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Human Resources

How Dawn O’Connor built a virtual work community during a pandemic

Driven by a need to connect people in the throes of pandemic-life, Dawn O’Connor built a virtual community for individuals to work ‘separately-together’ inside a Focus Bubbles. Since formally launching in January 2021, Focus Bubbles has supported over 1000 hours of productive outcomes in 175 sessions. Participants work on small tasks and big projects, ranging from administrative to creative, while overcoming procrastination and immersing into deep work mode with the support of a committed community of Bubblers.

When not inside a Focus Bubbles, Dawn is a productivity trainer and facilitator with over 25 years experience. She has helped more than 10,000 clients around the world enjoy being more organized and less stressed. She is also the Chair of 2 Women’s Presidents Organization chapters in Calgary. Dawn has built and sold two businesses in the past and is excited to end her entrepreneurial journey with Focus Bubbles, which she plans to grow for the next 5 or so years before retiring.


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Se démarquer dans le monde du vêtements malgré la compétition

Philippe Vachon, c’est un peu le Maurice Richard de la bobette. Malgré les nombreux obstacles, les débâcles et les difficultés, il ne s’est jamais arrêté et s’est toujours relevé.

Rêveur comme le petit joueur de hockey, il met sur pause ses études au cégep et se lance en affaires pour la première fois à l’âge de 19 ans avec la compagnie de sports Maverick. Vite sur ses patins, le jeune adulte connaît du succès rapidement. Mais, la puck n’est pas dans le camp de Phil : du jour au lendemain, un incendie emporte Maverick en même temps que son espoir pour une victoire précoce dans le monde de l’entrepreneuriat.

Lui qui considérait retourner aux études accepte une offre d’emploi intéressante à Xerox sans toutefois perdre de vue son rêve. Peu de temps après, un projet stimulant se présente à lui : son ami d’enfance, David Côté-Hamel, désire partir son agence de publicité web. On est alors en 2008. L’entreprise fleurit rapidement, embauche une vingtaine de professionnels et se démarque de sa concurrence. C’est la deuxième expérience entrepreneuriale de Phil. La deuxième saison de notre joueur ne s’augure pas aussi facile qu’il le souhaiterait. Hors de son champ d’expertise, Phil se sent parfois imposteur à l’agence.

En 2010, les étoiles s’alignent et il fait son entrée dans la ligue des grands. Son retour dans le commerce de détail se fait avec Mesbobettes. La compagnie de sous-vêtements masculins se veut un projet-test : les deux entrepreneurs essayeront leur stratégie marketing en ligne.

Phil réalise deux tours du chapeau avec Olivier Dion et la publicité Clic Clic pour le Club MesBobettes. On est alors en 2015 et malgré quelques blessures, Mesbobettes s’en tire bien. Toutefois, le double échec des magasins de la région de Montréal met en péril le futur entrepreneurial de notre athlète. Tenace et persévérant, Phil se retrousse les manches. Avec l’aide de Dave, il restructure et relance la compagnie, crée sa marque de boxers et passe aux Dragons. Depuis, les deux gars ne font qu’accumuler les victoires.

Si Phil est le Maurice Richard des bobettes, c’est bien pour toutes ces fois où il s’est obstiné et a fait preuve de détermination et de courage, tout comme la figure emblématique du hockey. En dépit de la perte totale de sa première entreprise et des nombreuses épreuves connues avec Mesbobettes, l’homme n’a jamais baissé les bras.

D’où lui vient ce trait de personnalité ? Son parcours sportif dans sa jeunesse, ses expériences de capitaine d’équipe. Phil a toujours été un fonceur, un gars qui avait la bougeotte. Président de son école secondaire, il a fait preuve de leadership dès son enfance.

Tout comme Maurice Richard, il ne compte plus s’arrêter. La prochaine étape : conseiller de nouveaux entrepreneurs et devenir investisseur.


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Guiellermo Salazar’s frustration with a garage door results in on-demand customer service for major utility companies

Guillermo Salazar is a Co-Founder of ICwhatUC, an industry-leading augmented reality virtual work platform that helps the mobile workforce execute remote work. He is a 20-year data & analytics professional and multiple-time founder. He began his career in consulting, left PWC to start his own ERP firm, and then sold Quatro Integration Group to Deloitte Consulting.

His entrepreneurial spirit meant starting another company of his own, and Salazar set about finding a solution to the frustration of dialing into a call centre, trying to communicate a problem and then waiting for days to get it fixed. Hence, ICwhatUC was born.

Salazar earned a finance degree from the University of Calgary’s Haskayne School of Business. He is in his ninth year as a member of its management advisory committee and is past chair of the Haskayne Alumni Board.


