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.

THRIVE is hosted by Komal Minhas, Founder of kaur. space and the producer of Dream, Girl.  

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.

Podcast Partners

Latest Episode

Bridging the Gap for Female Entrepreneurs in Canada with Laura Didyk – November 21st 2019

It can be easy for entrepreneurs to feel lonely – women entrepreneurs even more so. But if you ask Laura Didyk, Vice President and National Leader for Women Entrepreneurs at the Business Development Bank of Canada, she’ll tell you how to break that spell.

“One of the biggest trends I’ve seen is the magic that happens when women come together to support one another. When women entrepreneurs meet others who have faced the same problems, they feel they have a strong connection, and feel better supported to handle the challenges that they’re facing.”

Laura has always been passionate about entrepreneurship. Since 1994, Laura has held progressively senior roles at BDC across many divisions of the bank. From consulting and finance to branch support and subordinate financing, Laura has worked with all types of entrepreneurs, at all stages of their business.

Through this experience, she consistently saw one gap: a lack of women. Since 2015, Laura has been an ally and advocate for female business owners and leaders. She began as the regional Women Entrepreneurs Lead in the prairies helping drive the bank’s and securing local champions. Today, Laura drives the bank’s mandate to support women entrepreneurs across Canada.
On this week’s THRIVE Podcast, Komal Minhas and Laura talk about building the landscape for women entrepreneurs in Canada.

Recently Aired Episodes


Shaking Off Self Doubt with Tanya Geisler – November 14th 2019

Ever feel like there’s no way to shut the voices in the back of your mind up that say “you’re not ready yet”, “you’re not good enough”, “that was just luck”? Enter Tanya Geisler, Leadership Coach at Tanya Geisler Coaching.

A certified Leadership Coach, TEDxWomen speaker, and writer, Tanya has taught hundreds of women and women-identified folks, how to step into their Starring Roles, own their authority, and overcome the Impostor Complex with Unshakeable Confidence.

“I always call myself a reluctant expert, it didn’t matter how successful I was I always had this shadow of a doubt that someone would find out I’m not as capable as they believed I was. High-achieving women over-identify with their failures rather than their successes, and I think it’s important to know that the imposter complex will prioritize those failures over the successes.”

Tanya is passionate about helping these individuals shake off their self-doubt so they can own their success instead of being afraid of it, reminding them that their lives are theirs to live and that their success is theirs to own.

On this week’s THRIVE Podcast, Komal Minhas and Tanya show entrepreneurs how to shake off self-doubt and step into the limelight that’s yours to shine in.

If you like the material covered in this podcast, Tanya invites you to join her “Overcoming the Imposter Complex” Facebook Group.

Reinventing & Reinvigorating Yourself & Your Business with Cydney Mar – November 7th 2019

What do you do when you’re faced with life-changing circumstances? If you’re Cydney Mar, former figure skater, fashion designer, and Product Development Strategist & Creator of Cydney Mar Wellness, you reinvent, reinvigorate, and redirect all the best things about you to bring about something new and beautiful.

Cydney believes that lessons and skills teach you to be your best multi-faceted self. When a tragic accident ended her career as a National Level competitive figure skater, and a serious case of mono threatened Cydney’s health and immune system, Cydney pushed through these challenges and leveraged them to be the best she could be, and build two businesses built on her passions.

“My coach taught us how to really accomplish things. When my skating accident happened, I was able to apply those life lessons to what was next – a career in fashion. Maybe when you face near-death experiences, you become unafraid because it’s like, what else can happen?”

Cydney took her love for sewing her own figure skating costumes and attended fashion school where she received many design and merchandising awards. This recognition led her to launch her own couture line, Cydney Mar fashion. Cydney sold this line in high-end stores across North America and later, Cydney launched her collections with QVC, across 8 countries for 15 years.

Cydney then turned her attention to her family ancestry and history in natural medicine, herbalism and the art of healing to develop her own all-natural vitamins and supplements line, Cydney Mar Wellness.
On this week’s THRIVE Podcast, Komal Minhas and Cydney discuss how resiliency is the key to adapting and overcoming at every stage of life.

Researching for Real Solutions with Mallorie Brodie – October 31st 2019

What’s more important than drafting, pitching, and launching your product or company? The research that shows it will work – something Mallorie Brodie, CEO and Co-Founder of Bridgit can attest to.

A Richard Ivey School of Business Graduate, Mallorie launched Bridgit in 2014 with Co-Founder Lauren Lake, a Civil Structural Engineering Graduate from the University of Western Ontario. With non-technical founders found a tech company, what’s the first thing they need to do?  

“Our initial intuition was to get as much user feedback as we could before actually writing a lot of code – part of that was driven by the fact we didn’t have a software engineer on our team.”

Since then Mallorie has overseen the development of products that have had a remarkable impact on the way construction projects are happening today, and are used by national companies like Moss Construction Management, Benson Industries and more, who believe that adopting technology brings new value, productivity and efficiencies to their projects.

On this week’s THRIVE Podcast, Komal Minhas and Mallorie discuss how researching is step one of figuring out step one, and how to see that through to the end product.

Finding Your Funding, Effectively with Sydney Wong – October 24th 2019

It’s a hard truth, but the fact that the majority of startups fail is a real problem – and it’s one Sydney Wong, Founder and Chief Hustler at VenturX, is addressing with a real solution.

