This International Women’s Day, we celebrate these incredible female entrepreneurs
Owners ask industry experts for guidance on moving their businesses forward
Entrepreneurs are optimists by nature. They find opportunities everywhere and want to do it all. But even the most driven entrepreneurs need to have the discipline to prioritize and focus on what will drive their business forward. Fatima Zaidi has always been one to watch. She was born in Oman, with all the cultural norms and expectations of a Middle Eastern woman. Yet, regardless of circumstance, she took the plunge to build her own career and became the CEO and co-founder of Quill Inc., an imaginative podcast agency that gives people a credible and compelling voice. They even produced this episode of Chatter that Matters Presented by RBC. Fatima has many passions. She is an advocate for women in tech, a champion to bring more diversity into the workplace, a keynote speaker, and thought leader. But, can she do it all? Elizabeth Hughes, a venture and technology specialist at RBC offers her thoughts on capitalization. Entrepreneurial legend, Bruce Croxon, shares some powerful insights on entrepreneurship before shining his insight on Fatima and the potential of Quill. And for the first time in the series, Tony Chapman moves beyond parting thoughts and offers Fatima his own advice.
If you believe that Canada can’t compete in the design and creation of wonderful garments, then I encourage you to listen to this episode. And if you ever question the value of immigration, then I suggest you listen to it twice. For everyone else, get ready for some goosebumps, and some incredible advice from one of the worlds thought leaders on fashion, Jeanne Beker, as well as David Kincaid, a business and branding strategist who has guided the positioning of some of the world’s top companies and Lori Darlington from RBC.
Kathy Cheng emigrated from Hong Kong to Canada in the 1970s with her parents. To make ends meet, her Dad worked three jobs, sewing in a factory, delivering pizza at night, and waiting on tables, and her Mom wasn’t far behind. There was no money for child care. Kathy was a latch-key kid who grew up watching her parents work. Over time Kathy’s father and two siblings saved enough to start their own sewing shop, and within a decade, they employed 500 Canadians. Fast-forward to today, and Kathy is now the CEO, her Dad is her partner and they still sew everything in Canada.
Is it easy? No, but it’s never been easy for Kathy and her family. Is it possible to defy the odds and keep Canadians employed in designing and manufacturing in the garment trade? Absolutely if Canadians support theirs and others, Canadian Dreams.
Patrice Mousseau, First Nations, single Mom, watching her eight-month-old daughter scratch her arms and legs until they were bloody. The only prescription the Doctor offered to help with her daughter’s eczema was a steroid cream, something Patrice didn’t want to do. So Patrice researched and identified five natural and organic ingredients that could help. Her research proved right and within two days her daughter was cured and as it turns out she wasn’t the only beneficiary.
Word of mouth, then a farmers market and fast forward to today and 800 stores sell Satya Organic Skin Cream. Patrice is just getting started. 20% of children suffer from eczema, and the numbers from adults aren’t far beyond. How big can Patrice’s business get? She is already doing deals in Hong Kong and the USA. Can Patrice manage her growth?
As a mother, Sheri Allain wondered why there wasn’t more focus on STEM for children, especially girls and why her children’s school had nights devoted to drama, music, arts and crafts, but not one on technology.
So Sheri created CODEZILLA to provide hands-on coding classes, camps and parties, and lunch and after school programs for kids ages 4 – 14.
And Sheri’s business takes off as she isn’t the only parent asking the questions.
And then COVID-19 hits and hands-on becomes virtual? Sheri transforms her business only to find parents all over the world knocking at her door!
Canadian women entrepreneurs are a dynamic and powerful economic force. After all, women own and operate almost one-third of all firms in Canada, and they start businesses one-and-a-half times more often than men, driving more than 117-billion dollars of economic activity per year. In other words — if we want full economic recovery, we need to make sure female entrepreneurs are being given the tools they need. In this episode of Disruptors, powered by RBC, John Stackhouse speaks with Vicki Saunders — founder of SheEO, an organization of “women supporting women-led Ventures working on the world’s to-do list,” about how different funding models and community-based networking can make a difference. He also speaks to Nita Tandon, founder, and CEO of Dalcini Stainless Incorporated, and Chenny Xia, co-founder of Gotcare — Canada’s largest self-directed home care provider, about how women do business differently, and the importance of the triple bottom line.
News & Events
See what’s happening to support and celebrate women entrepreneurs
RBC is proud to sponsor The Honest Talk, a bi-weekly podcast that provides a platform for women to share their stories, gain insights and inspirations from one another.
From athletes and trade commissioners to authors and media personalities, the conversations tap into unique perspectives, experiences, lifestyles and cultures of working women who are leading and shaping important conversations. Listen here.
Ahead of International Women’s Day, an RBC Economics report finds that women in Canada are at risk of prolonged unemployment as the pandemic disrupts the job market.
More from the Canadian Women Entrepreneurs Series:
The 27th Annual RBC Canadian Women Entrepreneur Awards: Celebrating Business Owners Making a Difference
Heather Modlin on the Rewards of Creating a Non-profit Business- Key Assets Newfoundland and Labrador #IMadeThis
Founders of Routine Share How They Turned Their Clean, Natural Products into a Thriving Global Business #IMadeThis
Saccade Analytics: Turning 30 Years of Research into Insight, a Testing Device for More than 200 Neurological Disorders #IMadeThis
SheEO CAN Summit 2019: Celebrating the Women Who Are Influencing Change, Making a Difference, and Leading the Way to a Better World
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