Dr. Gavin Armstrong is a committed and award winning impact entrepreneur. He is currently serving as the Founder and CEO of Lucky Iron Fish Enterprise® (LIFe), a social enterprise dedicated to alleviating iron deficiency around the world using simple health innovations. Through this role he was a Fulbright scholar at Auburn University and was awarded the prestigious Forbes 30 Under 30 in the Social Entrepreneur category in 2016. In 2017 he received the Muhammad Ali Humanitarian Award and was named 'Social Entrepreneur of the Year' by EY Canada. In 2018 he successfully pitched his company Lucky Iron Fish Enterprise on CBC's Dragons Den where he was able to secure a deal with two dragons. In 2019 he was named Small Business Leader of the Year by the Canadian Gay Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (CGLCC).
A long-term advocate and activist against hunger and malnutrition, Gavin is the first Canadian to receive the William J. Clinton Award for international work against hunger and is the inaugural recipient of the international Michaelle Jean Emergency Hunger Relief Award. He has also helped the Lucky Iron Fish win multiple Cannes Lion awards including the Grand Prix and several Clio Design Awards including the Grand Prix in healthcare. He has also received a Silver Innovation Award from the Edison Foundation. In 2015 Conscious Company Magazine featured Gavin as one of the seventeen 'Rising Social Entrepreneurs' of the year. He is also the youngest recipient of the Social Innovator of the Year Award from the Lewis Institute at Babson College. In 2017 Gavin was named one of the 50 philanthropists changing the world by Town & Country, and in 2018 was named in the top 100 visionary leaders by Real-Leaders magazine. In 2021 Gavin ranked as one of the top fifty Change-makers by the Global & Mail Report on Business.
As an undergraduate student, Gavin signed the University of Guelph up to be the first Canadian University to become members of Universities Fighting World Hunger (UFWH), an organization of universities worldwide dedicated to promote awareness of, and take action against, hunger and malnutrition. He served as the coordinator of the 6th Annual UFWH Summit, the first time that the conference had been held in Canada, and attracted more than 450 delegates, 50 speakers and raised more than $130,000 to support the conference. Gavin also instituted an annual event at the University to pack food for emergency relief: Since 2011 this event has packaged over 1 million meals and Gavin has raised over $250,000 to support the initiative.
Gavin is also a strong supporter for increasing educational opportunities for the Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya, developing new opportunities to fund a solar power program that will power the schools and raising money to build a new school in the camps. He has also developed links between the University of Guelph and Universite de Nouakchott (Mauritania) to boost food production and capacity in one of the most vulnerable regions of Africa. He has served on the Executive Committee for the Cambodian Canadian Chamber of Commerce and is currently a director and the Treasurer for the Canadian Gay Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, and a member of the WildHearts Youth National Advisory Board. He is also volunteering as a mentor for young entrepreneurs.
Gavin holds an honours Bachelor of Commerce degree and PhD in Biomedical Science from the University of Guelph. During this time he was elected as the Communications and Corporate Affairs Commissioner for the student union, served on the Senate, the Board of Governors, the Presidential Task Force on Sustainability, the BetterPlanet Project steering committee and cabinet (the capital campaign of the University), and as the student co-chair for the United Way Campaign.