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Calgary-Based Entrepreneur is Changing the Way We Sleep

If you ask Lara Smith what led her to create Lusomé, she would tell you it was partly circumstantial, partly destiny.

She kicked off her 20-year career at two of the biggest fashion houses in the world – Ralph Lauren and Gucci – and quickly worked her way up as a senior executive at some of Canada’s largest retailers. There, she traveled the globe to discover and create innovative apparel solutions that would make a difference in the lives of consumers.

But it wasn’t until Lara watched her sister battle with breast cancer and the uncomfortable, long-term side effects that resulted from her treatments that she set out to find the most important solution of all – a solution to preventing overheating and night sweats in the clothing that is meant to make us feel beautiful. Lara looked throughout North America and Europe for a sleep brand with beautiful style and fabrics, but they were using 100% polyester and chemicals in the finishing process. Not to mention, their cooling technology never truly worked.

That’s when Lara decided to create her own solution, one that fuses beauty, comfort and science. Her vision came to life through Lusomé, a new pajama brand that promotes the health and sleep of its wearers through first-of-its-kind technology that stops night sweats before it starts.


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A former high school teacher is on a mission to create a unique, inspiring, community-based learning experience for young people

Adam Robb was raised on the traditional lands of the Anishinaabek, Haudenosaunee, Lūnaapéewak and Chonnonton Nations on fertile farming lands connected with the London Township and Sombra Treaties of 1796 and the Dish with One Spoon Covenant Wampum. After one year of university, it became clear that the learning he needed in life would be found with mountains, lakes, gardens, community centres and around campfires and not as much inside classrooms as he had once thought. He kept that realization in mind as he became a teacher himself. For the past 15 years as a high school teacher, Adam has since helped to create unique experiential education programs allowing for self-discovery for youth on Treaty 6, 7, 8 territories as well as the traditional lands of the Beaver, Cree, Ojibway, Secwépemc, Stoney, and Métis. The focus of these programs has always been about connecting youth to the land as a way of learning self-resiliency, problem-solving, risk-taking, relationship-building, history, technology, politics, science, economics and protocols from Traditional Keepers of knowledge. Adam has teamed up with other amazing educators to create learning programs that were recognized provincially (AB Education), nationally (EECOM, KF & CAGBC) and internationally (OECD & ILFI). The Howl Experience is the manifestation of all Adam’s beliefs about learning; it has to be experiential, community-based and focused on solving real problems and achieving real results. He is proud to be working alongside several past students on this project and of the many incredible past students out there making a real difference. Adam is most proud that he is able to do this work alongside his own amazingly insightful children and his inspiring partner.

Shawna Peddle is a partnership broker, collaborator, and convenor of like minds to address complex social issues. She has expertise in program design and implementation related to community resiliency, risk communication, environmental risk assessment, climate change adaptation, and disaster risk reduction. In her current role, Shawna oversees community investment programs and partnerships at Co-operators, a financial services co-operative, including corporate giving and volunteerism, the Co-operative Development Program, the Advisor Community Fund, and the Co-operators Community Funds. Shawna holds a Master of Forestry from the University of Toronto, and a Graduate Diploma in Social Responsibility and Sustainability from St. Michael’s College, University of Toronto.

Learn more about Howl Founder Adam Robb, and how he helped to develop programming that allowed youth to grow and learn more than through traditional education at https://www.experiencehowl.com


Learn more about Co-operators holistic business solutions here.


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How to sell your company for $20 Million

Having started 11 companies to date, Scott Duke is a lifetime entrepreneur. Most recently, Scott founded OpnRoad, an M&A advisory firm based out of Revelstoke, British Columbia that assists business owners across North America sell or purchase companies within the $2M – $20M in revenue range.

You can find out more about OpnRoad and its services here.

In addition, Scott serves as the VP of sales for Capitaliz, a SaaS company servicing the exit planning industry, and as the managing broker of a chain of property management companies across British Columbia.


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RBC: The micro-entrepreneur economy survey

Don Ludlow, Vice-President of Small Business, Partnerships & Strategy, RBC, provides strategic oversight and leads a team that is responsible for delivering marketing-leading solutions, partnerships and client experiences that go beyond traditional banking to help Canadian entrepreneurs successfully start, manage and grow their business.

He also manages the development of RBC’s strategy for the broader Business Financial Services portfolio, including the group’s client experience, CRM, and data analytics strategies.

Don joined RBC in 2001 and has 20 years of experience within the financial services and banking sector. Prior to joining RBC, he served as an Infantry Officer in the Canadian Army where he led soldiers on a number of domestic and international operations and worked in both staff and training roles.

Overview of Key Data Points

Led by the younger millennial and Gen Z generations, a ‘micro-entrepreneur’ economy is emerging across the country, as Canadians look to adapt to a changing landscape dominated by rising inflation and digitization

  • 74 per cent of Canadian small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs are motivated to start a small business or side-hustle due to the increasing cost of living – With this number rising to 84 per cent among Gen Z respondents
  • A strong majority (77 per cent) of current and aspiring entrepreneurs report that their chief aim is to create a source of income to support themselves – Millennials (86 per cent) are even more likely to cite this as their main reason for starting a business

Key factors supporting the emergence of the micro-entrepreneurship economy.

  • Emerging technologies allow them to reach new markets and explore new ways of doing business (47 per cent)
  • Being able to conduct their business or “side-hustle” online remotely lowers the overhead costs associated with starting and running a business (47 per cent)
  • Digital solutions reduce the efforts for administration and back-office aspects of running a business (42 per cent)

A shift in customer preferences is also creating fertile ground for small and micro-businesses.

