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Two Sobey students to compete for national entrepreneurship prize

Date Published: April 16, 2020


In early April, two Sobey School of Business students were chosen to compete at the Enactus Student Entrepreneur National Competition to be held in May — Nevell Provo (Smooth Meal Prep) and Mubdu Alali (Bloxo). Only 12 students from across Canada compete, and having two students advance from the same university is unprecedented.

Mubdu and Nevell are teammates and friends, so being pitted against each other doesn’t bother them. “I’m very honoured to be recognized as a top student entrepreneur in Canada and excited to compete against some of the best in Canada,” said Nevell in an email. “Happy to represent SMU along with Mubdu, it really is a credit to Saint Mary’s and the entrepreneurial environment. “

Mubdu said, “I hope one of us will win the competition.”

Neither business is pausing due to the pandemic.

Bloxo, a platform that helps people be physically active by simplifying the process of joining and organizing sports, was recognized by Volta in November with a $25,000 investment. The platform officially launched on March 4th, just few days before their market was shut down by COVID19. 

But Mubdu, who has amassed both funding and partnerships thanks to his pitching prowess and the appeal of the product, has not sat still. 

“Since then, we worked on figuring out a new creative pivot into a market that fits identity. We managed to modify our app to facilitate hosting virtual live yoga and fitness type of classes from the living room.”

The platform will allow fitness instructors to book events, promote them and accept payment. The development is in beta testing now, with the intention of launching by May 1st.

SmoothMealPrep is considered an essential service.

“Our main concern as always, but what we’re doubling down on now,” said Nevell, “is the health and safety of our employees and customers.” 

He added, “Now that people are home, and unable to leave as much as they want, our service has become even more helpful to many. We’ve altered and added some pieces to our offerings to accommodate a wider variety, in particular our new family meal plan, that feeds a family of 4 for the week for around $210!”

Nevell was recognized with an Young Entrepreneur of the Year award by Family Business Atlantic in March of 2020.

The Sobey School of Business wants to congratulate these exceptional students, as well as the entire Enactus Team and the supportive crew at the Saint Mary’s University Entrepreneurship Centre.

At the same regional competition, Saint Mary’s University’s Enactus team demonstrated the top quality of their social enterprise projects by taking top place in all four categories at the annual Enactus regional competition, which was held virtually for the first time.

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