GreenStep Solutions

GreenStep Solutions


It was a desire to save the world that compelled 18-year-old Angela Nagy to start GreenStep Solutions. It’s been a desire to persevere and stay true to her purpose that enabled Angela to make Greenstep one of the country’s leading companies to promote sustainability initiatives in business and politics.

Saving the world seems like an overly ambitious goal when starting a company, but that’s exactly what spurred Angela Nagy to launch GreenStep Solutions in 2008. After completing a sustainability strategy for their first client, a large, well-known company, Angela realized that there was more of a need to help small and medium sized businesses, which make up a huge percentage of the market.

In the beginning, GreenStep worked onsite with these businesses; however, Angela and her team knew that the only way to scale their business and quickly create the big impact they wanted was through digital technology. So, they developed online assessment tools that businesses could use to measure and improve their sustainability performance.

As part of the company’s evolution, they moved further into the clean tech sphere by acquiring a carbon measurement software company in 2013. The GreenStep team completely redeveloped the software and designed it as a tool for small and medium sized businesses to measure and track their carbon footprint.

“What I’ve learned in operating my business, as I’ve grown the digital side of the company, is the amazing network and support systems that are available to entrepreneurs in the Okanagan,” says Angela. “Whether that’s through Accelerate Okanagan or other entrepreneurs…It’s mentors and programs for businesses like mine that help us grow.”

GreenStep Solutions has certainly flourished, doubling in size each of the last few years, with a total of 16 people working in the Kelowna head office or remotely from locations across Canada. As her company has grown, Angela has dealt with the ups and downs of entrepreneurship, her resiliency and ambition guiding her every step of the way. Through both the good and tough times, she was able to find encouragement and connect with like-minded people thanks to organizations like Okanagan Women’s Mentoring and Angel Network and WeBC, who specifically support women entrepreneurs.

As an entrepreneur, Angela knows that building and nurturing relationships is key to success. To this end, GreenStep developed a long-standing partnership with the Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association, who they are working closely with to become global leaders in sustainable tourism.

“Our big, hairy, audacious goal is to become the business most known for improving the sustainability performance of small and medium sized businesses throughout North America,” says Angela. “Our legacy would be that it started here in Kelowna, that it’s an Okanagan success story and that it has a positive impact on the business community within our region.”

The positive impact the company wants to achieve is already well underway—GreenStep Solutions has worked with more than 3,000 tourism destinations, businesses, and organizations, including Tourism Kelowna, who in 2021 achieved Platinum Certification through GreenStep’s Sustainable Tourism Program. 

As Angela reflects on her more than 20 years working in Kelowna’s technology ecosystem, she observes how neat it’s been to watch things incubate and grow, with numerous entrepreneurs in the region using technology to solve environmental problems.

THC Biomed


It was a desire to save the world that compelled 18-year-old Angela Nagy to start GreenStep Solutions. It’s been a desire to persevere and stay true to her purpose that enabled Angela to make Greenstep one of the country’s leading companies to promote sustainability initiatives in business and politics.

When THC Biomed was founded in Kelowna in 2012, the goal was to create a cannabis product that was accessible to all medical patients at a reasonable price. As one of the oldest licensed producers in Canada, the company was able to start researching and studying how to grow cannabis in a legal, regulated environment thanks to a rare exemption research 56 license they received. This allowed their team to select the best strains possible from around the world to cultivate, while also developing their own proprietary strains.

While the market for cannabis has grown thanks to legalization, THC Biomed remains focused on delivering high-quality, affordable, and accessible cannabis strains, which they grow sustainably in small batches, indoors. 

“We hand water all our plants…if you have everything automated, you’re not really looking at what the plant needs. Some plants need a little bit less water, and some more. So, we mitigate this by hand watering,” says Cleo Menezes, who started with the company in 2014 as the Head of Corporate Sales and now works in Corporate Communications. “We grow our plants in soil and don’t use any pesticides or exogenous chemicals. We just keep it really simple. We grow them organically in dirt, with pure nutrients and lots of love.”

