three people sitting at a table with microphones and laptops

What Does An Entrepreneur Look Like?

Episode 1

August 21, 2023

The personal stories of the faces behind the stats. People who have encountered financial barriers, experienced discrimination, grew up in underrepresented communities, have disabilities or weren’t taken seriously because of their age.
In this episode, we speak with six successful entrepreneurs who faced these issues during their paths to starting their own businesses. Frank Porco is a tattoo artist and the owner of Against the Grain, an independent tattoo parlour in downtown Whitby, Ont. Naa-Adei Laura Marmon is a fashion designer who creates meaningful articles that pay tribute to her heritage. Jenna McInnes and Ashley Moore are the proud founders of Bombshell Beauty Bar, a one-stop-shop for all things beauty and esthetics in Bowmanville, Ont. Mary Jubran is a digital editor who just can’t get enough of side hustles under her belt and Kevin Shaw is a one-time DJ, serial entrepreneur and broadcast personality who decided to start his own legacy.
View Transcript
What does entrepreneurship look like?

Mary Jubran: No matter what I was doing, because I wasn't like a doctor or I wasn't a lawyer or like an engineer, they thought that I was just going to kind of amount to nothing.


Frank Porco: I had $5 in my bank account and my boss told me to quit my job if I wanted to learn tattooing. And I was just like, I didn't even think twice. I was like, okay, I'll quit tonight. I'm like, I don't know how I'm going to eat or like, whatever, but I'm going to figure it out.


Jenna McInnes: Like, are you sure this is what you want to do? Why do you feel like you have to also open a studio when there's so many? Why do you feel like you have to jump into this so young?


Naa-Adei Laura Marmon: I said no to myself for many years. I mean, I'm 30 years old. I'm pursuing my degree now. I worked in restaurants as a waitress for almost ten years because I was saying no to my calling for a long time.


Kevin Shaw: I didn't think I had it in me to be sort of a tech entrepreneur and, you know, to go out and build digital products and do all of the things - all of the things that tech entrepreneurs did. I figured that after I landed a full-time gig that I’d basically be working for other people for the rest of my life. And that turned out to not be the case at all.


[Founders Drive theme music]


Katie Sampson: Welcome to Founders Drive, where we share personal stories like the ones you just heard.


Tammy Raycraft: Stories of young people pursuing their dream of starting their own business.


Andrew Neary: Who have faced challenges and adversity and did it anyway.


Deidra: Young people whose stories you may not have heard before.


Katie: I'm Katie Sampson. At 16, I tried to start my own lash business in my parents basement.


Andrew: I'm Andrew Neary. I opened my dream business, a games cafe. Unfortunately, I had to close it because of COVID.


Tammy: I'm Tammy Raycraft. I worked in retail until COVID shut everything down. So, I became a makeup artist and did live makeup tutorials online.


Deidra: And I'm Deidre Clarke. As a Type 1 diabetic, I've had a business idea for a long time, and now I'm finally doing it.


Katie: We're all journalism students at Durham College in Oshawa, Ontario. We came to the podcast for different reasons, but with the same goal in mind: to share the truth about what it's like to be your own boss as someone in your twenties or thirties.


Tammy: What it's like to be told you're too young or to face judgment about where you're from, the colour of your skin, your family dynamics, your education, your experience, your bank account, or in some cases you're disability or mental health.


Andrew: Or simply not believing in yourself.


Deidra: We hope as you listen to the personal stories we share, they will inspire you and ignite your own passion for entrepreneurship.


Katie: So, Andrew, why coffee? Why was that something that you wanted to start and get into?


Andrew: Well, it actually came from my love of boardgames. I'm a huge nerd and I wanted to create a space where people could come and feel welcome and play board games. And I realized that a business that was just around boardgame events probably wasn't going to survive on its own. So, I decided to bring in coffee as an element, and I spent two years learning how hard that was.


Katie: That's pretty cool. And tell me, why did you decide to start your business during the pandemic?


