Category Archives: Small Business

Community, commitment and crowd funding

Originally posted on the MaRS blog on September 25, 2012.

If I were to tell you that a successful female business owner who grew her core business product by 200% in her first year, and whose overall business experienced growth of 136% in that first year, went to her bank for a $20,000 leaseholder loan and was told that she needed to have her husband act as a co-signer, you’d probably think this was a story from 1955. Sadly, this true tale took place less than six months ago.

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Mompreneur is not a four-letter word

From my latest blog for MaRS Discovery District


When we all win, we all win.

A new blog series I’ve started at MaRS.

When we all win, we all win.


Entrepreneurship lessons from a second grader

My first post for MaRS Discovery District:

Entrepreneurship lessons from a second grader


When the customer speaks…

I won’t complain. I just won’t come back. ~Brown & Williamson Tobacco Ad

Last week, I came across an important documentary that was produced by the BBC and was being shown on CBC titled Chocolate: The Bitter Truth regarding child labour and child trafficking in support of cocoa farming and the supply chain of cocoa.  Perth County is home to an amazing foodie movement, so being the weekend before Valentine’s Day, I tweeted out to the two chocolatiers in Stratford asking them if they knew where their chocolate was sourced.

Both businesses replied openly on Twitter and thanked me for pointing them to the documentary, but only one of the businesses actually replied to my question.

The one that did respond did it via direct message, shared in my concerns regarding the impact of the issue and further shared that they support Fairtrade chocolate in their store.

The other business out right ignored me and my second response question to them.

So, my question is this; if I was standing in your store Mr. Business Owner and I asked you a question to your face, would you turn your back on me and ignore me?

I doubt it.

So, why do you think it’s okay to do that to me online?

You continued to use Twitter throughout the weekend to hawk your wares, but most importantly to me, you turned your back on me, your customer. It doesn’t matter to me that you don’t have the “right” answer; I didn’t really expect you to.  What I did expect was for you to engage me and treat me with some respect. You didn’t.

Anyone that knows me knows that I am an avid advocate for the City of Stratford and especially for its small businesses. I have often put together little Stratford bags of goodness to share with colleagues visiting from other parts of the country to share with them the Stratford success stories and tastes from our businesses, which usually included a well known iconic mint chocolate bar.

So, now, my goodie bag will not be including wares from this chocolate house, nor will I retweet their messages or recommend them to visitors. Why would I?

Thanks to Derek of Chocolate Barr’s for engaging with me and showing me that I matter…your regard will be paid back in kind…


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