Ali Khan Lalani is the CEO of General Assembly. If you asked us pre-pandemic, we’d have told you that it’s a popular pizza restaurant in Toronto. Now, it’s reinventing itself as a successful food-tech company and recently secured $13-million in Series A funding with plans to go public. Many lockdowns in, we know the devastating impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on the restaurant business. But Ali’s is a story of a successful pivot in an industry that needs some good news. He shares how he...
Published 05/10/21
Published 05/10/21
This is an online furniture brand that doesn’t let you sit on the couch before you buy it. A design company founded by four friends with no design skills… but it works. When 2020 forced us to spend more time inside our homes, Article’s e-commerce approach gave it an advantage. The company was already growing rapidly, but the pandemic was rocket fuel. It wasn’t a straight line to success though. CEO Aamir Baig and COO Andy Prochazka tell Sarah about how they became Article — and it involves a...
Published 05/03/21
After losing her job, Bobbie Racette was reminded how tough it is to find work as an Indigenous LGBTQ woman, so she decided to start creating jobs that could be done remotely, flexibly, and for a fair wage. When she started Virtual Gurus, a Calgary-based talent marketplace that matches companies with virtual assistants and freelancers, she made a point of hiring from marginalized groups including single mothers, trans people, Indigenous women and people with social anxiety. It took her 170...
Published 04/26/21
Be honest: when was the last time you wore pants with a zipper during this pandemic? Even before COVID-19 shifted our fashion priorities, sustainable loungewear company Smash+Tess was reporting nearly 5,000% 3-year revenue growth. The body-positive company has amassed a huge following with their stylish rompers, including celebrities like Hillary Duff and Sarah of The Birds Papaya. Founder Ashley Freeborn credits a lot of their success to the value they place on building an online community....
Published 04/19/21
Flashfood is an app that keeps good food out of the trash. Users can buy discounted food that grocers would have had to throw out as it approached the sell-by date. It’s good for the environment, combats food waste and helps people who need cheaper food. But getting the business off the ground, into major grocery chains and through a global pandemic took an appetite for risk that not everyone has. Founder Josh Domingues shares how sometimes getting it wrong, pivoting and fighting like hell...
Published 04/12/21
KinkyCurlyYaki is a company that sells high quality, kinky, curly and natural-looking hair extensions. As a Black woman, Vivian Kaye was building a business she saw a real need for. But venture capitalists didn’t share her vision. It’s a problem many Black founders face – receiving roughly one per cent of VC funding. Vivian shares her story of bootstrapping through these obstacles, and her hopes for the future.
Published 04/05/21
Sarah Stockdale returns for another season to talk with incredible entrepreneurs about what it’s really like to launch and grow a business. Spoiler Alert: The Growth Effect isn’t a normal business podcast. We talk to successful founders about their 4am anxiety attacks, running out of money, and the growing pains usually kept hidden. You’ll get a behind-the-scenes look at how companies really get built.
Published 03/29/21
Leena Yousefi wins 90% of her cases. But for her, winning isn't everything. For a profession that isn't typically associated with innovation or known for rapid growth, her firm stands apart. She approaches everything in law with heart and soul. And from how she approaches her clients to who she hires, it works. The founder of YLaw is one of the top 25 lawyers in the country. Her firm has seen its revenue grow by 331% in the last three years, making it one of the fastest growing companies in...
Published 12/03/20
Add 600 employees in 100 days during a global pandemic. That's what CEO Cherif Habib did with Dialogue, an app-based telehealth company providing remote doctors appointments. He thought it would take Canadians 3-5 years to adopt remote healthcare - but then COVID-19 happened. So what happens when you have to fit five years worth of strategy, planning and rollout into just five months?
Published 11/24/20
Marc Lafleur, CEO of TruLocal, works really hard. He doesn't apologize for the sweat that's needed to be a first-time founder, but that doesn't mean he's a fan of the #hustleculture that's big in the startup community. In this episode, he shares with Sarah how his goal of improving the food supply in Canada through his quality meat-delivery company doesn't leave time for much else, and why he still thinks its worth it.
Published 11/17/20
We’ve heard about some of the challenges of launching and scaling a business, but what about stepping into a leadership role at an already successful company? Taking over the reins, and the expectations that go along with that isn’t for everyone. But it was for Cathy Thorpe, who went from being a customer to CEO of Nurse Next Door, a company that offers home care for seniors across North America, which has taken on a new level of gravity amid COVID-19.
Published 11/10/20
Would you start a business with your best friend? While on maternity leave? And then pivot drastically at its peak success? That’s what Becca Perren and Jennifer Kelly of Pehr did. In this episode, they chat with Sarah about going against conventional wisdom and when it makes sense to change course with a growing business.
Published 11/03/20
Burnout: Most CEO’s won’t talk about it, many CEOs experience it. Marie Chevrier takes a different approach. On this episode, the founder and CEO of Sampler gets candid about how her experiences with burnout have made her a better leader in a high-growth, market-leading company.
Published 10/27/20
They make it look so easy, but we know better than that. Introducing The Growth Effect, a new podcast that speaks to the leaders of some of Canada’s top growing companies to learn what it’s really like to launch and scale a business.
Published 10/15/20