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Jul 16, 2018

I am so excited for today’s episode! Joelle Foster is an amazing women with so much life experience. She has mentored, coached and inspired so many entrepreneurs in their journey and she knows what it takes. Joelle has been there for me when I was faced with the challenge of taking my business to the next level and she has been a sounding board for so many. Her passion and positivity is contagious and this episode is full of amazing advice, stories, experience, laughter and real life. It’s always a treat to get to spend some time with Joelle and having her on Fempower is extra special because her message is so foundational to this show and to so many of our lives – helping us to find our inner power, to believe in ourselves and to face our fears, to know our worth and to thrive.

Joelle is best known as a spirited activist for entrepreneurship in Canada.  In March 2018, she left Winnipeg to lead the new University of Calgary Hunter Hub for Entrepreneurial Thinking as the inaugural Executive Director.  Prior to this, Joelle was a Director for Futurpreneur Canada, for 7.5 years overseeing Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, Nunavut and NWT.  Under her leadership, in Manitoba alone, 325 businesses opened their doors. She achieved a 91% success rate over 7 years.  She has affectionately earned the title of “Start-Up Mom”. 

Supporting a wide range of entrepreneurial initiatives, she currently sits on the Board for North Forge Technology Exchange and the Canadian Council for Small Business and Entrepreneurship (CCSBE).  In recognition of her work, Joelle was the 2017 recipient of Volunteer of the Year Award from the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce and she received the Board of Directors Excellence Award from the Manitoba Business Council in 2016.  She was a nominee for the YMCA-YWCA Women of Distinction Award in Business in 2015, a finalist for the Spirit of Winnipeg awards in 2015 and was the Runner Up for the Start-up Canada Award for Ecosystem Builder of the Year in 2014.  

We discuss:

  • Her background, growing up in Nunavut and the early challenges she faced
  • Her business foundation in college and her toolkit of skills
  • How to learn the skills you need in life and business that you won’t get from post-secondary learning
  • What drives Joelle’s passion and motivation for entrepreneurship
  • The books that Joelle recommends (links in show notes)
  • How Joelle can tell if an entrepreneur has the characteristics for success
  • How to decipher the skills of a good vs. bad mentors
  • What type of entrepreneurs Joelle would invest in
  • The importance of Failure
  • How to survive entrepreneurship
  • The differences between men and women in their approach to business and advice that Joelle has to help women excel
  • The challenges that Joelle has faced and advice she gives
  • Things she would have liked to tell her younger-self
  • Why she left Winnipeg as a Women leader
  • Joelle’s definition of PMS - it’s not what you think!
  • The importance of mentoring others
  • How Joelle uses her feminine vs. her masculine power in leadership
  • What women should be doing for seeking funding or investment for their business
  • Understanding VC funding
  • Knowing your worth and having the confidence to walk out of the room.
  • Motherhood, adoption, supporting relationships, and role-models
  • Joelle’s take on work-life integration
  • The entrepreneurial life-style with small children
  • Joelle’s most important things that she has learned in her journey so far
  • Where Joelle finds the energy within herself to give as much as she does
  • How shifting her mindset changed her life and what defining moment made it happen.
  • How Joelle selects her tribe
  • How Joelle hires people and why
  • Joelle’s take on the entrepreneurship at the International vs. Canadian scale – where Canada is at and what we can learn from the rest of the world and timelines for Canada to make an impact globally
  • How women can succeed in funding at a global stage
  • Joelle’s hidden talents and desired super powers!
  • The Goddess that I assign to Joelle