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cwea finalists headshots


Building a successful venture is no easy task. We asked five of our RBC Canadian Women Entrepreneur Awards finalists for their best advice to share with aspiring entrepreneurs. What we learned? A little bit of confidence and a lot of help will take you far. 


Meet the Experts:

Alyssa Furtado, Ratehub.ca
Kate Ross Leblanc, Saje Natural Wellness
Kim Hall, Physio2U
Nancy Simonot, NKS Health
Diana Goodwin, Aquamobile



1. Start today.

Alyssa Furtado, Ratehub.ca: Aspiring entrepreneurs should start today. Launching a business and taking on substantial financial risk only gets harder as we get older. Your job and salary become harder to walk away from and life’s responsibilities, from mortgage payments to growing a family, only increase over time. The younger you start the more risks you can take


2. Believe in the concept.

Nancy Simonot, NKS Health: Believe in the concept. Many days it will feel like you are being pushed backwards instead of forwards but if you believe in what you are doing and persevere, you will also have amazing days when it all comes together for you.


3. Ask for help.

Diana Goodwin, Aquamobile: I wish I knew about the extent of resources that exist for entrepreneurs in Canada, through government and nonprofit programs, in the form of grants, skill development and expertise. It took me a long time to get the lay of the land but once I did, it was extremely helpful.


4. Don’t be afraid to lead.

Kate Ross Leblanc, Saje Natural Wellness: It’s okay to be a leader. Growing up in a small town, I had a few painful experiences early on around standing out too much, and in many ways I resisted my own growth into leadership. I wish I had known earlier that it could be so incredibly rewarding; that ‘boss’ and ‘bossy’ are not the same thing. Yes, it’s a big responsibility to help shape someone’s career, but moreover, it’s an honour and I wish I had started this part of my own development earlier.


And lastly…

5. Limits don’t exist.

Kim Hall, Physio2U: No MBA’s are necessary in today’s day and age to be a successful business owner.


Read more advice for entrepreneurs from our Deloitte Start-Up Award finalists.