Cisco Women Entrepreneurs’ Circle


How Colette Cooper transitioned from trained nurse to self-taught co-owner of a successful engineering company graphic

How Colette Cooper transitioned from trained nurse to self-taught co-owner of a successful engineering company

November, 11th, 2019

  With four small children and the challenges of juggling home, her nursing career, and her husband having his own business, Colette Cooper made the decision to step away from a demanding career as an intensive care nurse — and never went back. Instead, she joined forces with her husband Darren, ultimately taking on the […]


How Theresa Keeping is building opportunities in her native Newfoundland graphic

How Theresa Keeping is building opportunities in her native Newfoundland

October, 28th, 2019

  Theresa Keeping, owner of the Port of Stephenville, is the quintessential serial entrepreneur, with over forty years of experience building several businesses. But it wasn’t until she moved back to Newfoundland — where she was born and raised — that her entrepreneurial aspirations have been connected to revitalizing the area her ancestors have called […]


Mandy’s Salads grew from a counter in a clothing store to seven Montreal locations — here’s how they’re keeping the growth going graphic

Mandy’s Salads grew from a counter in a clothing store to seven Montreal locations — here’s how they’re keeping the growth going

September, 22nd, 2019

  When Mandy and Rebecca Wolfe first opened Mandy’s Salads at the back of a Westmount boutique, they didn’t have culinary or business degrees — but they did have passion and positivity. Fifteen years later, they’re working on their eighth store in Quebec, scouting for their first Toronto location, and finding new ways to use […]


How Julie Mitchell built two businesses — and is tapping into technology to run them better graphic

How Julie Mitchell built two businesses — and is tapping into technology to run them better

August, 26th, 2019

As the founder and head of both Parcel Design (a brand strategy and communications firm) and Torq Ride (indoor cycling studios), Julie Mitchell isn’t just a serial entrepreneur — she’s a concurrent one. As both businesses expand, she’s looking for ways technology can be used to boost productivity and communication. Here’s how she’s getting it […]


Why your small business needs a cybersecurity strategy — and how to get one graphic

Why your small business needs a cybersecurity strategy — and how to get one

July, 29th, 2019

Over the past 14 years at Cisco, Lisa Richardson has held roles in commercial sales, global account management, and as leader of Cisco Canada’s enterprise networking business. As leader of Cisco’s solutions sales in Canada, she’s also an expert in the simple, comprehensive technology solutions Cisco offers for small business owners — keeping them connected, […]


Eight entrepreneurs reveal the tech challenges they are tackling now — and how it will make their business better graphic

Eight entrepreneurs reveal the tech challenges they are tackling now — and how it will make their business better

May, 13th, 2019

Technology can have an impact on an organization’s success — and these eight entrepreneurs know it. As participants in the Cisco Women Entrepreneurs’ Circle, they’ve been paired with engineering interns with the goal of using technology to better their businesses. They’re sharing the challenges they’re solving with technology this year — could it help your […]


How Lisa Will launched Stonz and turned it into an international brand graphic

How Lisa Will launched Stonz and turned it into an international brand

December, 16th, 2018

Stonz was launched in 2004 by Lisa Will after she discovered a need for simple yet functional outdoor gear designed specifically for kids. Beginning with the Stonz Bootie, over the years Lisa has continued to grow the product line, guided by customer feedback and her own experience and needs while raising two children. With the […]


Out of the Box: How Heather Stewart transformed a supply chain service provider into a shipping software pioneer graphic

Out of the Box: How Heather Stewart transformed a supply chain service provider into a shipping software pioneer

October, 28th, 2018

When Heather Stewart took over at BBE Expediting — a supply chain service provider and logistics company serving the Canadian North — she knew she needed to diversify the “feast or famine” business. So they developed the GoBox app to enable carriers to bid live on shipping jobs, with the expectation it would be used […]


Being Fearless: How speaking up and embracing change has brought Martha van Berkel success in a new market graphic

Being Fearless: How speaking up and embracing change has brought Martha van Berkel success in a new market

