IntroductionThere are more than 821,000 women entrepreneurs in Canada. Who are they? What do they look like? What do they have to teach you? You’ve considered starting your own business, but you’re hesitating. What are the barriers you face in starting your own business?
You don’t have enough money.
Years ago, Suzana Strutley didn’t have the $1500 she needed to purchase her own hair removal equipment so she stayed at a salon she was miserable at -- until a client offered to lend her the money.
You are too young.
Tanya Eklund was twenty years old when she moved to Calgary to pursue her dreams. Within her first year of becoming a Realtor, she was already winning awards.
You are too old.
That’s what people told Ghislaine Cleiren but she didn’t listen to their criticism. Instead, she opened her own chocolate store and now many are enjoying the fruits of her labour.
You have health issues.
So does Debbie Abry. She’s had mercury poisoning and deals with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, but it was her sinusidus that drove her to create a health product that would ease her pain.
You are afraid that your business will fail.
Roxane Dendy spent a year asking various ‘what if’ questions. She finally took the plunge into the clothing industry with the helpful nudging of her husband. Now she wishes she would have started sooner!
You have a family members to care for.
Wannetta Johnson-Hamrell was on maternity leave when she wrote her business plan and got her own bookkeeping business started. The addition of another child a few years later did not slow her down.
You don’t have the proper education.
Hayley Whelpton knew nothing about mortgages when she first got into the business. It was her willingness to learn and her care for her clients that led to the opportunity of starting her own brokerage.
This book was written to encourage you. There is a way around every problem that you face in starting your own business.
This book, The Face of Canadian Women Entrepreneurs: Combining Business with Passion tells the stories of seven women entrepreneurs. It explains how they got started, who influenced them on their journey and what advice they would pass on to others starting a business.
You will read about the ups and downs of running one’s own business. You will learn about the challenges – including having a home office, trusting the wrong people, looking for a good retail location, unexpected operating costs, bancrupcy, hiring the right people and unhappy clients.
You will also learn about the benefits -- of having more freedom, doing what you love, connecting with great clients, making a difference in the lives of others, being your own boss, getting more respect AND making money!
You’ve been thinking about starting your own business for a while, but something has been holding you back. Be encouraged. You are a nurturer, multi-tasker, relationship builder and communicator, not to mention your other giftings and talents! You are just like the women on the following pages, women who are now successful entrepreneurs. The stories of these Canadian women will motivate you to take that creative business idea of yours and put it into action. You have what it takes to succeed. All the best to you on your journey!