The THRIVE Podcast for Women Entrepreneurs is all about supporting YOU to start and build a thriving business. On THRIVE, we connect you with leading experts, entrepreneurs, and organizations that provide capital, mentorship, training, tools and other support to help you to make your vision reality, faster.

The THRIVE podcast is a production of Startup Canada, Canada’s entrepreneurship organization, supporting Canada’s entrepreneurs to succeed. This podcast is presented in partnership with the Business Development Bank of Canada and Scotiabank.

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Latest Episode

Rock Your Business Plan with Karen Greve Young – February 20th 2020

As an entrepreneur, you need to understand the key elements of your business plan. But you don’t need to figure out all the answers by yourself—just ask Karen Greve Young, CEO of Futurpreneur.

Futurpreneur Canada has been fuelling the success of young Canadian entrepreneurs since 1996. It is the only national non-profit organization dedicated to providing financing, mentoring and support tools to aspiring business owners aged 18-39. Since inception, it has helped 12,000+ young entrepreneurs launch businesses that contribute to sustainable economic development in their communities and for Canada. Prior to joining Futurpreneur in 2018, Karen led Corporate Development & Partnerships at MaRS Discovery District, and previously worked in San Francisco, New York and London, UK, at organizations including Bain & Company, Gap Inc. and the UK’s Institute of Cancer Research. Karen serves on the Board of Ovarian Cancer Canada. She holds an MBA from Stanford University and a BA in Economics from Harvard University.

“We work with the entrepreneur to help develop their business plan and their cash flow to the very best form possible.”

On this week’s THRIVE Podcast, sponsored by the Business Development Bank of Canada and Scotiabank, Karen talks about Futurpreneur, and giving all kinds of young entrepreneurs a launchpad to accomplishing their goals.

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Finding Your Direction with Solange Tuyishime – February 13th 2020

As an entrepreneur, you might be focused on growth and profits. But leaning into your nurturing to focus on impact can be even more valuable—just ask Solange Tuyishime, Founder & CEO of Elevate International.

Their goal is to inspire, empower, and elevate women and girls, locally and Globally; advancing women in leadership and economic growth while creating leadership and mentoring programs for young women. Solange has more than 10 years of experience within the Federal Government of Canada. Most recently, she’s been Managing the Departmental Audit Committee for Industry Canada, supporting executive leadership programs in the Executive Group Services, and holding various communication positions within the Government. As a UNICEF Canada’s Ambassador, her objective is to encourage fundraising efforts seeking to give every child opportunities in life to survive and thrive.

“We’ve often seen entrepreneurship as really focused on—how do you make more money, and how do you grow your business? In my experience, we don’t often talk about how it’s making an impact in this world.”

On this week’s THRIVE Podcast, sponsored by the Business Development Bank of Canada and Scotiabank, Solange talks about making a positive impact through business, and elevating the next generation of women to be leaders.

Learning Beyond Your Limits with Estelle Doiron – February 6th 2020

As an entrepreneur, you might not always feel qualified for the tasks on your list. But learning beyond your comfort zone is what makes entrepreneurship exciting—just ask Estelle Doiron, Founder & CEO of Koffee Beauty.

Koffee Beauty is a skincare company using coffee as the main ingredient in their product lines. Estelle has a diverse personal and professional background; heading up her local rotary chapter; she’s an award winning sales advisor and accredited fitness trainer; a finance and bank manager, and a facilitator for her local college’s sales and marketing programs. Her reputation and skills are second to none and anyone who meets with, works with, or is trained by Estelle never forgets the experience.

“I see so many entrepreneurs or people in general that believe in labels that they’ve been given or that they gave themselves like, I’m too young, I’m too old, I’m not good at sales, or I’m not creative, or not good with a computer.”

On this week’s THRIVE Podcast, sponsored by the Business Development Bank of Canada and Scotiabank, Estelle talks about how to let go of internalized labels and fears and embrace the excitement of learning through your journeys.

Building From the Ground Up with Suzanne Grant – January 23rd 2020

As an entrepreneur, it can be hard to stay true to yourself. But building that foundation starts from the ground up – just ask Suzanne Grant, CEO of the Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance.

Suzanne is a Canadian veteran and entrepreneur with military communications, engineering and intelligence background. As the current CEO of CATA, Canada’s Technology Alliance, Suzanne is changing the landscape for the digital technology sector in Canada. She has served on mission-driven non-profits, scale-up business boards, and leading think tanks, advisory and governance committees. With decades of entrepreneurial experience, Suzanne has pioneered groundbreaking biotechnologies, advocated for the growth of women-led businesses, and has been celebrated for her impact as the recipient of the Startup Canada Women Entrepreneur Award. 

“I’ve started and stopped multiple times. When I choose to stop, I always go back to first principles.”

On this week’s THRIVE Podcast, Suzanne talks about how to keep yourself on course, even when you need to go off-road.

Carving Out Your Community with Sally Douglas – January 23rd 2020

Your community is a collection of everyone in your corner, and for Sally Douglas, Principal – Operations at The Earnescliffe Foundation and Chair of the Women in Communications and Technology’s National Capital Region chapter, she might need a bigger corner.

