I am an entrepreneur from Northern Ontario, currently working towards my HBA at the Richard Ivey School of Business. My interest in entrepreneurship really started at the age of 15 when I launched my first entrepreneurial venture building websites for small businesses in Sudbury, Ontario. Two years later, my sister and I built an ecommerce business promoting the use of natural beauty products. Business and entrepreneurship attract me because of their endless possibilities.
In the future, I would like to be part of a media revolution: breaking up and reshaping the current media monopoly. I would also like to make a significant change in the way gender is portrayed and perceived globally.
Personal Definition of Sustainability
To me, sustainability is not just recycling. It’s a holistic concept that questions the long-term impact of your actions.
For businesses, that might mean sourcing products locally instead of overseas. Or, building a positive culture to support employees as human beings, instead of pushing them to solely focus on profits.
For individuals, sustainability could mean exercising everyday instead of watching TV. Or, supporting your local café instead of buying Starbucks.
To achieve a sustainable society, we must question why we do the things we do. We must also question how those things impact our world. We must change the status quo.
The summer before university, my sister and I started up an ecommerce business selling all-natural beauty products. The year previous, I did some personal research on the ingredients found in drugstore beauty products. Many contain parabens and sulfates: ingredients that are threatening to your health. I made a personal decision to start using all-natural products that year. My sister and I founded our company to share the natural products we found.
This summer, I’m co-founding a juice business. It’s like the milkman, but for juice. This will give Sudburians access to fresh juice delivered to their door in mason jars. We are going to use all local ingredients in our juices, and no added preservatives. The only concern we have right now is delivery; we’re trying to find a more sustainable way of delivering than by car. However, it’s difficult to solve in a city like Sudbury with a low-density population.
I’m also planning on mentoring new entrepreneurs this summer through the Summer Company Program. I think that entrepreneurship is extremely sustainable for local economies. It needs to be encouraged.
This coming May 2014, I will be travelling to Kenya as part of Ivey’s LEADER Project to teach entrepreneurial skills to 30 local women. At the end of the program, their businesses will receive micro financing.