25, 2010 to January 4, 2011. Following the call for entries, the entries were judged against the criteria listed in the official Rules and Regulations, and the finalists selected by Christine and Marième, mentors of the Start Something with Alesse program.

The finalists’ projects were posted online at The two winners were determined based on votes earned through online voting by the general public, from February 14, until March 4, 2011. Voting was limited to one vote per registered user per day.

The winners will each receive $5,000 each to help them get started!

The official contest rules and regulations can be found at

About Pfizer in Canada

Pfizer Canada Inc. is the Canadian operation of Pfizer Inc, the world’s leading biopharmaceutical company. The company is one of the largest contributors to health research in Canada. Our diversified health care portfolio includes human and animal biologic and small molecule medicines and vaccines, as well as nutritional products and many of the world’s best-known consumer products.

Every day, Pfizer Canada employees  work to advance wellness, prevention, treatments and cures that challenge the most feared diseases of our time. We apply science and our global resources to improve the health and well-being of Canadians at every stage of life.

Our commitment is reflected in everything we do, from our disease awareness initiatives to our community partnerships, to our belief that it takes more than medication to be truly healthy. To learn more about Pfizer’s More Than Medication philosophy and programs, visit To learn more about Pfizer Canada, visit

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