Tammy: Well, I didn't really have a choice. After I lost my job, and I love makeup and I was doing it every day anyway, so I figured why not try and make some money off of it?


Katie: And Deidra, you haven't started the business. Why are you working on this podcast?


Deidra: I was really intrigued by entrepreneurship, and I have my own thing coming up soon.


Andrew: What about you, Katie?


Katie: My story was a little bit different. I was a very money motivated high school student, and eyelash extensions were the big trend at the time. So, I decided what better way to get into it than to do it myself? And I could hang out with friends and make some extra pocket change


Andrew: For sure. We spoke to a lot of people over the course of making this podcast. Did you learn anything you didn't expect to?


Katie: I think just based on my own experience, not everyone does it for money, even though that's what I did it for, and that was my main focus. A lot of people do this for other reasons besides financial.


Tammy: I also learned that not everyone wants to do it full-time, so there are people that are happy just doing it part-time as a side hustle, and that's their goal.


Deidra: For me, I thought it was just the big guys that were considered entrepreneurs. It wasn't the people who look like us, but in reality that is what it looks like, whether you're in a house or a warehouse. It really is what entrepreneurship looks like.




[Sound of a sewing machine]


Naa-Adei Laura Marmon:  Hello, my name is Naa-Adei Laura Marmon and I am a fashion designer of my namesake brand and I live in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. It came to me in a dream in 2014. I had this odd dream back then, and it was basically - what I saw in the dream was a sketch of a woman and she was wearing a suit and she was kind of posed a very, you know, kind of nice, interesting pose. And she was wearing this super structured tailored suit. And that's when the idea came to me. But it was several years later before I ever did anything with it. But in 2020, you know, during the pandemic, I had kind of realized that even before lockdown and everything, that women were in positions of power now more than ever before, and they were wearing a lot of suits, wearing suits kind of like a revival from like the eighties and whatnot. But whenever I would go to the store to go look for a full suit, a blazer and trousers, a lot of the suits that I saw were very boxy and they didn't really fit, you know, my body and my curves and whatnot. I mean, even the colour palettes that were available were kind of boring and demure, and it was just like your basic office wear and as a business person, but also fashion designer, it's important for me to look good, be confident and also, you know, feel feminine and womanly in my clothing. So I - that was happening and then I remembered the dream and I kind of put them all together. And then that's how I founded my company.



[Sound of tattoo gun]


Frank Porco: My name is Frank Porco. I am a tattoo artist and co-owner of Against the Grain Tattoo Collective. So, when I got into tattooing, the whole thing was I didn't want to work for somebody else, but I had to just start. And when I was doing that, I slowly, as I got better and better and I started realizing I'm pretty much I wouldn't say running this place, but I was pretty much doing everything anyway. I figured, Well, why don't I just do my own thing? And instead of giving this person half the money for never being here, why don't I just do my own thing and then be a better boss to somebody else? And then I started to realize, okay, this might be a better opportunity for me.



[Sound of typing]


Mary Jubran: I'm Mary. Nice to meet you. I don't know. I'm 30. I live in Oshawa Ontario. I work in the creative industry. I have worked in a lot of industries. I have kind of floated from job to job idea to idea, career to career until I found one that really, really fit for me, which was podcasting. Well, technically, my very first foray was being a babysitter and working up the babysitter grind, getting the babysitter cred and having people recommend me to other people. So I was like 12 and like hustling to babysit kids. But it didn't really truly start until I had already gone through school, through university to do biological sciences. Hated it, worked in insurance, hated it, went back to school for video production, then found what I wanted to do, and that's when I started doing like photography and videography as freelance work for any client that I could get to sign up with me. Yeah, the babysitting ring. I was literally like, I think the earliest was ten or 11. I was babysitting, raking it in, getting that like the money to go to Clair’s to buy lip gloss. And then when I was tutoring, I want to say I was like 15, 16, something like that and then when I had returned and was actually like doing like genuine client work, which was photography and videography, that was I think I was 25, 26, something like that. So there was a deviation where I went and was like working in food services and then working in an insurance company, working as administrative and then found my way back. I was like, okay, if I equip myself, I can make myself, like, experienced enough and valuable enough that I will be able to be hired. And then it kind of just took on a life of its own for a while.


