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Edmonton

Taking the stress out of real estate

Ryan Mracek, founder of Keylo Inc. (Canada-wide) and the broker of Keylo.ca in Edmonton, had a vision years ago to make it so anyone could buy and sell at home at a fair market value instantly and painlessly. Mracek was originally an accountant then moved into construction before settling on a career in real estate.


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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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Every Home Has A Story To Tell

David Tiefenbach, Owner, Atta-Boy Property Inspections, grew up in a small town just east of Regina and spent a lot of time at his grandparents’ grain farm. It was an integral part of his life at a young age. After high school he went into the plumbing and gas fitting trade, moved to Edmonton 2005 and started his plumbing business in 2006. In 2017 he was excited to get into the cannabis business but “ended up losing my shirt.” In 2018 he got his home inspector licenses and started Atta Boy Property Inspections early 2019. His intent was always to sell Atta-Boy franchises and help others in the trades to find something different and easier on the body.

“I have a strong belief and I have the determination to make this successful for trades people and any other with a good work ethic who are interested. I know my support system on the business side is what really matters for the franchisees to become and stay successful. This isn’t about home inspections this is about learning the business about home inspections. This is about building relationships for success. That’s why I call it Inspection Success,” he says.

In February 2023, Atta-Boy will start taking applications from any teenagers from 15 to 19 who may think they might be interested in Home Inspecting and seeing other trades in action from framers, electricians, plumbers, HVAC guys and insulators. He has set up a summer school holiday program from July 1 to Aug 31 for teenagers to have an opportunity to shadow these trades in action and to spend the last remaining 2 weeks with him shadowing him doing home inspections. It’s all free and the intent is to spike interest and possibly look at a trade school and possibly maybe a future Atta-Boy franchisee owner after learning their trade of choice.

Tiefenbach also has a goal to build an acreage just east of Sherwood Park with a picture in his head of a couple of Clydesdales roaming around.


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Focusing on world-class performance through values-based leadership

AJ Slivinski is an accomplished author and award-winning team leader. He wrote “The Leadership Code” which focuses on world-class performance through values-based leadership – real-life principles and strategies he executed while heading an international-based corporation and leading their team to #1 for customer service in the contact center industry after just four years.

AJ is a visionary with his focus on values, leadership, and service. His current vision as President of Mayfield Management Group Ltd (MMG) is to lead a world-class organization specializing in residential property management services, that is focused on continuously exceeding customers’ expectations with an incredible team of diverse professionals.

AJ brings a wealth of experience and decades of knowledge from senior marketing and sales positions and has a unique perspective on what owners and property managers want (and more importantly, what they need) as he has owned/managed apartment buildings for over a decade and served on several condominium boards.


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Blending traditional methods of soapmaking with modern-day science

Tanya Zurock, founder of Wild Prairie Soap Company, first began making natural soap in her quest to find better solutions to help resolve her young children’s dry and sensitive skin. Thanks to her upbringing on a Canadian farm, she used her knowledge of natural and organic ingredients to create soap that was not only effective but provided a better, natural alternative to commercially manufactured soap.

Over 20 years later, Tanya and her team continue to change the landscape of the natural personal care industry by redefining what consumers should expect from the experience of using exceptional soap and other nurturing body care products. Her now-grown children continue to be her best test subjects!

Today Wild Prairie Soap Company products can be found in retail locations across Canada, as well as in major department stores and on e-commerce sites in Japan. It is also now in South Korea.


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What it takes to lead the entertainment industry

A driven and enthusiastic go-getter, Mike Anderson has been making waves in the entertainment industry for decades. After completing studies at the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT) and Ryerson University’s Event Management Program, Mike joined the NAIT Students Association’s team as Entertainment Marketing Manager.

After gaining industry experience, in 2005 Mike was up for a new challenge and decided to launch Trixstar – a 360-degree live event management & consultation firm that activates both city and rural markets with fairs, festivals, concerts, brand activations as well as celebrity and speaker events. Working alongside organizations that want to create brand awareness, generate excitement and raise funds through impactful events and unique experiences, Trixstar now operates out of Nashville, Calgary, and Edmonton supporting clients and events all over North America.

The scope of Mike Anderson’s career as an event management expert has attracted the attention of peers, international celebrities and the media who have celebrated him as one of Edmonton’s “Top 40 Under 40′′ as well as one of the “Top 50 Alumni” of his college (NAIT) over the last 50 years. He was also nominated as “International Talent Buyer of the Year” at the International Entertainment Buyers Association Industry Awards in Nashville. His foresight and careful planning allowed Trixstar to not only survive the pandemic in the face of public health restrictions, but adapt to provide safe live events that also created jobs. This adaptability and progressive thinking is what keeps Mike Anderson leading the entertainment industry.


