The Deloitte Start-Up Award celebrates the achievements of a woman who, in three to five years, has developed her business into one that’s ready for the next level of growth. Since starting out, these three finalists have been successful in building a profitable business with a comprehensive and sustainable plan.
We’ve asked their best advice for other entrepreneurs:
Noemie’s winning business idea was inspired by the release of the iPad in 2010. While her daughters, aged one and three, were obsessed with the device, there was a noticeable lack of content designed for them. Noemie decided to solve the problem by creating a children’s app development company. Budge Studios now has a user base of more than 100 million children worldwide, and partnerships with Nickelodeon, Disney, Mattel, Warner, Ludorum, DHX Media, Crayola, Sony and Iconix.
Q: What do you wish you knew at the beginning?
A: I wish I had known that it’s ok to dream big when I first became an entrepreneur. At the beginning I was shy and modest, and I thought it was better to have ‘realistic’ dreams; I’ve learned that dreaming big sets you up for bigger achievements.
After Wendy returned from maternity leave, she found it difficult to organize her work schedule around her family—including her children and her pets. Realizing that other mothers were likely in a similar position, Wendy created Vets To Go—the first veterinary service in Canada offering home visits. Vets To Go began as a small start up in Calgary and has expanded to three surrounding cities, and has also extended their offerings with a new Private Surgery and Wellness Centre in Calgary.
Q: What is the one piece of advice you would give to aspiring entrepreneurs?
A: Get help before you think you need or can afford it. This goes for both business help (such as hiring a receptionist) and personal help (like hiring a housekeeper.) Starting a business is not a one-woman show—you have to guard your time and focus it on the highest leverage and value activities if you are going to grow successfully.
After a demanding career in the oil and gas industry, Lisa co-founded Paris Crane Inspection Services with her brother-in-law, Richard, and found her true calling as an entrepreneur. With Lisa’s business and finance combined with Richard’s 25 years of crane and hoist experience, she knew they had a winning business model—and she was right. Lisa humbly credits her success to their team, growing from ten customers in the middle of the 2009 recession to over 500 customers to date and recently expanding into Nunavut.
Q: What is your strategy for success?
A: Build your plan, and WORK your plan every day. Success will follow!
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.