  • 89 per cent of those surveyed agree that small businesses are able to provide products and services tailored to local needs
  • Another 72 per cent stated that they believe small businesses have the ability to innovate at a more rapid rate than larger organizations
  • Moreover, 71 per cent were more likely to support businesses with an active presence in their local community
  • For current and aspiring business owners, the rising preference and increased willingness of Canadians to shop local has contributed to their overall desire to become an entrepreneur, with 39 per cent of those surveyed stating that this shift has motivated and made it easier for them to start a business.

Read more on Newswire


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Doing business with the 2nd most consumed beverage on the planet

Tracy Bell is a corporate exec turned start-up CEO.

In 2016, a health scare in the family prompted Tracy and her husband to reimagine the way tea is processed in an effort to extract more antioxidants. That concept led to the creation of a new category of tea – called Fresh-Leaf TEA – and a product that is being called “the future of tea” by industry leaders.

In 2017 their innovation was named Best New Product (Innovation category) at World Tea Expo. And in 2019 Millennia TEA was one of eight companies globally selected for participation in the #1 food innovation accelerator in the world, Food-X, in New York City.

Before Millennia TEA, Tracy worked as PR strategist and television reporter, receiving national and international accolades for her work.

Originally from Southern Ontario, Tracy has lived in Atlantic Canada for 15+ years and considers herself a full-fledged Maritimer. Tracy and her husband Rory live in New Brunswick with their two (awesome!) kids.


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The New Approach to Business – Clients Trusting You!

Natalie Doyle Oldfield is the author of The Power of Trust: How Top Companies Build, Manage and Protect It and President of Success Through Trust. Recognized as one of Canada’s Most Inspiring Women Business Leaders and Entrepreneurs in 2021, she’s on a mission to help business owners grow their companies.

She’s been named one of the world’s Top Thought Leaders in Trust for 5 consecutive years by Trust Across America and has been recognized with a Lifetime Achievement Award. A former Chief Marketing Officer, she spent 25 years in business before founding Success Through Trust. She is a contributor to Forbes and is quoted in Economist Impact as ‘Business Trust Expert.’


Entrepreneurs are the backbone of Canada’s economy. To support Canada’s businesses, subscribe to our YouTube channel and follow us on FacebookInstagramLinkedIn and Twitter.

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Making your life easy when you buy a car

Vivian Liu stumbled into the auto industry via a marketing competition back in 2015, from there she suddenly found herself in rural BC managing and consulting dealerships in sales and marketing as a District Manager. 7 years later, she has managed over 80 dealerships from BC to all the way to Saskatchewan on behalf of General Motors. In her tenure at GM, she was responsible for growing the Cadillac brand in the province of BC as well as managing partnerships in Vancouver, such as the PNE, Vancouver Giants, and luxury car shows. Today, Vivian has found herself deeper into the auto industry, more than she has expected, an executive at an auto tech startup as well as founding her own, Mae or Making Auto Easy.


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Massage expert does it differently than the average bear!

Kimberly White-Vincent began her career as a Registered Massage Therapist and solo-preneur in 2002 after graduating from the Kine Concept Institute of Massage Therapy. Having grown up in the beautiful countryside of Southern New Brunswick, she pursued her career in Saint John, N.B. where she grew her practice. As the first entrepreneur of her family, she navigated entrepreneurship on her own while growing her practice and her business into the current multi-disciplinary wellness clinic Serene Physique Inc. She is an active member of the CMTNB (College of Massage Therapists of New Brunswick), ANBMT (Association of New Brunswick Massage Therapists), The Chamber of Commerce,. She also holds certifications in several complementary modalities such as Virtual Massage Therapy Care, TDR-WM Cupping and Aromatherapy and volunteers as Chair Mentor with the ANBMT, and works as an examiner with the CMTNB.

Upon receiving mentorship and coaching for her business, she has researched and established the need to pursue workplace care. It is her passion to improve soft tissue health and mental health in the workplace (including the work from home setting), a need she has grown increasingly aware of over the course of her 20 year career. Having served as a corporate Massage Therapist for many corporations during her career, she has proven the concept and witnessed the many benefits that massage therapy brings to employees and corporations. Kimberley and her team at Serene Workforce believe that healthy and happy employees make healthy and happy corporations. As a thought leader and expert in the field of corporate massage therapy, Kimberley brings years of trust and enthusiasm to employees and companies she works with.


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The power of aliveness with Renée Safrata

Over the past 30+ years Renée Safrata has worked with thousands of companies and executives throughout North America and Europe, helping them to connect, adopt new behaviors, and become confident members of highly functioning teams. As CEO and Founder, she oversees Vivo Team’s full spectrum learning experience, develops leaders and teams through live, online training, coaching, and people analytics. Leading a well connected, remote-first team, Renée has the confidence and trust to work from anywhere—taking full advantage of the WFH model.


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It takes more than one to get something off the ground

Maciej Jastrzebski innovator and entrepreneur with 15 years of experience in new technology development, project implementation, and technology commercialization in the metals and mining industries. He is co-founder and CEO of Li-Metal and is a\the named inventor on 15 patent families. Li-Metal has is addressing the growing need in advanced batteries to deliver lithium metal anodes cost effectively at scale.


Entrepreneurs are the backbone of Canada’s economy. To support Canada’s businesses, subscribe to our YouTube channel and follow us on FacebookInstagramLinkedIn and Twitter.

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