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Edmonton’s source for things to do, eat and know each week

Linda Hoang is one of Alberta’s leading social media strategists and bloggers. As a strategist, she’s delivered social media training to hundreds of participants across a range of industries and has helped public, private, and non-profits big and small develop strategies and content plans to help achieve the organization’s goals and objectives. As a blogger, Linda regularly partners with tourism boards and businesses to create engaging written and visual content. Linda is the co-founder of Stop Race-Based Hate, an anti-racist education tool, and she is also the founder of the Edmonton International Cat Festival, the only event of its kind in Alberta.


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Wes Hall of Dragons’ Den invites you to submit your pitch and gives some helpful tips

Dragons’ Den and Canada’s Podcast have partnered to give away 3 golden tickets to pitch to the dragons! Get your golden ticket to Dragons’ Den today by uploading your 60-second video pitch to our entry page at https://canadaspodcast.com/dragonsden. The best 3 elevator pitches will get a golden ticket to audition to the Dragons’ Den producers.

Wes Hall is Executive Chairman and Founder of Kingsdale Advisors. He is the newest Dragon to the Den – Canada’s first Black Dragon. He has been married for 30 years and is father of five kids. Wes was originally from St. Thomas, Jamaica and he immigrated to Canada at 16 years old. Raised by his grandmother in a tin shack with 13 siblings and no running water, Wes is truly a self-made Canadian dream success story. His favourite sports team: the Toronto Raptors. Wes is very into fitness (yoga, pilates, peloton, treadmill, weights, all sports). Wes is known for his generosity, leveraging his business success to benefit others with a number of impactful charitable initiatives, and serves as a Board Member of the SickKids Foundation, Pathways to Education, Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) and The Black Academy. He is also a Member of the Board of Governors at Huron University College. Wes is Founder and Chairman of The Canadian Council of Business Leaders Against Anti-Black Systemic Racism and the BlackNorth Initiative, committed to the removal of anti-Black systemic barriers negatively affecting the lives of Black Canadians. He has also changed the lives of thousands of children in the Caribbean and Canada, donating both his money and time. In 2015, Wes was the recipient of the Vice Chancellor’s Award and in 2017 received an Honorary Doctorate, both from the University of the West Indies.

Maybe you can join him and begin your success journey. Take a listen to the podcast. Give us your 60-second video pitch and who knows, you might get to meet the Dragons. The best 3 elevator pitches will get a golden ticket to audition to the Dragons’ Den producers. Go to https://canadaspodcast.com/dragonsden and make your pitch.

Decarbonizing Your Business with Dr. Jamie Stephen

This episode with Dr. Jamie Stephen will provide information on the decarbonization solutions that entrepreneurs can consider as they build and grow their businesses. Now more than ever, there are expectations for companies to integrate carbon-conscious decisions into operations. Dr. Stephen will specifically discuss how the forest sector can support the most effective decarbonization efforts that business can adopt.

The efforts that will be focused on include:

  • Building with wood – carbon capture through wood infrastructure
  • Thermal energy – heating buildings sustainably which is the largest climate liability for businesses
  • Bioenergy carbon capture and storage – options for permanent CO2 removal from the atmosphere

Dr. Jamie Stephen is Managing Director of TorchLight Bioresources, an energy and resources consulting and project development firm based in Nova Scotia, Canada.

He has managed bioenergy and cleantech projects for a broad variety of clients including national and provincial governments, utilities, airlines, manufacturers, investment funds, First Nations, and technology developers. Projects have focused on industrial growth strategies, facility feasibility, technology deployment hurdles, policy options, and investment prioritization.

Originally from Saskatchewan and the UK, he holds a PhD in Forestry (bioenergy techno-economics/strategy) and a Masters in chemical engineering from the University of British Columbia and a BSc(H) in Life Science from Queen’s University.

Learn how you can become net-zero at https://www.forestryforthefuture.ca/


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How The PIVOT Project Helps Canadian SMEs Future Proof Their Business for a Changing World

Led out of McGill University, The PIVOT Project is an action research project that uses social media to bring small business owners across Canada together to share their climate action goals, struggles and achievements and shift Canadian perspectives on our country’s green future.

We will be interviewing PIVOT participants over the next few months. We love this kind of initiative. In this interview we talk with Drior Etcion an Associate Professor at McGill and one of the drivers of the initiative.

PIVOT is an action-research project that amplifies the action of small business owners across Canada as they transition to the low-carbon economy. PIVOT harnesses the power of stories to document the growing movement of SMEs that are future-proofing their businesses and setting themselves up for success in a changing world.

PIVOT is spearheaded by the Desautels Faculty of Management at McGill but is collaborating with many other departments including biology, informational science as well as external stakeholders like the National Film Board of Canada The project is funded by the McGill Sustainability Systems Initiative.


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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