September, 23rd, 2018

As the co-founder and CEO of Schema App, Martha van Berkel is helping organizations of all sizes to be found more easily on the Internet. Now a leader in the market with their tool that automates schema markup (the language search engines read), Martha traces her success back to an outspoken personality, and an ability […]


It’s in her nature: Why Allison Christilaw chose serial entrepreneurship over partnership in a professional services giant graphic

It’s in her nature: Why Allison Christilaw chose serial entrepreneurship over partnership in a professional services giant

August, 16th, 2018

When Allison Christilaw and her husband sold their successful management consulting firm to Deloitte, she was taken on as a partner in the firm. A few years later she was striking out on her own path to create Reddin Global — and she’s still on that journey today.         By Shelley White […]


How Believing ‘Girls Can Do Anything’ Has Fuelled Erin Gertner’s Career graphic

How Believing ‘Girls Can Do Anything’ Has Fuelled Erin Gertner’s Career

July, 30th, 2018

  Erin Gertner is not afraid of a challenge. A successful IT sales professional, she is driven by achieving lofty end goals, and proving that despite working in a field of predominantly male colleagues, her gender does not hold her back. To what does she owe her unstoppable attitude? Environments — from her high school […]


Twelve Entrepreneurs Confess: How will technology be changing their business for the better? graphic

Twelve Entrepreneurs Confess: How will technology be changing their business for the better?

May, 31st, 2018

These 12 women entrepreneurs agree: technology has the power to change a business. As participants in the Cisco Circle of Innovation program, they’ve been paired with engineering interns to help build their organization’s digital strategy, scale, and impact in the marketplace. They’re sharing how their business will be getting better through technology this year — […]


Maximizing Potential: How Cisco and BDC are opening doors for women entrepreneurs graphic

Maximizing Potential: How Cisco and BDC are opening doors for women entrepreneurs

May, 4th, 2018

    Women entrepreneurs represent just a small segment of business owners in Canada, but their numbers and impact are growing — and their potential is even greater. Cisco and the Business Development Bank of Canada have partnered to unlock it, using a unique internship program that’s now in its third successful year.   By […]


Five significant (and possibly surprising) ways that technology can help your business graphic

Five significant (and possibly surprising) ways that technology can help your business

November, 27th, 2017

    Technology is already the heart of your business — and of all businesses. Its infrastructure houses your data and provides access to email, the Internet, and applications. Are you taking advantage of all that it can do for your company?   By Marie Moore     In a BDC study of Canadian entrepreneurs’ […]


Finding Opportunity: How two entrepreneurs got their inspiration from their former occupation graphic

Finding Opportunity: How two entrepreneurs got their inspiration from their former occupation

October, 22nd, 2017

  Dallas Mercer and Kathleen Mullally both launched their businesses after spotting a gap in the industry where they were employed. Brought together by the Cisco Women Entrepreneurs’ Circle initiative, we spoke to them about the opportunities that inspired their leap from employee to entrepreneur, and the strategies they’ve used to make their businesses a […]


The secrets of longevity: How two female entrepreneurs achieved success over two decades graphic

The secrets of longevity: How two female entrepreneurs achieved success over two decades

September, 11th, 2017

  Deborah Assaly and Adriana De Luca have both been leading thriving entrepreneurial ventures since the late nineties. Brought together by the Cisco Women Entrepreneurs’ Circle initiative, we spoke to them about what has enabled their long-term success — from teamwork to technological investments — and their advice for other women looking to follow in […]


One male-dominated sector, two successful female entrepreneurs graphic

One male-dominated sector, two successful female entrepreneurs

July, 14th, 2017

Joanne Johnson and Sandra Dussault each have a successful manufacturing company, despite not having a background in the sector. How did they do it? A clear vision and smart business decision-making, including investments in technology. Brought together by the Cisco Women Entrepreneurs’ Circle initiative, we spoke to Joanne and Sandra about entrepreneurship, and their advice […]