Shape your future in #Lethbridge. Bold. Vibrant. Technological. The bright, affordable choice for business builders. Grow now at https://entrepreneur.chooselethbridge.ca

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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Josianne Lapierre parle de vivre votre rêve à travers le service à la clientèle, le réseautage, la comptabilité

Josianne Lapierre (www.comptesrecevables.net), une femme axée sur le côté humain et la communication a toujours eu un faible pour le service à la clientèle. À la suite d’un imprévu, elle décide de se lancer dans le domaine du crédit. Pour bien faire les choses, elle s’entoure de personnel compétent et s’inscrit à de multiples formations afin de bâtir son entreprise. En amour avec son domaine d’activité, elle fera tout pour devenir la référence en gestion des comptes au Québec. Malgré les multiples embûches et les difficultés vécues par les femmes se lançant en affaires, Josianne se dévoue corps et âme afin de faire croître son entreprise afin d’offrir un service d’exception.

Les entrepreneurs sont l’épine dorsale de l’économie canadienne. Pour soutenir les entreprises canadiennes, abonnez-vous à notre chaîne YouTube et suivez-nous sur Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn et Twitter.

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Peter Faist is Founder and CEO of Staffy, Solving Staffing Challenges for Hospitality and Healthcare

Peter Faist is Founder and CEO of Staffy and maintains a reputation as a bon vivant. He has diverse experience for some of the largest and most technically complex companies in North America. Prior to founding Staffy, he was the President of NetCon1, an elite Network and Security consulting firm. Peter is a graduate of Next Founders, a judge for Top 100 Restaurants in Canada and has appeared on BNN’s The Disruptors where Staffy finished in the top 5 of the season. Peter studied Computer Programming at Sheridan College, and completed one year of culinary training at George Brown. Peter’s passion for changing the hospitality landscape has enabled Staffy’s success in Toronto, Vancouver, and New York. Staffy is a new app that takes a radical approach to solving staffing challenges within the hospitality and health care sectors. By creating a first of its kind on-demand marketplace, businesses can quickly and efficiently connect with contractors to meet their immediate, short-term or long-term staffing needs. For skilled workers in the hospitality and healthcare industries, Staffy provides the opportunity to pick up shifts tailored to their experience and schedule.

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

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Amanda Munday is Founder & CEO of The Workaround and Author of Her Memoir Day Nine: A Postpartum Depression Memoir

Amanda Munday is the founder and CEO of The Workaround and author of the best selling memoir Day Nine: a postpartum depression memoir. She advocates for childcare at all orders of government, and sits on the Board of Directors for Creative Preschool of East Toronto and the Danforth Mosaic Business Improvement Area. She also is a speaker in the upcoming TedX Toronto 2020 series: Uncharted.

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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Tugreofia Smith, VP of Operations at A&T Ascension Consulting (ATAC), a Virtual Staffing Company

Tugreofia (Tugs) Smith is the Vice President of Operations at A&T Ascension Consulting (ATAC), a virtual staffing company she co-founded with her husband Adrian, where she manages hundreds of remote workers across North America. Having successfully led virtual teams for over 10 years, she is passionate about the opportunities that remote work provides to individuals, rural communities, and evolving businesses. As the mother of five children, Tugs fully appreciates the challenge of balancing work and family. Part of her mission is to offer better work-life balance to thousands of working moms throughout the country. Tugs is based in the Toronto area.

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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Dave Brown is Founder/CEO of QiiQ Healthcare, Focused on the Operational Dysfunction in Hospitals

Dave Brown is an engineer/entrepreneur who emphasizes the centrality of HUMAN-centered DESIGN in the success of any product enterprise. He is currently the Founder/CEO of QiiQ Healthcare, focused on the operational dysfunction in hospitals. QiiQ (“Quick”) is building a sophisticated virtual assistant for hospital staff. The healthcare industry has systemically installed barriers to innovation that keep it in the “dark ages.” While most other startups rush in with obvious and perfectly reasonable solutions to impact quality of care, almost all of them overlook the most important barriers to entry, and thus fail on their choices in go-to-market.

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Janet Candido, Principal of Candido Consulting Group is an Authority on Workplace Systems & Culture

Principal of Toronto-based Candido Consulting GroupJanet Candido is an authority on workplace systems and culture. With more than 20 years of business and HR expertise, she provides innovative solutions for clients with the goal of helping organizations, executive teams and their employees reach optimal performance.

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

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Marc Daniel’s Nextwork is Providing the Next Generation of Business with Experienced Talent to Get Work Done

Marc Daniel is a business psychologist, talent expert, and founder of Nextwork – a digital talent marketplace and work platform that connects organizations with experienced talent on demand. Marc has an ambitious vision – to retire retirement – and is realizing this vision through championing a more flexible approach to ongoing work that better serves everyone’s needs.

Visit www.ebay.ca/upandrunning to open your online shop.

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