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Andrea Iervella — SCHOOLWORX

Every parent knows the swell of pride that happens when your little one presents a piece of artwork they’ve done all by themselves. That feeling never really goes away, but somewhere after the 10th or 50th piece, another feeling starts to creep in – ‘Where am I going to keep all this stuff?’

For Mompreneur® Member Andrea Iervella, the solution was to photograph the art and make hardcover photo books. It solved the problem of storage and made it easy to enjoy the creations. When she started to share the books with friends and family, the idea for SchoolWorx was born.Andrea Iervella - Mompreneur Success Story - SchoolWorx

Now anyone can preserve a child’s art without having to fill up tubs – from bins to books, as the company motto goes – by sending it directly to SchoolWorx where it’s professionally photographed or scanned (even restored if necessary!) before being printed and beautifully bound. It’s an amazing solution that parents everywhere are jumping on. No surprise then that Andrea was named 2015 Mompreneur of the Year.

 

What inspired you to become an entrepreneur?
My earliest memories of entrepreneurialism date back to when I was a child! I remember sitting in the back of my families van on road trips devising new products that the world so desperately needed…like purposeful lipstick cases to t-shirt designs and even new home models.

image of an open schoolworx photobook

With a father who was a successful entrepreneur himself, I naturally went on to acquire my Bachelor of Commerce Degree and majored in Marketing. After many years of building a career as a Marketing Manager in Calgary I decided to put my career on hold and raise a family. It wasn’t until after my third child that I felt like I needed to do more!

I loved being a stay at home mom but I was ready to nurture my own spirit. I often tell people that there is something different about entrepreneurs…there is a spirit that entrepreneurs have that does not let them stop creating/solving/doing! It can stay hidden while an entrepreneur continues to work for others but it shines its light frequently until you are ready to acknowledge it!

Continue reading Andrea Iervella — SCHOOLWORX

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Use LinkedIn Strategically for Your Business

linkedinHave you determined that LinkedIn is a waste of time for your business?  Have you created a profile and built a network without getting any real results?  The reality is that most entrepreneurs are using LinkedIn but not as effectively as they could be.  The possibilities of social media are endless but you need to approach it like you would any other area of your business.  It requires a strategy and you have to be consistent with it. Here are some tips that will help you use LinkedIn in a way that will open doors for your company:

Identify and reach out to people who are highly connected.

On LinkedIn you are only limited by your connections.  If you are connected to a lot of people, your scope is significant.  Consider your contacts as a doorway; through them you are able to access everyone that they are connected with.  When you reach out to people who already have a lot of strong connections, you are able to leverage all of those relationships to the benefit of your company. Continue reading Use LinkedIn Strategically for Your Business

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Head Lice Awareness Day Raises Money for Charity

News Release: August, 2015
Lice Squad, the leading head lice removal franchise system announced they are donating an entire day’s service revenue system wide to The Children’s Aid Foundation to mark Head Lice Awareness Day on September 17, 2015.

“Lice Squad is hosting the day to bring attention to the overuse and abuse of pesticides on children and the environment,” explained, Dawn Mucci, President and Founder of Lice Squad.  “We know that head lice can be solved without the use of harsh chemicals.  We want to enact a change that will have a positive impact on the health of children, families and the environment and stop the stigma surrounding head lice. This common human condition affects over 2.4 million Canadians and we are all susceptible.  It is time for a TLC approach to treating head lice and people who experience it.” Continue reading Head Lice Awareness Day Raises Money for Charity

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A Real Retirement Story

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The Value of Advice:  Paul Lowey – Vancouver, British Columbia
Paul Lowey is a confident man, a family man and a businessman. A devoted husband and father, Paul found himself out of work in 2008. Rather than wait for work to come to him, he decided to start his own film production and animation company, Gloo Studios. Since that day, the business has been going from strength to strength. As a small business owner, Paul understands the value of expertise. That’s why, when it came to planning for his retirement, he sought the advice of a financial advisor. And although retirement is still a long way off, he can rest easy knowing the future is taken care of.
Continue reading A Real Retirement Story

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Top 10 FREE Programs to Help With Your Business – PART 2

written by Stephanie Goertz, Licensed Owner of KW Area Mompreneurs®

I hope you were able to try out the first 5 programs that I listed in the”Top 10 Free Programs to Help You with Your Business- Part 1″. As a new business owner some of the programs available to you can be overwhelming and time consuming since they can demand a steep learning curve.

Hopefully you will find that some of the programs listed in the first half and now in the second half of this blog are fairly easy and quick to use. Continue reading Top 10 FREE Programs to Help With Your Business – PART 2

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Voting is now open for the TELUS $100K Small Business Challenge

Cast your vote!

On June 25th, TELUS and The Globe and Mail hosted their 5th annual Small Business Challenge, an opportunity for Canadian entrepreneurs to win the coveted $100,000 business grant. Each semi-finalist met in Toronto where they faced the judges and audience to pitch their businesses, share the challenges they faced and explain how the grant would help them take their business to the next level. The judges need your help selecting a winner! Learn more about the semi-finalists here and vote between now and August 31 for your favourite.

Get ahead with $100* towards new TELUS Small Business Services

When it comes to your business, getting the right tools at the right price is one of the best ways to get ahead. At TELUS, small business is a big priority. Let us show you how technology can help save time, reduce costs and boost sales, allowing you to focus on your core business.

Ask us about our suite of business products such as Business Connect, Web Hosting, Managed Business Internet, IoT, Smartphones, Tablets and more.  Email us at SmallBusinessOffers@telus.com and we can customize options for your specific needs.  For more details on the offer go to the Mompreneur TELUS offer page.

