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.

Upcoming Episode

Latest Episode

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.

Recently Aired Episodes


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.

Connecting Across Cultures with Yixin Peng – December 5th 2019

The world has never been a smaller place than it is today, but making meaningful connections with people of different cultures still has an abundance of challenges – challenges which Yixin Peng, VP of Public Relations, Asia Pacific Youth Entrepreneurship Foundation, is happy to rise to.

Yixin is the VP of Public Relations at Asia Pacific Youth Entrepreneurship Foundation (APYEF). In 2016, Yixin joined as a volunteer and then promoted to the VP of Public Relations. During the past two years, Yixin’s team has been reaching out to US, Japan, China and Australia for new resources for Canadian local startups. From 2017 to 2018, Yixin’s team has organized two rounds of She Loves Tech Global pitch competition – giving a stage to female founders that are interested in Asian markets.

“At a very young age, I have experienced so many issues due to cultural differences in business development, and also professional relationships – now I can overcome this kind of resistance.”

On this week’s THRIVE Podcast, Komal Minhas and Yixin talk about the value of connecting across cultures, and how to see outside the box business solutions outside the country.

Latin America: Scaling From the South with Miryam Lazarte – November 28th 2019

When you’re looking to scale help can come from any direction, but as the Founder of LatAm Startups, Miryam Lazarte is very fond of one direction in particular.

A Toronto-based accelerator that brings startups from Latin America to Canada, Miryam and LatAm Startups help scale these companies globally. A serial entrepreneur since childhood in Colombia, Miryam is passionate about building stronger economic ties between Canada and Latin America—and—often—overlooked market of 800 million consumers.

“The impact of LatAm has been to understand other cultures better and to not fear the other person because we don’t understand where they come from. Ninety-two per cent of startups coming into the program changed their business model which has a huge impact on what they are doing right now.”

Lazarte is member of the Program Advisory Committee for Business Administration, Entrepreneurship and Small Business at Seneca College, and works closely with both Canadian and Latin American angels in pursuit of cross-border investment opportunities.

On this week’s THRIVE Podcast, Komal Minhas and Miryam talk about scaling from the south and bringing a Latin touch to Canada.

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.

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.



Share This