Meet Dr. Janét Aizenstros, Founder & CEO of Ahava Digital Group.

Dr. Janét Aizenstros is the Founder & CEO of Ahava Group Global — a modern media parent company compromised of Ahava Digital Group, LOVE Lifestyle Publishing Group, Twelve Twenty One Illustration, Luxe House Publishing, and Ahava Entertainment. An award-winning businesswoman, her company was 12th on Canadian Business’ 2020 Growth List — making her the first Black Canadian woman sole founder to be featured in the top 20 on the list. Through her leadership, Ahava Digital Group’s consultancy has swiftly grown into a 9-figure organization globally. 

 

 

My first job ever was… I worked at Zellers as a cashier. 

I decided to be an entrepreneur because… I wanted to create sustainable impact. Also, I wanted to set a standard that you can forge opportunities as a Black person in sectors that traditionally have not had many Black faces. 

My boldest move to date was… working with underdeveloped countries to help stimulate economic growth with new technologies.

My biggest setback was… the setback was actually a setup for creating a legacy-initiative to empower women leaders to live harmoniously.  

I overcame it by… having healthy support systems surrounding me along with a solid sense of self.

If you Googled me, you still wouldn’t know… anything about me other than my business achievements and philanthropic efforts. Online is just touching the tip of the iceberg. 

My best advice for people looking to grow their business is… stay disciplined, committed and consistent. Focus on your lane only. 

A great leader is… someone who continues to grow, inspires others to grow and helps elevate others in their growth.

The future excites me because… it’s wide open. Open to endless possibilities.

Success to me means… peace and seeing a vision come to fruition.

Meet Ratana Stephens, Founder & CEO of Nature’s Path Food.

Ratana Stephens founded Nature’s Path Foods with her husband Arran in 1985. As CEO and co-founder, she has grown Nature’s Path to become North America’s largest independent certified organic breakfast and snack food company, while remaining firmly committed to the mission of leaving the earth better than you found it. Ratana remains at the center of every development within the company, which operates on the triple-bottom line of social responsibility, environmental sustainability, and financial viability, in that order. Since 2008, Ratana and Arran personally, and additionally through Nature’s Path, have committed to donating almost $40 million to various philanthropic and community service efforts.  

 

My first job ever was… College lecturer in Literature

I decided to be an entrepreneur because… I saw a need for something different in the market, be it owning a vegetarian restaurant, or creating an organic cereal. It was also in my blood, my father was also an entrepreneur

My boldest move to date was… Marrying my husband Arran and moving to Canada from India in 1969.

My biggest setback was… We all have setbacks and challenges from time to time. Nothing is insurmountable, you must be resilient.

I overcame it by… I am a person of action. I try to overcome challenges by putting one foot in front of the other, and slowly but surely making progress. Sometimes you must be patient but know that you will eventually get there.

If you Googled me, you still wouldn’t know… That I am a voracious reader. I studied literature in university and have carried my passion for reading throughout my life. 

When starting my business, I wish I knew… How to establish a cereal manufacturing facility! Instead we learned this through extensive trial and error.

My best advice for people looking to grow their business is… Try to retain as much control as possible, which sometimes means growing at a slower pace than you would like.

A great leader is… Someone who leads with empathy, and by example.

The future excites me because… The future excites me because there is so much to look forward to – the end of the pandemic (god willing), the world opening up again, travel (which I love), new possibilities for our business. But truly what excites me the most, are young people. Their commitment to the environment, their purpose-driven attitude and outlook give me great hope for a better future!

Success to me means… Spending time with family and friends. That is when I feel the most successful.

Meet Andrée-Lise Méthot, Founder & Managing Partner of Cycle Capital Management

Andrée-Lise is the founder and Managing Partner of Cycle Capital, an impact investor and the Canada’s largest cleantech private investment platform. She boasts more than 25 years of experience in venture capital, management and engineering. Today, Cycle Capital manages four funds in North America and one in China and has more than half a billion dollars under management. In addition to serving on portfolio companies’ boards of directors, she is the Founder and Chairperson of the Ecofuel Accelerator and the Co-Founder of the Ecofuel Fund. 

 

My first job ever was… As a teenager, I was a swimming instructor at the local public pool.

I decided to be an entrepreneur because… I realized, as an ecologist, that the best way to make a leap forward on the climate change is to become an entrepreneur in finance and support climate tech enterprises and entrepreneurs.

My boldest move to date was… to become an impact investor dedicated to ecological transition and inclusion, specifically for women.

My biggest setback was… not detecting people with toxic personalities on time.

I overcame it by… educating myself on toxic profiles, how to detect them and how to be a positive support for kind people.

If you Googled me, you still wouldn’t know… my private life

When starting my business, I wish I knew…  that human skills, especially emotional intelligence, is as important as business plans, market studies and numbers.

My best advice for people looking to grow their business is… to take the time to know your business partners and discover their level of emotional intelligence.

A great leader is… someone who can bring others to the top with them.

The future excites me because… after 15 years in climate tech and cleantech, I feel that now, things have a chance to move forward.

Success to me means…  that my company, Cycle Capital, will survive me.