Ep 253: Driven To Succeed with Kendal Netmaker
Kendal Netmaker is one of Canada’s leading entrepreneurs and speakers, from Sweetgrass First Nation, SK. He grew up in poverty, raised by a hard-working single mother who cared for Kendal and his three siblings against the backdrop of a bleak economic landscape and few chances for improvement. But his life changed unexpectedly in fifth grade, when he befriended a young boy from South Africa, whose family provided the necessary funding for Kendal to take part in soccer. This opened up a whole other world for him that he would have never otherwise experienced. Two years later, when the family was relocating, they gave Kendal’s family their car; it was a life-changing gift that helped his mother access all kinds of basic necessities that had previously been difficult – and meant that Kendal and his sisters could now take part in after school sports. The incredible generosity of his childhood friend’s family inspired Kendal to give back when he launched his company, Neechie Gear – a lifestyle apparel brand that empowers youth through sports. A percentage of all Neechie Gear profits go toward funding sports programs for underprivileged youth. While finishing two degrees from the University of Saskatchewan, Kendal worked on growing the brand, which was initially based out of Kendal’s small, one-bedroom apartment. After graduation, Kendal opened several pop-up stores and then eventually, an official headquarters for the company, in Saskatoon, SK. The brand is now sold to consumers across North America through exclusive retail partners and online.
To date, Kendal has founded and invested in 5 businesses and won over 25 business awards, including runner-up at the YBI Global Entrepreneur of the Year. Kendal speaks professionally to thousands of people every year about motivation, leadership and the power of telling your story.
He lives with his wife and two children in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, where he continues to run his company and provide mentoring and inspiration to others in the business community.
Kendal is on a mission to empower entrepreneurs and leaders around the globe by demonstrating that regardless of where you come from and what you have gone through in your life, you have the power to enact change. Become who you were born to be! Kendal is the author of “Driven to Succeed: From Poverty to Podium – A First-Nation Success Story”, launched Oct. 9, 2018.