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Global Citizen Award Gala 2024

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The United Nations Association in Canada (UNA-Canada) is thrilled to announce that our annual gala honoring our Global Citizen Award 2024 Laureate, Manjit Minhas, will be held on October 15 in Toronto

Our award recognizes Canadians who have demonstrated leadership in their communities and beyond to promote the mission and mandate of the United Nations. Ms. Minhas commented, “I am incredibly honoured to be a Global Citizen Laureate and welcome the opportunity to help bring attention to UNA-Canada's work through our shared commitment to the UN goal of gender equality. It’s a focus of much of my charity work, such as working with YW Calgary to raise $50 million for a crisis shelter for women and children fleeing domestic abuse.” 

Venturing into the entrepreneurial world as a 19-year-old, Ms. Minhas invested everything she had into her dream of starting a business. Many years, roadblocks, and big breaks later, she is the CEO of Minhas Breweries, Distillery, and Wineries, presiding over a network of 90 brands sold in 18 countries with a 2021 annual revenue in excess of $220 million.   

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Ms. Minhas was selected as this year's Global Citizen Award recipient for her commitment to investing in women-run enterprises and her philanthropic efforts that empower women. 

Ms. Minhas has achieved barrier-breaking success in the male-dominated business world, exemplifying, through her own journey, strides towards Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 5 of Gender Equality. Ms. Minhas notes that “I’ve always been cognizant of encouraging women business owners on the Den and in other mentoring situations, because a more inclusive economy is a stronger economy.” 

The UN echoes this: empowering women and girls in all aspects of society is an essential tool in reducing poverty, promoting inclusive growth, and building resilient societies worldwide. If, by 2025, women participate in the global economy on an equal level to men, global GDP would increase by 26% - that’s like adding an economy larger than that of the United States to the world (McKinsey Consulting Group). Yet women only occupy 30% of senior management positions in Canadian businesses (Statistics Canada)

"Since 2015, the global increase in women holding managerial positions has been a mere 1%. We urgently need more leaders like Manjit, whose commitment and influence are essential to accelerating progress toward the gender equality goals outlined in the SDGs." said UNA-Canada President and CEO Jaime Webbe. 

Our annual gala is an exceptional opportunity to celebrate the achievements of Canadians who exemplify core UN values. This October, we are excited to honor Ms. Manjit Minhas, recognizing her remarkable contributions and leadership in gender equality. Her success as a trailblazing entrepreneur embodies the spirit of resilience and innovation, serving as a powerful inspiration for other women and girls to follow in her footsteps and drive positive change within their communities. 

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About Manjit Minhas 

As a teenager in Calgary, Alberta, Ms. Minhas founded her first spirits company alongside her brother, Ravinder. Things weren’t easy – Ms. Minhas notes that a year as an entrepreneur involves “350 days of challenges for 15 days of glory,” but Ms. Minhas’ never-say-die attitude paid off, as she and her brother created the first successful company to enter the Canadian beer industry in several decades. Ms. Minhas’ savviness turned heads: CBC approached her in 2015 to appear as a Dragon on their hit business series Dragons’ Den, where she has featured as a key cast member for 10 seasons (and counting).

Ms. Minhas savviness turned heads: CBC approached her in 2015 to appear as a Dragon on their hit business series Dragons' Den, where she has featured as a key cast member for 10 seasons (and counting). 

This opportunity has enabled her to invest in a new generation of entrepreneurs striving to realize their dreams, and Ms. Minhas has used her platform to reduce inequalities in women's access to investment and leadership positions. 

She volunteered as a co-chair of United Way Calgary’s 2016 fundraising campaign, mobilizing support to raise $55 million to uplift Calgary’s most vulnerable populations. She also helped raise tens of millions of dollars for the YWCA to help build a crisis shelter for women and children fleeing domestic violence. Gender equality urgently demands that we empower women of all walks of life with the tools to uplift themselves, as female empowerment empowers us all. 

For any inquires, please contact thomas.lenhard@unac.org

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