Meet Divyansh Ojha, 22, founder of FoodFund Inc. and one of our 20 Under 40 Class of 2020 recipients
THE YOUNGEST OF this year’s recipients, Divyansh Ojha was 19 in 2017 when he started FoodFund, an online, food box delivery platform that utilizes imperfect produce from farms and distributors that would otherwise go to waste.
What prompted you to start your business?
Driving by a major retailer one night, I couldn’t help but feel unsettled by the contrast I saw: there were people disposing bins of produce into the dumpster and there was an aged man holding up a cardboard sign, making a plea for food. Why do one in eight Canadians struggle to put food on the table when millions of pounds of it is thrown away ruthlessly? Trying to find answers, the spirit of FoodFund was born.
What do you consider to be your biggest professional achievement so far?
My journey has been one of resilience, perseverance and grit. In just under three years, I have built the business to over $3 million in annual recurring revenue. More importantly, FoodFund has diverted 1.8 million pounds of food from ending up in the landfill and we’ve provided food security to over 30,000 people in the community while adding millions to the bottom line of farmers.
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Do you have any advice for aspiring entrepreneurs?
I graduated from Ivey in April from the undergraduate business program. As an 18-year-old trying to make my name within my university cohort, I promised myself that I would earn a coveted internship in finance after my first year of studies. After countless applications, phone calls and interviews, I finally managed to earn my spot at a bank researching equities for wealth management. It was a great success for me, and I had to love it — or at least that’s what I told myself. The days were long and tiring but that never bothered me. What bothered me was my lack of sincerity towards the ‘why’. I found myself uninterested in why I was doing what I was doing. That was a transformative internship for me. Now, I take it upon myself to help other university students find something they are passionate about and turn that into meaningful work.
Professionally, what are you most proud of?
The difference we’ve made in the lives of everyday Canadians dwarfs the revenue we’ve generated or the awards and recognition we’ve received. For many, we’ve made a basic human need truly accessible. Interview by Kieran Delamont