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#IWD2020

Celebrating Memorial University’s entrepreneurial trailblazers

By Lauchlin Ewald

An equal world is an enabled world.

At Memorial, we recognize that female entrepreneurs are essential to growing economies and creating vibrant communities.

In recent years, Memorial has strengthened existing entrepreneurial support entities and created new centres and funding opportunities.

This includes Genesis, which supports entrepreneurs through all stages of idea development; the Memorial Centre for Entrepreneurship, which supports students, faculty and staff in developing their startup business ideas; and the Centre for Social Enterprise, which aims to build economic resilience through social enterprise.

As International Women’s Day approaches on March 8, the Gazette is celebrating six entrepreneurs in the Memorial community. Read on to learn about their companies, the work they do and what being a female entrepreneur means to them.

Ashley Sullivan
Creatros Technologies Inc.

Founder and chief operating officer

Creatros Technologies Inc. has created software that provides unbiased skills insights for managing technical teams more efficiently by assigning the right person to the right task.

Creatros is part of the Genesis Enterprise program, a three-year incubator program designed to help technology startups grow their business.

“Being a female entrepreneur to me means I can create my own power and expectations, not live restricted by those imposed onto me.”

Ms. Sullivan is Memorial alumna, with degrees in both physics and engineering.

Emily Bland
SucSeed

‘Seed’-EO

SucSeed brings hydroponics into classrooms, homes and communities to encourage an easy, environmentally sustainable practice that increases access to fresh, affordable produce.

SucSeed began as a project of Enactus, Memorial’s award-winning student-led social enterprise program, and is now a Genesis business incubator client.

“Being an entrepreneur to me means believing in a better future and being determined enough to take action to create it.”

Ms. Bland is a graduate of Memorial’s bachelor of commerce program and former president of Enactus Memorial.

Joycelyn Moulton
Duff Ocean Resources

Co-founder

Duff Ocean Resources is exploring ways to tackle a significant environmental challenge – the aggressively invasive green crab.

The chitin from crab shells may be able to be used to for a variety of purposes, including water purification, wound healing and antibacterial agents.

Duff Ocean Resources was a winner in the 2019 Mel Woodward Cup, a business idea competition for student entrepreneurs at Memorial.

“An entrepreneur is someone that is able to recognize a problem, generate ideas to relieve it, and has the courage to see those creations through to fruition.”

Ms. Moulton is a graduate of the biochemistry program and a current student at the Marine Institute.

She credits the Memorial Centre for Entrepreneurship and the Genesis Centre with launching Duff Ocean Resources onto a promising path.

Nora Trask
Cloudberry Forest School

Co-founder

Cloudberry Forest School is an outdoor school that offers children regular and repeated access to natural woodlands with the support of highly qualified teachers.

Ms. Trask is one of the first students in the MBA-SEE: a specialized master of business administration program in social enterprise and entrepreneurship and the only program of its kind in Canada.

“There is no greater reward than being able to take the risks necessary to realize my dreams.”

She says that being exposed to people who are building a better society through business has given her new perspective on her own impact.

Ms. Trask has also availed of programming and support from the Centre for Social Enterprise.

Wendy Reid-Fairhurst
Cohousing NL

Co-founder

Ms. Reid-Fairhurst aims to develop co-housing communities as a means for increased social connections, downsized living and environmental sustainability.

She sees Cohousing NL as a model for modern housing development.

Ms. Reid-Fairhurst also runs an environmental design studio that includes community design, interior design and innovative affordable housing and community development consultation.

“Being a female entrepreneur means wearing a lot of hats and being extremely busy juggling family and work opportunities, but way more flexible than working for someone else.”

Ms. Reid-Fairhurst is part of the first cohort of students in the MBA-SEE program and works closely with the Centre for Social Enterprise.

She calls the MBA-SEE a “pioneering a new way of doing business” and says it is a way to balance people and planet with profit.

Sharad Protiti
Bishwabeena Music School

Founder

Ms. Protiti teaches Bengali music to children of Bangladeshi heritage and organize musical events for them, promoting multiculturalism in the province by helping those children better understand the values of the Bangladeshi culture.

Ms. Protiti, who is a student in the bachelor of business administration program, is also working closely with the Memorial Centre for Entrepreneurship on a new business idea.

“I recognize that I am breaking social barriers and petty stereotypes that are associated with being an international female leader in a country that is not my own, just by being myself.”

“I am developing an electronic safety device for women living in areas of the world where sexual harassment is rampant. MCE has been helping me refine my business plan, identify and communicate with my target market and implement my business strategies.”


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