Meet Nicole Bourque Bouchier, CEO & Co-Owner of Bouchier.
2022 Excellence Award Winner
Nicole Bourque co-founded Bouchier in 2004. She is a member of the Mikisew Cree First Nation and has served on the boards of numerous non-profits across Alberta. Nicole has been honored with numerous accolades throughout her career, including the Ernest & Young’s Oil & Gas Entrepreneur of the Year Award, Canada’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women, MacEwan University’s Allard Chair in Business, and she was named as one of Your McMurray Magazine’s Top 50 Under 50. Nicole was also recently awarded the prestigious Indspire Award for Business & Commerce and named the 2019 Indigenous Women in Leadership recipient by the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business. Nicole is passionate about elevating Indigenous women and believes in leading by example. In 2013, she spearheaded a series called Paving Pathways to Success to bring attention to Indigenous women in business. In 2020, Nicole introduced the Bouchier Female Empowerment program, to focus on personal and professional development opportunities for the female workforce at Bouchier. In 2020, Bouchier introduced the Reach for Wellness program, which offers employees access to local life coaches, psychologists, and fitness leaders.
My first job ever was… as a movie theatre attendant; I worked the cash and served up popcorn! No register so everything was counted in my head.
I decided to be an entrepreneur because… I wanted to create an environment that was positive, where people enjoyed coming to work and felt like they were so much more than an employee number.
My boldest move to date was… buying back 49% shares from a global organization who was set to buy us out 100%.
My biggest setback was… my first year of business; the bottom line came in at a negative $250,000.00 after what felt like the hardest working year of my life.
I overcame it by… seeing the opportunity in the failure and pledging to myself that I would never let it happen again. I gave us 6 months to get back into the black, and in under 3 months we had turned it around to a profit position again and remained there ever since.
If you Googled me, you still wouldn’t know… my favorite time of year is the fall and hunting season.
When starting my business, I wish I knew… that all great things come in time (patience and persistence are key) and listening to my intuition will serve me best.
My best advice for people looking to grow their business is… hard work pays off. Be willing to put in the hard work time and time again, and see failures as opportunities to succeed. Be careful who you measure your business against — your goal should be to create the best version of your organization over and over again. If you feel like your organization isn’t growing or changing, stop and take a look at yourself — where are you, and what story are you telling yourself as the leader?
A great leader is… someone who inspires others to take on new challenges, see the best in themselves and have the courage to step upwards and onwards.
The future excites me because… the possibilities are endless with the changing face of Indigenous business in Canada.
Success to me means… living both my personal and professional life with integrity, honesty, and humility. Simply being the best version of myself for my family.