Sustainability and accessibility are at the core of THC Biomed, which is a publicly traded company that now employs around 40 people at its flagship Kelowna facility. As a pioneer in the industry, the THC Biomed team is always looking for innovative ways to deliver cannabis to the wide variety of people who use their products. One of their newest products is a flavoured cannabis beverage shot, a first among the cannabis beverage market, which typically comes in cans and bigger bottles.

The versatility of the cannabis plant, and the diversity of its consumers, fuels the THC Biomed team’s passion and creativity, as does the region that they call home. 

“Our valley is home to wineries, craft breweries, beaches, and we’re also growing our arts and culture sector, celebrating more and more local talent. The Okanagan is exciting and progressive and growing so fast, it’s a truly fantastic place to work and play.”

Looking forward, the company wants to expand into other provinces and is excited about the farm-gate sales program currently in development by BC’s provincial government. Cleo notes that the local government and organizations like the Central Okanagan Economic Development Commission recognize the cannabis industry as a significant driver of economic growth in the region. This support and growth also extend to the region’s tourism industry—in the spring of 2022, Kelowna successfully hosted the inaugural BC Cannabis Summit and the CannaGolf Classic. 

“It makes me feel very confident in the future of the industry because now that we’re finally being recognized and marketed alongside the other local core industries, it means the massive potential that has always been here is now turning into a profitable reality,” adds Cleo. “There are lots of benefits to running the business here, there’s lots of opportunity for growth and expansion, so that’s a big benefit to being in Kelowna.”

Paynter’s Fruit Market


It was a desire to save the world that compelled 18-year-old Angela Nagy to start GreenStep Solutions. It’s been a desire to persevere and stay true to her purpose that enabled Angela to make Greenstep one of the country’s leading companies to promote sustainability initiatives in business and politics.

On the far end of West Kelowna sits Paynter’s Fruit Market, a 40-acre fruit and vegetable farm owned and operated by Jennay Oliver, who is the fourth generation of the Paynter family to work this piece of land. More than 100 years ago, Jennay’s great grandfather, Edwin Paynter, first farmed here. In 1951, her grandfather, Harry Paynter Sr., sold the first pieces of fruit from a roadside stand. Her aunts and uncles took the helm in the ‘80s and then handed the reins to Jennay, who took over the operation in 2007 at the age of 23.

“Farming is a way of life, and it offers this perfectly balanced lifestyle,” says Jennay. “What keeps me passionate is seeing people come in and they’re so excited about when things are ready. They’re so excited that our fruit stand is located right on the orchard, they can walk out and see the fruit growing on the trees.”

Taking over the farm at such a young age, Jennay had to learn on the job; she says she is still constantly learning, as agriculture practices continue to shift and evolve. She credits the support of the farming community for helping her solve problems as they come up. Local organizations like the Regional District of the Central Okanagan and Central Okanagan Economic Development Commission also keep her informed about programs and funding that can support her small business.

“Over the last 10 years, we’ve doubled the production of our farm, and now we’re trying to consolidate, improve, and continue to build the sustainability of the farm and trying to be even more efficient with the fruit stand,” says Jennay. She notes that consumer preferences have also shifted to a more sustainable mindset during this time, with people caring more about food quality and having a connection with where their food comes from.

Farming sustainably means the Paynter’s team is constantly thinking about how to minimize inputs to keep the soil as healthy as possible. They use an array of farming techniques, like rotating fields, planting cover crops, not tilling, and using compost as fertilizer, to support the land. This all leads to fresh, locally grown produce that people buy up with enthusiasm, including chefs at local restaurants like Old Vines at Quails’ Gate Estate Winery and The Landing Kitchen + Bar at the Cove Lakeside Resort, both of which are also venues for business meetings and events. 

Making connections in the community extends to Jennay’s relationships with fellow farmers, who she regularly collaborates with. Since they don’t grow every type of fruit and vegetable on the farm, Jennay seeks out local and regional farmers who are growing quality products that can then be sold at Paynter’s Fruit Market, which only carries made in BC products. 

To Jennay, who is raising two young daughters on the farm, the future success of Paynter’s Fruit Market and farming in general extends well beyond her lifetime.

“In 100 years, I would like to see the same amount of land being farmed in the Okanagan that there is right now…it makes our land beautiful and it’s a huge part of our economy.”