Speaker | Entrepreneur | Author
Kendal Netmaker is one of Canada’s leading entrepreneurs and speakers, from Sweetgrass First Nation, Saskatchewan. 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. 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!
What People are Saying
“What a pleasure to have Kendal bring the keynote address at our Tourism Workplace Leadership Conference. He is a riveting storyteller with a powerful message that motivates and uplifts. His wisdom exceeds his years and he leaves you feeling inspired to be a better version of yourself.”
-CEO, Tourism Saskatchewan
“We had the pleasure of working with Kendal at the Best of Calgary event we sponsored. His keynote was not only touching and motivating, but also funny and light-hearted. He had the crowd experience a vast mix of emotions and kept them engaged at all times. After the keynote was over, you could hear the mumble in the crowd talking and reflecting on all the ways Kendal’s keynote touched their hearts and moved them. We had members of the audience ask for his contact info so that they could book him at their next event! Kendal is such a humble and well-rounded human being, it is always such a pleasure to interact with him. Thank you again, Kendal! We hope to be able to work with you again soon!”
-Client Relations Specialist – TEC Canada
“Your Team Building seminar and presentation was very inspirational to myself and our group, we brainstormed, we trusted and we created an outcome of how we would like to move forward in our workplace and in our personal lives, thanks to your innovative words and ideas…we thoroughly enjoyed your sense of humour, we felt connected and appreciated; akosani, kinanaskomihtihn, we thank you”
-Human Resource Manager – Fisher River Health Services
“Kendal is an incredibly inspirational speaker. We had asked him to speak at our townhall of over 100 professional staff. The staff loved him and the positive messages he communicated. Fun, heartwarming yet challenging messages on how everyone can overcome any challenges they face, be successful and make a positive impact on the world around them. I would highly recommend him for any speaking engagement.”
-Ernst & Young LLP
“We were fortunate to have Kendal Netmaker as a guest speaker at the College of Arts and Science 2018 Convocation Banquet and Awards Ceremony. The story he shared with our graduates about his journey from student to prominent businessperson was incredibly inspiring and Kendal’s heartfelt, personal message resonated with all present. His passion and confidence as a speaker were a great motivator to our students, as he provided them a great example of what they could achieve in their future careers as fellow alumni.”
-Dean and Professor, College of Arts and Science, University of Saskatchewan
“Kendal is a brilliant speaker. He is dynamic, powerful and entertaining. He shares his business experiences and expertise through real-life stories that are inspirational and motivational. Your audience will walk away with a new enthusiasm and with a to-do list of actions they can take immediately to achieve even greater success. With Kendal on your agenda, he is sure to be the highlight of your event!”
-Nishnawbe Aski Development Fund