Sydney went to Silicon Valley in 2015 with a one-way ticket with no job, no VISA, and no apartment. After meeting, learning and absorbing everything she could from the “startup battlefield with few winners”, she returned to Canada with a mission for her company – what would it take to produce more winners?

“When entrepreneurs ask ‘can you help me with funding?’ I always ask them first, are you sure you need it? Are you sure this is the path you want to go to? If the answer is even slightly no, investors will see right through that. The next thing I ask them is how do you know this is the right time? Timing is one of the most important things when it comes to any company.”

On this week’s THRIVE Podcast, Komal Minhas and Sydney Wong discuss finding the funding that fits your startup best.

People, Planet, Profit: Local Liquid Gold with Aja Horsley – October 17th 2019

It’s true you won’t attract much with vinegar, but when you make locally sourced, sustainable food production the guiding principle of your raw honey business, you’ll certainly attract more than flies. Aja Horsley is the Founder and Queen Bee of Drizzle Honey, and is focused on changing how the world uses honey.

“If you do what you’re passionate about and you do it the right way, even when nobody’s watching you, you’re going to attract people to that. You’re going to be able to align yourself with consumers and people that think the same way as you, and bring your passion into the world.”

On this week’s THRIVE Podcast, Komal Minhas and Aja discuss making a product sweeter than most, with everyone’s interests at heart.

Time to Take Back Your Tech with Liva Graudina – October 10th 2019

Is technology annoying? Painful? Terrifying? According to Liva Graudina, Senior Coordinator of IT at Sovereign Insurance, tech should be fun and nothing but!

Having grown up in the era of chat rooms, Liva was no stranger to learning shortcuts quickly and sharing them with others. She takes that passion to work, and even back home with her as she’s known as Tech Support in her family.

“You don’t want to do all the hard work. Your tech is there for you – it doesn’t have you, you have it.”

On this week’s THRIVE Podcast, Komal Minhas and Liva discuss her sharing her passion for streamlining others’ lives with tech.

Design Thinking: Intelligent Innovations for your Business with Nilufer Erdebil – October 3rd 2019

Nilufer Erdebil has worn many hats – saleswoman, software designer, innovation expert. But as the CEO of Spring2 Innovation, she knows what’s under the hat is the most important thing.

Spring2 Innovation uses the principles of Design Thinking, a process for creative problem solving that encourages organizations to focus on the people they are creating goods or services for, to bring insight, expand operations, and re-tool approaches companies take to dealing with problems all too human in nature.

“Sometimes we think about pulling back and analyzing what the problem really is. Design Thinking is pulling back a little more and understanding who the people involved in the problem are, and trying to solve the problem.”

The strides Nilufer has made with Spring2 Innovation have landed her on the TED X Ottawa stage, gave her the 2014 Ottawa Business Journal Top 40 Under 40 Award, and a 2016 recipient of the WCT Leadership Award from Women in Communications and Technology.

On this week’s THRIVE Podcast, Komal Minhas and Nilufer discuss her drive to make innovation spring eternal.

Canadian Cannabis: Disruption in the West Coast with Mandy Potter – September 26th 2019

Mandy Potter is the CEO of Vancouver-based Jane, a woman-founded cannabis technology company with an impressive three-million dollar run rate in month five.
Mandy was previously the founder of Cleanify, an on-demand home services marketplace which raised five million in funding and was sold last year. Built with a mandate of equity and advancing gender parity, Mandy’s team at Cleanify was 50 per cent women and 50 per cent people of colour and at Jane it is 75 percent female run with 75 percent of people of colour.

As the director, speaker, and judge for the Vancouver Chapter of Lesbians Who Tech, as well as a panel guest for Women Who Code Vancouver, Mandy’s dedication to connecting the entrepreneur community along with members of marginalized groups is more than evident.

On this week’s THRIVE Podcast, Komal Minhas and Mandy discuss her experiences as a young entrepreneur and what’s budding in the BC cannabis industry.

Real Estate Innovations: Buying & Selling with Tech with Laura Fortey – September 19th 2019

The word failure comes with a special set of nuances that are unique to the entrepreneurship community. When starting up, you need to overcome so many challenges that sometimes, failure is the result. For Laura Fortey and many entrepreneurs like her, failure has been a normal part of the process, and some even say a necessary one.

“The best advice that I would give to entrepreneurs is: don’t be afraid to fail. If it doesn’t work out, awesome, try the next thing.”

Laura Fortey, the Co-Founder and CMO for REITIUM Blockchain Technologies, which is a real estate equity crowdfunding marketplace and compliance engine. REITIUM utilizes blockchain technology & smart contracts to allow anyone to invest into income producing properties for as little as one hundred dollars, enabling ‘Real Estate for Everyone.’

As a real estate entrepreneur, Laura has bought, managed, renovated and sold her own investment properties, as well as invested in REITs and MICs. As the daughter of a realtor, Laura grew up with entrepreneurial parents who also owned a successful property management company. In May 2019, Laura and her team took home the Startup Canada Innovation Award for the British Columbia region.

In this week’s episode of the #THRIVEPodcast, host Komal Minhas sits down with Laura to talk about how she’s using the latest tech to build her company and her startup story in Western Canada.



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