Sally has an eclectic career, starting out in nursing before u-turning into commercial construction project management. She emigrated to Canada from Scotland with her husband and 2 boys 15 years ago and had to reinvent herself as a construction and engineering recruitment consultant and team manager with Hays international Recruitment before taking another completely different role as Deputy Publisher at iPolitics. Most recently she has joined the Earnscliffe Strategy Group as their Principal Operations to help manage the companies growth and diversification to better serve their clients.

“Knowing your strengths and weaknesses and being upfront and honest about them, is so important because we all bring different things to the table. That’s what makes community so important.”

On this week’s THRIVE Podcast, Sally talks about the value of building a community that you can not only pour support into, but have others pour into you as well.

Finding Balance Through Fitness with Catherine Chan – January 16th 2020

Everyone always tells you how important fitness is to your overall health, but no one ever tells you how to fit in the fitness that works for you right? Then you’ve never talked to Catherine Chan, Founder of FitIn.

Catherine is a long-time lover of running, has competed in kettlebell competitions, and has her grade 4 sash in Kung Fu. Stemming from a desire to try a new yoga class, and frustrated by how long it took to find the right class in the right place at the right time, she was inspired to found FitIn – a platform designed to help people find and be inspired by the amazing number of fitness experiences available out there.

“People often see a barrier to getting into fitness classes, whether it’s social anxiety, body positivity or something else, and I want to help them find somewhere welcoming and inclusive. The connection between mental health and physical health is quite profound and we’re just starting to kind uncover the layers of that.”

On this week’s THRIVE Podcast, Catherine discusses helping founders find their fitness, and bringing balance to your wellbeing.

Seeking Support Through Mentorship with Sheena Brady – January 9th 2020

As an entrepreneur, access to mentors and providing mentorship has to be your cup of tea, just ask Sheena Brady, Founder, and CEO of Tease Tea.

Sheena has always had big dreams for Tease Tea to empower women, one cup at a time, around the world. Tease Tea has grown into a seven-figure company serving customers in over 30 countries, with a portion of proceeds from every order supporting its giveback program.

Part of its giveback program includes the Founders Fund, which in the last eight months has taken on a life of its own becoming Canada’s first online growth accelerator supporting women identifying entrepreneurs by providing accessible access, mentorship resources, and non-repayable funding to grow their business.

“The biggest takeaway for anyone listening is to lean into your support system. Peer to peer mentorship and is a great way to navigate being an entrepreneur, and I made the very intentional decision of supporting women through every single purchase with this company.”

On this week’s THRIVE Podcast, Sheena shares how important mentorship is to survive and thrive as entrepreneurs.

Building Community Around Business with Brianne Miller – December 26th 2019

The consumer cycle can be a messy thing, but it’s not humans who feel the consequences most keenly. The world’s oceans are suffering at an alarming rate from plastic waste, something Brianne Miller, marine biologist turned ecopreneur, can attest to.

Brianne is the Co-Founder and CEO of Nada Grocery – a certified B-Corporation and package-free grocery store inspiring people changing the way they shop for groceries. Brianne is committed to revolutionizing the food system from the ground up so that future generations can continue to enjoy and benefit from the world’s oceans.

“I certainly never thought I’d open a grocery store one day, but marine biology took me to so many places where I could see the effect of pollution close up. We had a lot of frustration in our personal lives because a lot of the waste we were creating came from food, so that’s where we wanted to start tackling it.”

On this week’s THRIVE Podcast, Komal Minhas and Brianne talk about the value of building businesses to do more than bring in profits.

HR Best Practices in a Culture of Change with Tracy Stephen – December 19th 2019

Some change is good, some change is bad, but all change can be slightly terrifying – that’s why Tracy Stephen, Sovereign Insurance’s Associate Vice President, Human Resources & Corporate Administration is here to share some tips on best HR practices in a culture of change!

Tracy has over 17 years of leadership experience and has specialized in HR for the past 12. She has a passion for leadership and believes in building strong and genuine working relationships, developing others and partnering with the business to support the execution of strategic results. Her teams would describe her as honest, collaborate, supportive, optimistic and passionate about leveraging team strengths while challenging the status quo.

“My career has definitely taken an unconventional path, but it led me to discover I love leading teams and I had a passion for HR. During change you have to focus on your values, your value proposition, and figure out what approach will work best for your business and culture.”

On this week’s THRIVE Podcast, Sharon Cheung and Tracy talk about the importance of staying true to your company values in times of change, while also looking for talent that shares those values while bringing their own flair.

Supporting Women Through Exporting with Catherine Decarie – December 12th 2019

What are the top three things women can take away from a conversation with Catherine Decarie, SVP Channels, Marketing & Corporate Strategy at Export Development Canada (EDC)? 

“Business benefits from selling outside Canada, EDC can help do that, and many entrepreneurs are exporters without realizing it.”

At the top of Catherine’s to-do list each day is ensuring that EDC is serving Canadian companies and their evolving needs as they grow their business through exporting – identifying opportunities for innovation, overseeing EDC’s portfolio of Canadian small and medium-sized exporters, and elevating awareness of EDC by engaging with customers, banks, and partners to facilitate trade-related business opportunities.

On this week’s THRIVE Podcast, Komal Minhas and Catherine talk about the value of supporting women entrepreneurs in their export journey.

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