CEO, My Little Chickpea
Staples Start-up Award, CENTRAL
On her 40th birthday in 2012, Rula Sharkawi was a mother of two young children who decided to leave her executive position in the corporate world to start My Little Chickpea Gourmet Foods, a manufacturer of premium grab-and-go ready-to-eat products, from salads to pita breads, available at various retail supermarkets and restaurants across Ontario. All of their products are nutrient-dense, nutritionist-approved, made with super-foods, taste good and are good for you, with carefully sourced ingredients to ensure all products are preservative-free, no refined sugars, and predominantly made with less than ten easy-to-recognize ingredients. Rula’s vision? To help busy people, especially women and moms, eat well.
I wish I knew how important it is to ask for what you want. Ask for the sale, ask industry experts for their advice, ask your employees to be part of your vision. There is an incredible freedom that comes with not being afraid to ask for what you want, especially for female entrepreneurs. Simply put, if you don’t ask, you don’t get.
I have four pieces of advice that are all related to how to get through the tough parts of being a startup: