Three Ivey entrepreneurs are among the 20 young trailblazers who were recent recipients of Business London’s Twenty in Their 20s awards.
Nicole Baranowski, MSc '21; Dollar Luo, an HBA/Computer Science ’23 candidate; and Rubaina Singla, an HBA ’24 candidate, received the annual award, which recognizes young innovators, creatives, and community advocates from a variety of industries for making a name for themselves in London and beyond. This year’s winners were cited for their resilience, adaptability, and community spirit.
Business London profiled the recipients who shared their accomplishments, challenges, and vision for the future.
Here’s a look at the Ivey recipients on the list:
Nicole Baranowski, MSc '21
Nicole Baranowski is the founder of Hairstrong
If there is one thing Nicole Baranowski has developed from participating in competitive sports, it’s resilience.
While competing in several sports, particularly varsity rowing, she learned to push through obstacles to meet her goals.
Her entrepreneurial startup, Hairstrong, was born as a result of that process. Since her long hair was constantly escaping elastic bands and distracting her from focusing on athletics, she created adjustable hair ties called Strongbands that don’t loosen during strenuous exercise. Using her professional connections through sports, she has even gotten her products into the hands of Olympic athletes.
Now she is focused on the sport of entrepreneurship and helping budding entrepreneurs to succeed through her role as a Business Analyst with the Morrissette Institute of Entrepreneurship.
I’m so proud that something I was able to create from scratch is now a product that is worn globally. With the Strongband, I’m glad to be able to help women focus on their goals instead of being distracted.”
– Nicole Baranowski (Source: Business London)
Dollar Luo, HBA/Computer Science ’23 candidate
Dollar Luo is an entrepreneur and technologist
Dollar Luo says her parents inspired her to commit to excellence and serve others and that’s why her future goal is to build products that help people become the best versions of themselves.
She has already made an impact through her previous work as Executive Director of RollUP Solutions, a social enterprise founded in 2017 by a group of Western University students. RollUP collects gently used wheelchairs and mobility devices, works with community partners to upcycle them, and either donates or sells them for a minimal fee to the community.
While she was with RollUP, Luo says the team provided more than 300 wheelchairs, walkers, and canes to those in financial need across Canada, and supported COVID-19 relief efforts by donating mobility devices to hospitals in Middlesex County and Winnipeg, Manitoba.
Next up, Luo hopes to be part of a company that makes a social impact.
Whether it be increasing financial prosperity, access to resources, or improving productivity, I want to be part of a company that is committed to driving social good.”
– Dollar Luo (Source: Business London)
Rubaina Singla, HBA ’24 candidate
Rubaina Singla is the founder of SINGLA Intimates
Rubaina Singla didn’t set out to be an entrepreneur, but her passion for sustainability led her to create Singla Intimates, an eco-friendly lingerie line.
While working in retail fashion, Singla became concerned about the waste she saw in the process and wanted to be part of the solution. SINGLA Intimates uses industrial waste and recycled yarns for its garments instead of the typical petroleum-based fibres.
Recently selected as a 2022 Cansbridge Fellow, Singla travelled to the Nordic region for a summer internship through the program to broaden her knowledge about sustainable fashion and how to accelerate Canada’s investment in a circular economy.
That experience has inspired her to learn more and she hopes to continue to travel and meet interesting people.
I believe the world expands and solutions emerge from understanding different angles and perspectives. I hope to collaborate with passionate individuals to solve challenging problems in areas like food and textile waste, climate change, healthcare, and tech policy.”
– Rubaina Singla (Source: Business London)