uOttawa Women Entrepreneurs and What They’re Up To…

Written by Chelsey Brassard, Marketing Assistant

Today is Women’s Entrepreneurship Day, a day where we support, celebrate, and empower women in business and entrepreneurship to alleviate poverty.

At the eHub, we are proud to serve any and all students, no matter their faculty, race, gender or sex. In honour of #WED2021 , we’ve put together a list of 10 women entrepreneurs we have helped over the past few years to support and spread awareness of their ventures, celebrate their success, and empower and inspire others out there to become entrepreneurial, just like them.

“10s across the board!” (ft. Michelle Visage, Ross Mathews and Carson Kressley)

(These amazing women entrepreneurs are simply in alphabetical order. Not by order of awesomeness, as they would all be 10s! 10s across the board!).

1. Clay Play Ottawa

Clay Play is a small business in Ottawa that makes wheel thrown and handbuilt small batch ceramics. Mikaila Boyd is the artist and business woman behind Clay Play, turning her hobby into an entrepreneurial endeavor! She used her time spent at home during the pandemic to create beautiful ceramic pieces and earn some extra income. Mikaila is currently studying International Economics and Development at uOttawa.

How do we know them? Mikaila Boyd graduated from our Entrepreneurial Mindset Certificate program in 2021.

To learn more about Clay Play or to get your own piece in time for the holiday season, visit their website and instagram page @clayplayottawa.

2. Compass

Compass is a company trying to tackle the mental health crisis in Canada, by partnering with university campuses to offer mental health resources, tips and exercises. Created and founded by two friends and women entrepreneurs ​​Eve Staszczyszyn (HBSocSc ’21) and Livia Han (BCom ‘20). Eve is a Power Yoga Canada certified yoga instructor and has taught yoga at the Africa Yoga Project in Nairobi, the Cornerstone Women’s Shelter in Ottawa, and Power Yoga Canada in Oakville. Livia is studying to become a certified Holistic Health Coach at IIN and very passionate about wellness and tech.

How do we know them? Eve and Livia participated in the Startup Garage program this Summer 2021.

To learn more about Compass or to register for their network, visit their website or check out their social media below

IG: @checkcompass

LinkedIn: Compass

3. Faye Beverages

Jogo Juice by Faye Beverages is a brand of tasty, refreshing and healthy juice made from hibiscus flowers. Marie Pierre Faye, Co-Founder and CEO, and Ndeye Coumba Diop, Co-Founder and the Director of Operations Management, are two women born and raised in Senegal, but now live in Canada where they have shared with us a piece of their homeland.

How do we know them? Marie Pierre graduated from the University of Ottawa with a BSc and participated in the Startup Garage program this Summer 2021.

To learn more about Faye Beverages or to get your own hibiscus drinks, check out their social media:

IG: @juicejogo

FB: Jogo Juice

4. GiftBetterCo.

Gift Better Co. is a gift box service that includes beautiful local items and items from small businesses. They also offer an online service for businesses to curate their own corporate gift boxes to make gifting more meaningful. Olivia Villalta is the Co-Founder and CEO of GiftBetterCo. She studied at the University of Ottawa in International Business as well as a year abroad at NEOMA (formerly known as Rouen Business School) in Paris, where she gained more knowledge and experience in international business and global marketing.

How do we know them? Co-founders Olivia Villalta and Vanessa Griffiths participated in the Startup Garage program in 2020. You also might know them as the business who made the uOttawa Gee-Gees Homecoming alumni gift boxes!

To learn more about Gift Better Co. or to support their business this holiday season, check out their social media:

IG: @giftbetterco

LinkedIn: Gift Better Co.

FB: Gift Better Co.

5. Growcer

Growcer is a company that empowers communities to grow food locally, having deployed their technology in the Arctic Circle below -50 °C. Alida Burke is the Co-Founder of The Growcer, currently serving as Growcer’s Chief Operating Officer, overseeing the expansion of supply chain, finance and customer success functions. Alida is passionate about social enterprise and most recently won first place in the SheBoot 2021 Pitch Competition.

