Meet Dionne Laslo-Baker, RBC Canadian Women Entrepreneur Awards Momentum Finalist
Dionne Laslo-Baker always dreamed of becoming a mother. While pursuing her Ph.D. in medical science with a focus on maternal-fetal toxicology, she raised two children. When her youngest son couldn’t eat the same snacks as other children, she wanted to find a delicious and healthy one that he could enjoy. Not finding any suitable options, she launched her company. Dionne has instilled in her children the importance of building a purposeful business that has a positive impact on society. Her values of accountability, authenticity, and human connection form the foundation of her business strategy, which combines scientific rigour with a commitment to service. In addition to creating wholesome food, Dionne runs a socially responsible business that benefits the community and the environment. DeeBee’s Organics is a Certified B Corporation, adhering to strict standards of social and environmental performance, transparency, and accountability. The company’s factory runs on solar power and supports its employees’ favourite causes through the DreamLauncher program. Dionne believes that businesses can be a force for good and seeks to create a more colourful world filled with health, inclusivity, and joy, where everyone can thrive.
I knew I wanted to be an entrepreneur when… I set out to make clean, organic treats that my kids would love, then I saw that I could build this business that is a force for good in the world. My priority was teaching my children that if you stick with your values, success follows. It wasn’t until the company’s success began that I realized I was an ‘entrepreneur.’
Entrepreneurship is made for me because… I can define who and what my company evolves to become in my own creative way. I was not built to follow someone else’s path, I want to create a business that does things
differently. DeeBee’s has become the expression of the world I want my kids to live in, one where differences are celebrated, and every person gets to be a true expression of themselves.
The impact I hope to make through my work is… that my own children will be independent creative thinkers who are inspired to be a force for good in the world. This extends past my family into our DeeBee’s team and our
business community, including the minority entrepreneurs I mentor.
One of the most important lessons I’ve learned on my entrepreneurial journey is… to trust my gut and believe in the vision that I have had from the beginning.
My proudest accomplishment is… seeing my kids as thriving adults. There were times when they were young, I worried about how busy DeeBee’s kept me. I now see that they were watching me all along, persevering to create a new way of doing business that felt true to who I am. This has given them the confidence to chart their own authentic paths.
The biggest risk I took that paid off was… putting everything on the line for the dream and vision of DeeBee’s with no guarantees of success. There were times when our family home was at risk of being lost, but my husband and children were in it with me. I listened to my gut and persevered to lead our team to where DeeBee’s is today.
My biggest setback has been…. my own insecurities and questioning whether I was “good enough.”
I overcame it by… speaking to others, working with a coach to really understand where this was rooted, and working through it. I think this is part of what truly keeps me humble.
The best advice I’ve received as an entrepreneur was… to be humble. You always have more to learn.
I surprise people when I tell them… that I am a Ph.D. Medical Scientist. I left a stable secure career path to put everything on the line for a dream. My unique approach to leadership comes from what I learned in my time training to be a research scientist. Success comes from collaboration, testing and hard work.
If I had an extra hour in the day, I would use it to… spend more time with my family. I am very lucky to have two kids who still want to spend time with their Mom, even as young adults.
If you googled me, you still wouldn’t know… that I still question my decisions every day. I am so grateful to now be in a place where I have a team to collaborate with. This has been the most rewarding part of the company’s
growth, going from being a one-woman show to part of an incredible team!
The future excites me because… there is still so much more to learn and I love to learn! I am excited to see where the DeeBee’s journey leads us; I have the dream of building it into a Unicorn company.