Five Tips For Financing Your Tech Purchase graphic

Five Tips For Financing Your Tech Purchase

June, 9th, 2017

In today’s business environment, you can gain a significant competitive advantage with the right technology investment. What do you do when you don’t have the funds to support the purchase? Follow these five tips for financing your tech purchase, courtesy of BDC.   By Marie Moore     As an entrepreneur, you know your talent and […]


Meet Lesley Lawrence, the BDC senior executive helping entrepreneurs realize their dreams graphic

Meet Lesley Lawrence, the BDC senior executive helping entrepreneurs realize their dreams

December, 19th, 2016

Recently appointed to the role of Senior Vice President, Financing and Consulting, Ontario, Lesley Lawrence oversees Business Development Bank of Canada’s lending and consulting services in the province. She hadn’t planned on going into finance — Lesley holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Toronto — but after more than 25 years in […]


Get ready for the office of the future graphic

Get ready for the office of the future

December, 5th, 2016

An aging workforce, the explosion of new mobile devices and cloud-based applications, availability of ubiquitous and inexpensive Internet access, and the changing nature of work are rapidly transforming the workplace. Is your business ready? Change is closer than you think: over the next ten years, a few key trends will rapidly transform the workplace, reshaping […]


Embracing mobility: the key to success in the digital age graphic

Embracing mobility: the key to success in the digital age

November, 22nd, 2016

Mobile devices have brought advancements to virtually all aspects of modern life, from our personal time to how we work. And yet not all businesses — especially those that are small to medium sized — have embraced mobility to achieve positive results. Of the 1400 companies included in the 2015 Cisco Mobility Landscape Survey, a […]


SMB’s are falling behind in cyber security — is your company? graphic

SMB’s are falling behind in cyber security — is your company?

October, 24th, 2016

Considering October is Cyber Security Awareness Month, now is a good time to ask yourself the question: How often do you think about your company’s cyber security? If your answer is “not often,” you have something in common with other small and medium businesses (SMBs). As detailed in the Cisco 2015 Annual Security Report, SMBs […]


From philosophy to tech, meet Danielle Graham graphic

From philosophy to tech, meet Danielle Graham

September, 26th, 2016

Unlike many people working in technology, Danielle Graham didn’t take the traditional STEM route in University—she studied the arts. From growing up in Namibia and Ethiopia, studying philosophy at the University of Toronto, history at Dalhousie University, and an MBA at Wilfrid Laurier, Danielle has landed as the Women in Tech Program Manager at the […]


Meet Cisco Canada’s Senior Services Executive: Trina Alexson graphic

Meet Cisco Canada’s Senior Services Executive: Trina Alexson

September, 7th, 2016

Trina Alexson recalls when Cisco was only 4,000 employees, and she took a chance moving her family to California to take a job with the company. Now nearing in on 75,000 employees, and known globally as the world’s largest networking company, it’s safe to say it was a smart move.


Meet Mathematician and Innovator Sherry Shannon-Vanstone graphic

Meet Mathematician and Innovator Sherry Shannon-Vanstone

August, 18th, 2016

Growing up in a time when few women were encouraged to study science and mathematics, Sherry Shannon-Vanstone went against the norm. Sherry has innovated and thrived as a mathematician, entrepreneur, inventor, philanthropist, mentor, board member, and tennis player. After a challenging position as a cryptologic mathematician with the U.S. Government, Sherry decided to venture into […]


From Politics to Entrepreneurship: Meet Sue Matic graphic

From Politics to Entrepreneurship: Meet Sue Matic

August, 12th, 2016

Sue has partnered with Cisco’s Circle of Innovation and her new intern from the University of Waterloo to help grow Matix Lumber’s digital presence, driving future growth, collaboration, and success.


Meet an Entrepreneur That’s Dedicated to Teaching Kids to Read graphic

Meet an Entrepreneur That’s Dedicated to Teaching Kids to Read

July, 12th, 2016

When your CTO lives in Denver, Colorado, your team lives in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and you live in Waterloo, Ontario—it’s safe to say technology plays a big part in your day-to-day. Leah Skerry, co-founder and CEO of Eyeread, an education technology startup helping children learn to read, certainly credits technology for the ability to communicate […]



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