How do we know them? Co-Founders Alida Burke and Corey Ellis participated in our Startup Garage program in 2016.

To learn more about The Growcer or to support their business, check out their social media:

IG: @growcer

LinkedIn: Growcer

Twitter: @Growcer

FB: The Growcer

6. Le Salon Literary Discussions

Le Salon Literary Discussions is a platform that bridges the gap between a classroom and a book club by combining a friendly atmosphere with research, historical context, and critical thinking. As a user, you can access virtual literary salons or at home salon guides. This business was created by Marisa Hopp. Marisa has a Bachelor of Arts with a double major in English and History, a Diploma in Creative Writing, Media and Design and recently finished her Master’s in English Literature, receiving the highest distinction!

How do we know them? Marisa Hopp graduated from our Build Your Own Career Bootcamp in 2020.

To learn more about Le Salon Literary Discussions or to support this business, visit their website and instagram page @lesalonreads.

7. Oat & Mill

Oat & Mill created a vegan ice cream, based from oat milk and with no artificial flavours. From the Carp Farmers Market on Saturdays to grocery store shelves across Canada, Candace Tierney, Founder and President, has really expanded her business. Candace is committed to sustainability by using plastic-free packaging, working to remove plastics from the entire supply chain and sourcing more oats from local farmers. She also gives back to the community with annual donations to the Canadian Wildlife Federation and oftentimes a “charity of the month”.

How do we know them? Candace Tierney participated in our Startup Garage program in 2015.

To learn more about Oat & Mill or to get your oat milk, vegan ice cream, visit their social media:

IG: @oatandmill

TikTok: @oatandmill

Twitter: @oatandmill

FB: Oat and Mill

8. PELV-X

PELV-X Labs provides technology-driven urogynecological health solutions for clinical and research applications. The company was founded by uOttawa’s very own Ana Brennan, CTO, Catriona Czyrnyj, CEO, and Megan Vandermolen, COO. Ana is a Master’s Student with 6 years of experience in urogynecological device development. Cat is a PhD candidate in biomedical engineering and has raised over $400,000 in academic and research funding and spearheads interdisciplinary teams on large-scale projects. Megan focuses on project management, empowering her teams, and building supportive environments. These three have a passion for urogynecological health and sparking change in the medical world.

How do we know them? Ana, Cat and Megan participated in the Startup Garage program this Summer 2021.

To learn more about PELV-X or to support their business, check out their social media:

IG: @pelvxlabs

LinkedIn: PELV-X Labs

9. Sprout

Sprout is a social enterprise that addresses food insecurity in food deserts by stocking fresh produce and instructional meal kits in corner stores. It is currently run by Anjana Balachadran, a young entrepreneur in her second year of the Political Science and Juris Doctor program. She has worked on several NGOs and community projects, including Senator Mcphedran’s youth advisory — the Canadian Council of Young Feminists.

How do we know them? Sprout was founded in the summer of 2015 by a group of students from Enactus University of Ottawa, a student organization that creates and operates social enterprises in communities across Canada. They participated in the Startup Garage program this Summer 2021.

To learn more about Sprout or to support this foody business, check out their social media:

IG: @sproutottawa

FB: Sprout Ottawa

10. Welbi

Welbi is a platform designed to help recreational workers in retirement homes with increasing socialization and activities for seniors while also monitoring residents’ activity levels. It was created and founded by Telfer Alumna, Elizabeth Audette-Bourdeau in 2016. Elizabeth was able to adapt to fit the needs of the pandemic, adding technology aimed at tracing the source of COVID-19 outbreaks at retirement homes. She has really grown this company over the last five years and recently landed a long-term contract with Revera Retirement Living and Long Term Care Services to install its wellness platform at the company’s retirement homes across the country.

How do we know them? Elizabeth participated in our Startup Garage program in 2017.

To learn more about Welbi or to support their business, check out their social media:

IG: @welbi.co

LinkedIn: Welbi

Twitter: @welbi_co

Facebook: Welbi

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