The Telus Trailblazer Award honours an entrepreneur that is a true trendsetter. She has recognized a new market, product, service, technological advancement, or opportunity and has bravely led the way. She has demonstrated outstanding leadership within her company and market, and has set standards for originality, quality and successful management. These entrepreneurs are mentors, visionaries, leaders, and successful businesswomen of their industry. 

We asked them what advice they would give to another entrepreneur facing uncertainty about their own trailblazing idea:

 

 

With experience in the IT and telecom industry, Aneela saw firsthand the struggle technical employers had trying to find skilled, technical employees. Working with recruiters lacking technical knowledge made it difficult to identify certain skills sets in employees, and Aneela founded emergiTEL to solve this issue. emergiTEL’s multi-faceted approach to recruitment allows for highly accurate placements and ultimately, a better outcome for the employer and the employee. emergtiTEL’s model allows ensures the company stays current with industry trends, allowing them to truly excel in the world of tech. While Aneela started emergiTEL from her basement in 2006, by 2009 she was already named one of seven preferred staffing suppliers for Telus and by 2011, chosen as Rogers preferred staffing partner.   

 

A: “In my opinion, an idea is merely imagination if not put into action. If you have an idea for the world to see, then put it out there and move forward. You have nothing to lose, because losing only comes from not trying at all. It takes a lot of courage to start, and I encourage you to get going, and not to wait for the right time or golden opportunity. Opportunities come when you start, and there is no better time to start than now.”

 

 

Janice set out to bridge the gap between corporate Alberta and Indigenous people. As a manager at an Aboriginal Employment and Career Centre, Janice was alarmed by the challenges professional Aboriginals were faced with when applying to corporate Alberta. Janice founded Spirit Staffing, an Aboriginal-Women owned employment and training agency, to solve this issue. Spirit Staffing proudly employs 65 Aboriginal contractors and has placed over 1,000 professional Aboriginals in lucrative careers across various industries. Spirit Staffing helps small to large international companies achieve their diversity hiring initiatives and recruiting top talent to assist their team.

A: “If you have a unique idea, this is the best time to sit down and develop your plan – define what the strength of your company will be, the roadblocks you will face, and how you will thrive through the journey. This will help convince you to keep your head up, be the face of your passion, and surround yourself with driven and successful people.”

 

Judith found a gap in the marketplace when she realized ocean research for offshore users was traditionally carried out by government departments and universities. Often, this research did not meet the requirements of the private marine sector, and Judith set out to capitalize on this. Oceans Ltd. is on ocean research and technology company with a highly qualified team to provide marine weather forecasting, physical oceanography, environmental studies, iceberg profiling, and fish health assessment. Their combined expertise of physical oceanographers and meteorologists have led to several technological advancements to benefit their clients. Some of these include Oceans’ advanced wave model for weather forecasting, and the methodology and software to measure and display three-dimensional images of icebergs in real-time. Their most recent success is their biomedical research, producing extracts of bioactivity in cold water seaweeds as anti-cancer and antimicrobial activity.
A: “I would advise them to evaluate the importance of the idea with respect to the goals of what they would like to achieve. If the imitative is important, keep moving forward in a positive manner to accomplish the goal and do not waste time focusing on the negative setbacks.”

 

The collective impact of our country’s female entrepreneurs cannot be overstated. The RBC Canadian Women Entrepreneur Awards is the premier national awards program celebrating the achievements of the most successful in this inspiring group. Now in its 23rd year, over 120 women have been recognized for demonstrating excellence—from economic growth to social change, from local to global reach, across multiple sectors. We’re honoured to shine a spotlight on them.

 

 

 

 


 

The collective impact of our country’s female entrepreneurs cannot be overstated. The RBC Canadian Women Entrepreneur Awards is the premier national awards program celebrating the achievements of the most successful in this inspiring group. Now in its 23rd year, over 120 women have been recognized for demonstrating excellence—from economic growth to social change, from local to global reach, across multiple sectors. We’re honoured to shine a spotlight on them.