Episode 328

Institutionalizing Compassion with Jennifer Denouden

On this week's Startup Podcast episode, Jenn shares Avana's unique model and unwavering values, and tells us to set goals that force different thinking.

Episode Overview

Jenn Denouden is the President and CEO of Avana, named Canada’s tenth fastest-growing company on the 2020 Growth List, making it the first-ever female-led company from Saskatchewan to break the Top 10 in the list’s 32-year history. Avana paves the way as a real estate development company with nearly $400 million in assets under management today. Avana is a purpose-led organization committed to building attainable, safe, quality housing.

Jenn translated a successful career in private banking to found Avana in 2014 with her sights set on breaking down the “old boys’ club” of the real estate world. Avana has since gone on to achieve 9888% growth over five years and holds 45% of Regina, Saskatchewan’s new development permits. In addition, Jenn is passionate about helping women and children escaping domestic abuse through privately funded housing support and the extensive work of the Avana Foundation. With Saskatchewan leading provincial domestic violence statistics in Canada, Jenn’s mission is to provide single-mother families access to safe housing. Avana has also committed $2 million to the development of the YWCA Regina’s Women’s Centre.

As a young female leader, Jenn is mindful about using her platform to raise awareness and has supported organizations like the YWCA Regina, SOFIA House, Walk a Mile Regina, and the Regina Food Bank. Having had to break barriers and a glass ceiling or two in a male-dominated industry, Jenn is an advocate for equality and female empowerment and makes it her life’s work to build a better community and society for her kids to experience. Jenn lives in Regina with her husband and four young children and can be spotted scouting development sites with her hot pink hard hat.

“I look forward to the day where there is competition for Avana and we can’t enter a market because there are too many people doing what we do. That would be a beautiful day for our country.”

In this week’s episode of the #StartupCanadaPodcast, sponsored by Mastercard and powered by Zensurance, Jenn shares how Avana is disrupting Canada’s real estate sector, the company’s unwavering values, and encourages you to set goals that force you to think differently.

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