Uncertainty appears to be the norm these days; the Coronavirus has brought a number of enterprises to a halt, with many people apprehensive about the future. Entrepreneurial creativity is springing out as a result of the uncertainty, with the world’s business leaders taking advantage of the opportunity to show off their skills.
Entrepreneurs in Canada, in particular, are not afraid to take on the task of reinvention. According to a recent survey, small-to-medium-sized enterprises employing up to 500 employees account for 99.7% of all Canadian businesses. Only 0.03 percent of Canadian businesses are classified as major, illustrating the importance of entrepreneurs starting businesses of all sizes to the Canadian economy. The ability of these businesses and employers to persevere during this period is critical, and we’ve chosen 20 Canadians to keep an eye on and learn from as we approach 2021.
Michele Romanow is a serial entrepreneur, co-founder of Clearbanc, and a Dragon on Dragons’ Den.
Clearbanc.com is the company’s website.
@micheleromanow on Instagram
@MicheleRomanow on Twitter
Michele Romanow is on LinkedIn.
Many people know Michele Romonow as the youngest entrepreneur ever on CBC’s Dragon’s Den, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the 35-year-old Canadian’s numerous achievements. Romonow, who is the only Canadian on Forbes’ Millennials on a Mission list, founded her first business while studying engineering and graduated with a $100,000 profit. By the age of 25, she had successfully operated three firms, and by the age of 33, she had co-founded and served as president of five profitable businesses, including Clearbanc and Buytopia.
Rupi Kaur is a well-known Indian singer.
Rupikaur.com is the website for Rupikaur.
@rupikaur_ on Instagram, @rupikaur_ on Twitter
Rupi Kaur is a poet, illustrator, and novelist who is widely regarded as a pioneer of Instapoetry. The 27-year-old writer publishes her work in both print and on social media, which has helped her gain a large following among millennials. Milk and Honey, Kaur’s first book, sold more than 2.5 million copies and spent 77 weeks on the New York Times Trade Paperback Best-Seller list. Her work focuses on relationships, the immigrant experience, and sexuality, and it has been well received by her audience due to its fun yet accessible style.
Founder and CEO of SmartSweets.
Tara Bosch is a model and actress.
SmartSweets.ca is the company’s website.
Twitter: @tarabosch Instagram: @smartsweetsfounder
Tara Bosch is on LinkedIn.
Tara Bosch’s success story as the founder of SmartSweets reads like a Hollywood blockbuster. At the age of 21, the young entrepreneur founded SmartSweets, which produces candies with 79-92 percent less sugar than typical candy. By 2016, Bosch had dropped out of UBC and was selling her candy to stores she cold-emailed from the back of her car. SmartSweets’ sales reached $50 million in 2019, with over 29,000,000 candy packs sold through over 18000 outlets. Candy-lovers everywhere now have a healthy option to help them beat that sweet-sweet sugar need once and for all, thanks to her inventiveness.
Founder and CEO of Hootsuite,
HootSuite.com is a social media management platform.
@invoker on Instagram, @invoker on Twitter
Ryan Holmes is on LinkedIn.
Ryan Holmes isn’t a newcomer to the world of business. The CEO of Hootsuite, who was born in British Columbia, started his first business in high school and has since tried his hand at a variety of businesses, including a pizza parlour and a paintball firm, before creating his most successful endeavour to date, Hootsuite. Hootsuite began as a social media management tool in 2008 and has since grown to become the world’s most popular management tool, with over 18 million users. Holmes is an entrepreneur who shares his brilliance with like-minded people, promoting the entrepreneurial community as a whole.
Divacup Founder and CEO
DivaCup.com is the website for the Diva Cup.
@TheDivaCup on Instagram
@CarinneChambers on Twitter
Carinne Chambers is on LinkedIn.
Through the design and promotion of the DivaCup, Carinne Chambers and her mother, Francine Chambers, are revolutionising the age-old industry of feminine hygiene. The DivaCup, which was founded in 2003, is unique in that it is reusable, making it both ecologically responsible and economical for women who spend hundreds of dollars on hygiene items over the course of their lives. Today, the Ontario-based invention is distributed in 22 countries around the world and is well-known and regarded for the customer benefits it brings. Chambers has won numerous honours for her business achievements, including EY Entrepreneur of the Year for Sustainable Products and Services, EY National Special Citation Award for Industry Disruptor, and inclusion in Canada’s Top 40 Under 40 list.
