Building a cause through entrepreneurship and community


The Valley Women’s Business Network (VWBN) is delighted to present Tareq Hadhad, the inspiring founder and CEO of Peace By Chocolate, at its fall fundraiser on Friday, October 15. The event takes place at the Maritime Express Cider Co. ballroom in Kentville. Doors open at 6:00pm for a 6:30pm start. The event includes appetizers, a cash bar, and door prizes. An online silent auction precedes the event.

The audience will learn the Hadhad family story as Syrian refugees, and the challenges that come with rapid growth in expanding to new markets and gaining national distribution while staying true to their peace-based cause.
Proceeds from the fundraiser will go towards VWBN bursaries for local women graduating from or in business programs, support for businesswomen in developing countries through Kiva micro-lending (, and support for Valley businesswomen through meetings, networking, seminars, and workshops.

Tareq Hadhad now lives with his entrepreneurial family in Nova Scotia. He received Start Up Canada’s National Newcomer Entrepreneur Award, was named one of the Top 25 Immigrants in The Maritimes, was selected by Google as the National Hero Case for 2018, and was awarded RBC’s Top Immigrant Award and Entrepreneur of the Year in 2020.

In 2012, the Hadhads’ home and factory that housed the family chocolate-making business in Syria were destroyed, which forced them to seek safety in other countries. A former medical student at Damascus University and long-time peacekeeping advocate, Tareq joined medical relief efforts after arriving in Lebanon. A new life began when Tareq and his family were welcomed to Canada on a community-based sponsorship.

Passionate about peace and entrepreneurship, his family relaunched the family business to recreate the chocolates they once exported across the Middle East. Their story turned into an inspiring international phenomenon. In September 2016, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau opened his speech to the United Nations Leaders’ Summit on Refugees detailing the family’s success story. Tareq Hahad has spoken at Amnesty International’s Human Rights Conference, TEDx events, Chambers of Commerce dinners, keynote presentations in Jamaica and England, and to several corporate and government organizations. He has done over 500 interviews with different news teams across the globe. Tareq speaks on the compelling story of his family, the positive impact of Syrian newcomers, and the spirit of entrepreneurship.

Tickets for the event are available through Eventbrite: