Charlottetown, PE (October 20, 2023) –  The Greater Charlottetown Area Chamber of Commerce is proud to announce Lacey Koughan, owner of 24strong, as the recipient of its second annual Rising Entrepreneur Award.

Sponsored by Innovation PEI, the award – which celebrates an entrepreneur under 30 – was presented at the Chamber’s 2023 Small Business Week’s Business Insight Luncheon: Show Me the Money at the Delta Hotels by Marriot Prince Edward on Thursday, October 19.

24strong is a multifaceted training studio for Island youth, offering programs in dance, acting, modelling, and confidence building for ages 2+. The studio offers just under 100 hours of instruction each week.

“I am so grateful to have been named the 2023 Rising Entrepreneur. I’m committed to continuing to provide unique opportunities for Island youth to grow and develop their skills, both on and off the dance floor,” Lacey said. “Thank you to all of my students, their families, my amazing staff, and of course my family, for their constant support in helping to get 24strong to where it is today!”

Lacey grew up dancing and performing, with a dream of opening her own dance studio one day. In 2016, at just 16 years old, Lacey made that dream come true.

She has since become a graduate from the StartupZone (PEI) and Vancouver-based accelerator, LOI Labs (where she was mentored by Chip Wilson and Ryan Holmes). Lacey’s passion and dedication to her work has led her to be recognized as one of Atlantic Canada’s 30 under 30 innovators, The Red Cross Young Humanitarian of the Year, and has given her the opportunity to speak to various schools and groups about her entrepreneurial journey. Lacey is passionate about empowering Island youth to believe in themselves and their abilities.

Over the years, 24strong went from renting out local gyms and church halls to leasing its own space in downtown Charlottetown, now the largest dance studio on PEI and continuing to grow daily.

“We recently started construction on our studio expansion, which will include our 4th dance studio as well as a dedicated training space for our 24TALENT modeling and acting programs. I’m looking forward to sharing some exciting new collaborations with other local businesses and organizations in the next few months, as well as providing additional employment opportunities for the community,” Lacey said.

This award reflects the Chamber’s commitment to spark economic growth on PEI by promoting and encouraging entrepreneurship. The prize includes $2,500 cash, along with a complimentary one-year membership from the Chamber and quarterly mentorship opportunities with Innovation PEI.

“Young entrepreneurs are critical to the growth and vitality of the business community. We extend our congratulations to Lacey on receiving this well-deserved award and look forward to seeing her continued success and growth,” said Chamber interim-CEO Kim Horrelt.

Taf Mpaso, owner of Epic Electric Scooters Inc., was recognized as runner-up for this award, and will receive a free Chamber membership for one year.

The Rising Entrepreneur Award is presented each year. A panel of judges reviews the applications and interviews applicants to determine the finalists and recipient. The award was launched last year.

Minister Jill Burridge, winner Lacey Koughan, GCACC Board President Kim Griffin, and Minister Jenn Redmond


Minister Jill Burridge, runner-up Taf Mpaso, winner Lacey Koughan, GCACC Board President Kim Griffin, and Minister Jenn Redmond


About The Chamber:
The Greater Charlottetown Area Chamber of Commerce connects business and community and is PEI’s largest business advocacy organization with more than 1,130 members. For more information on the Chamber, visit

Media Contact:
Madeline Biso
Policy and Communications Specialist
(902) 628-2000 x 224