Unbounce Founder and CEO
Unbounce.com is a website where you can learn more about how to use Unbounce
@unbounce on Instagram
@unbounce on Twitter
Rick Perreult on LinkedIn
Rick Perreault, a Canadian entrepreneur, founded Unbounce in Vancouver, British Columbia, in 2009. The software programme was launched in 2010 to help organisations generate leads, sales, and customers by using efficient landing pages. In terms of leadership strategies at Unbounce, Perreault is known for “zigging when others zag” (self-proclaimed). All of this zigging is paying off for the corporation, which pulled in $7 million in revenue in 2014 after only four years of official operation. Unbounce continues to give meaningful conversions to its customers, hence improving their e-commerce platforms. The cost of middle-man developers and the bother of tech bottlenecks are avoided by offering consumers with user-friendly alternatives to construct, launch, and configure their landing pages for any campaign.
Kate Ross-LeBlanc and Jean-Pierre LeBlanc
Founders and CEOs of Saje Wellness,
Sage.com is the company’s website.
@sajewellness on Instagram
@SajeWellness on Twitter
Saje Natural Wellness is on LinkedIn.
Saje was formed in 1992 by Kate Ross and her future husband, Jean-Pierre Leblanc, on the basis of two principles: no nasty chemicals and a lot of community involvement. Their essential oil business, founded in Vancouver, has grown tremendously since then, with 71 sites across North America, and continues to reflect these two expansion philosophies. The company started with only eight products and now has over 500, ranging from Stress Release essential oils to chemical-free mirror cleaner. Ross-incredible Leblanc’s entrepreneurial success has resulted in the employment of hundreds of Canadians from coast to coast, with their head office still in Vancouver and 59 outposts around the country.
Jamie Cormack and Lyndon Cormack
Herschel.ca is the website for Herschel.
@herschelsupply on Instagram
@Herschelsupply on Twitter
Herschel Supply Company is on LinkedIn.
“Every business starts with a problem, and ours was simple: backpacks were boring,” Lyndon Cormack, a co-founder of Herschel, explained. Since its discovery in 2009, Herschel’s success has soared thanks to his ability to solve this easy problem. The brothers serve the everyday traveller with deliberately designed products to accompany them on their daily journey by developing aesthetically beautiful backpacks, luggage, and other accessories. Given that Herschel currently has over 9000 places of distribution in over 90 countries and 72 branded stores, the Vancouver-based firm has been entirely self-funded from conception to completion.
Dave Lane and Jeremy Guard
Arcteryx.com is the company’s website.
@arcteryx on Instagram, @Arcteryx on Twitter
Arc’teryx Equipment is on LinkedIn.
Arc’teryx was founded in 1989 by Dave Lane and Jeremy Guard on the principle that “the only way to develop the correct gear for this climate was to build the company in this environment.” That is exactly what the Vancouver-based startup achieved, and they are still operating out of their Vancouver headquarters decades later. They’ve built a cult following of customers who are infatuated with the business, which sells high-end outdoor technical apparel designed to endure the harsh coastal mountain environment. The success of their venture, which includes 32 brand stores and 3000 retail outlets in 40 countries, demonstrates that purchasers are not put off by a typical Arc’teryx jacket’s USD $1000 price tag.
Adam Doran and Michael Doran
Aclarus Ozone Co-Founders
Aclarus.ca is the company’s website.
Aclarus Ozone (LinkedIn)
Adam Doran and Michael Doran, cousins and co-founders, founded Aclarus Ozone in 2011 with the premise that “clean water affects everything.” It’s simple with Aclarus Ozone.” The Dorans, who are based in Peterborough, Ontario, had the idea to create a water-treatment technology that was both environmentally friendly and effective. Their technology may be scaled to purify water from single-family homes as well as large industrial operations. The pair won the 2020 Water’s Next Award at the 11th annual Canadian Water Summit on June 11th, demonstrating that their technology is gaining national attention and will soon change the face of water treatment, first locally and then globally.