 

*Conditions apply.

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Elaine Tan Comeau — EASY DAYSIES

We’ve all heard mythical tales of the inventor, staying up late into the night, working by candle at the their kitchen table, trying to turn an idea into a reality. In the case of Mompreneur® Member Elaine Tan Comeau, the myth – except for maybe the candlelight – is true. While working her day job, the former teacher realized that one of the products she used in the classroom to help keep kids organized and focused could easily make the jump to home-use, if only someone would make it.

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Like all successful entrepreneurs, Elaine realized that someone was her, and today, after much hard work and a trip to the Dragon’s Den, Easy Daysies is a successful company and their ingenious magnetic schedules enjoy international distribution and recognition.

We interviewed Elaine – the 2014 Canadian Mompreneur Award of Excellence winner – and spoke about life before Easy Daysies, what it takes to make a new venture successful and what the future might hold for Elaine and the company.


 

Elaine Tan Comeau - Mompreneur, Founder of Easy DaysiesWhat inspired you to become an entrepreneur?
When I was 7, I made my own store off our back porch selling old toys, pet rocks and candy to neighbourhood kids, but I never thought I would become an entrepreneur. My first degree was an Honours Degree in Biomedical Ethics with a Minor in Physiology, and then I received my Bachelor in Education. Who knew that a visual routine I made for my classroom to help create smoother event transitions and lessen anxiety for my students, would one day become a household product brand called Easy Daysies®!?

I love being an Entrepreneur!  It is amazing to take a concept that solves a problem and make it become something that helps others while making money at the same time!

I made visual routines for families for free for years and discovered that there was nothing out there like it and decided to make it into a product. So I did extra tutoring and sold crafts that I made to save up for the first $1400 I needed to make my first batch of product. I launched my first product two days after my third baby was born.  (Yes, that is true!) I started making and selling them off our kitchen table (and still work there until 3AM most nights).  Soon after, it became the #1 Back to School Must Have in Parents Magazine!   The orders kept coming in to a point that was beyond what my kitchen table could handle.  Then I was urged to go on an investor television show called Dragons’ Den!  Excited, scared, and with three little ones in tow, we pitched to the savvy investors and incited a bidding war between all five investors and were blessed to secure both Jim Treliving and Kevin O’Leary as our partners!

image of arlene dickinson and easy daysies

Continue reading Elaine Tan Comeau — EASY DAYSIES

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Top 10 FREE Programs to Help You With Your Business – PART 1

written by Stephanie Goertz, Licensed Owner of KW Area Mompreneurs®

As a new entrepreneur I know all too well the struggles of time and money and it is because of this I have scowered the internet for FREE resources that I could use to at least help alleviate the amount of time I spend on tedious, time consuming, or otherwise difficult tasks. Over the last year I have cultivated this list through extensive research and testing. Some people may prefer other options but for me, in my early stage of business, these programs have helped me significantly.

Below is the first half of the Top 10 Free Programs to help you with your business. Continue reading Top 10 FREE Programs to Help You With Your Business – PART 1

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Making Difficult Decisions

Difficult decisionsRunning a business can be fun, but many successful business owners have come to the tough realization that in a business environment, they have no friends. They have employees who are dedicated to the company and they may have customers who are loyal, but the bottom line of the business is the prime concern they have to watch. One of the biggest obstacles they face in the day to day business operations is their own emotions, which they need to leave at home when they head for the office.

For example, consider a business owner that is approached by their financial expert who tells them that they have to cut half of their workers loose in order to meet expenses. This can be an emotional time for the owner as on one hand, many of the workers are loyal to the company and are very productive, and on the other hand the company needs to be able to run leaner in order to make ends meet.

Simply based on the emotions of keeping the business operating, the solution may seem obvious in cutting half the workforce, However, before making that call, the owner needs to look at all the facts and not just the financial ones. Questions need to be asked such as how long will this lack of income last? If we layoff employees, how much will be spent on unemployment compensation? What other ways can we cut expenses, for example, is the finance guy really necessary? If half the workforce is let go, what will be the effect on productivity and customer service and will the remaining employees be able to handle everything without the additional help? If after thoroughly understanding all of the available options and the effects of instituting any suggested changes, it is found that half will need to be let go, then it is the right decision for everyone. Continue reading Making Difficult Decisions

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Announcing Yvonne Weld as Mompreneurs® Brand Ambassador: ONTARIO

We are excited to welcome YVONNE WELD as our newest Mompreneur® Brand Ambassador for Ontario! Yvonne brings with her years of experience as an entrepreneur and a supporter of women in business. We are excited for all that is to come for our current members of Mompreneurs®  as Yvonne connects current and new members from across the province through events and online assistance.

 

Yvonne AmbassadorAbout Yvonne

Yvonne Weld is the mother of two active teenagers and wife to her high-school sweetheart. She lives in the cottage community of Port Franks, Ontario located on the shores of beautiful Lake Huron. She loves spending time outdoors with her family and watching sunsets at the beach. As a proud member of the Mompreneurs, Yvonne is passionate about spreading the word of the wonderful and supportive Mompreneur community to those throughout Ontario.

Yvonne is also the owner of a global online business where she teaches entrepreneurs about the wonderful world of Virtual Assistants. She holds the philosophy that although we are in business for ourselves we should never be by ourselves and loves when she can help successful Mompreneurs learn to let go and grow! She has become affectionately known as the Virtual Assistant Matchmaker.   {email Yvonne}    

 

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