Our Story

The Next Big Thing (TNBT) is a national charitable organization that empowers youth with the tools and skills they need to succeed as entrepreneurs.  TNBT was founded by serial entrepreneurs Meredith Powell and Ryan Holmes in 2013, as a means to pay it forward to the next generation of entrepreneurs. The TNBT community includes internationally recognized entrepreneurs, influencers, leaders, and investors who share our passion for youth entrepreneurship and innovation. Our young innovators are creating impact all over the world from Vancouver to Moncton to San Diego to Nairobi. Since 2014 we have supported 34 entrepreneurs, all under 25, who have launched 23 ventures and have raised $4.8M in capital.

TNBT identifies and empowers young change-makers, rule-breakers, and entrepreneurial spirits through our intensive Fellowship Program and Youth Ambassador Program. Through these programs, we connect young Canadians with a highly influential professional network, practical business and technical skills, and each other. We provide young individuals the 21st Century skill set they need to succeed in the Canadian and global economies, through our unique learning opportunities that address real, identified issues holding youth back from succeeding in today’s noisy business marketplace.


“Our goals are simple if unconventional: Get tomorrow’s most promising entrepreneurs
out of the classroom and into the business world.

Remove the usual obstacles — grades, degrees and work experience. Reward ingenuity and accelerate the pace at which a good idea becomes a business reality.”
— Ryan Holmes, TNBT Co-Founder


The TNBT brings together hands-on training, coaching, and professional services to accelerate youth entrepreneurs aged 17-25. Youth are connected with relevant mentors, learn essential, technical and business skills, and are introduced to a wide network of investment and business community leaders. Learn more about what we do and the current TNBT Entrepreneurs, and how YOU can be part of it!

Make sure to check out our In The News section or our Blog to learn more about our network of mentors, coaches, investors, and fellows.

Don't miss out on hearing about opportunities to connect with them in person at our upcoming events

TNBT’s Youth Ambassador Program (YAP) is an intro to entrepreneurial thinking and life that aims to help youth aged 13-18 to uncover their life goals and purpose. 

YAP events and workshops are designed to help youth to approach decisions about their career path with more knowledge about their options, and themselves.