Kevin Shaw: My name is Kevin Shaw and I am what I would call a recovering entrepreneur. I started my career in broadcast media before going back to school to gain a masters degree in media production and launched my start-up career in 2012, thereabouts, 2013, running a start-up called Tell Me TV, which was a video on demand platform with described video. Worked through that for a number of years and then got another start-up idea while winding down my first company, launched a company called MenuVox and worked at CNIB concurrent to that running a national entrepreneurship program for people with sight loss like myself right across Canada, and did that for a number of years. We built a couple of really cool digital products and then found myself out of work at the beginning of the pandemic and freelancing for a bit. And then, now I work for Tangerine on the design team as the digital accessibility lead. I had a little bit of experience being an entrepreneur. I used to be a mobile DJ when I was younger, and so right out of school, actually during my undergrad, you know, I used to DJ parties and weddings and that sort of thing. And when you're an entrepreneur, you realize that there's a lot of, there's a lot of hustling you've got to do to to go out and get gigs and meet people and network with clients and and do all of the things that you do as an entrepreneur. And that was really my first introduction to it.




[Sound of a blow dryer and nail file]


Ashley Moore: So, my name is Ashley. I am a nail technician. I own Ash of all Trades and I have been doing that for about a year and a half now. And then Jenna and I decided to take up business together and open Bombshell. So yeah.


Jenna McInnes: So I'm Jenna and I'm a - I do lashes primarily, but I also do teeth whitening, body contouring, brows and waxing as well. So, I own Sage Beauty Bar. So, I've been doing that for a little over two years now, and I was just primarily home based for most of the time. And then, yeah, Ashley and I met through just, like, the industry and decided to open Bombshell together. Yeah. So I actually went to school for two weeks for forensic psychology -


Ashley Moore: As you do. [laughs]


Jenna McInnes: And Ashley and I met actually through like an engagement group on social media, like just service providers, and I've always wanted to go to like an independent nail tech. So I ended up going and seeing her and we like, bonded right away. And then probably not even like my second or third appointment in, she's like, oh, like, I'm looking at maybe, like, going to a commercial. Like, would you like, want to, like, rent from me possibly? And because I like, dropped out, I knew that that's kind of what I want to do, too. So I was, like, you know, like, not really. Only because I know I want to do the same thing down the road. And then we were just like, Why don't we just partner?


Jenna McInnes: So yeah, yeah.


Ashley Moore: So then we stumbled upon this space and then the rest is history, I guess.


[Sound of hair dryer]


Katie: So, Deidra, let me get this straight: Naa-Adei makes fashionable and feminine business wear and suits for women.


Deidra: That's right.


Katie: That's so cool. I think over the time, I have noticed that most women's clothing is very neutral and a lot of it is black when it comes to business wear. So I think it's really cool that she's making something more trendy and cute.


Tammy: I also think it's cool that not only did Frank quit to make his own money for himself, but he also wanted to be a better boss for someone else.


Katie: And who can't relate to Mary with all the side hustles like babysitting. We all did it. We all went to Claire's just to buy the lip gloss.


Andrew: I only did it once.


Katie: Buy lip gloss or babysitting?


Andrew: Oh, both, for sure.


Katie: Nice. [laughs]


Deidra: I can't believe Jenna had the guts to drop out. That's what I wanted to do. But entrepreneurship was not on my radar, so clearly entrepreneurship is more than just one thing.


Tammy: But what is it?


Katie: I think it is really difficult to define.


Andrew: So we asked the people we interviewed.




Naa-Adei Laura Marmon:  Oh, before I was one myself, I saw - I thought that they were really brave. In whatever field of business they were going into, I thought that they were very brave and I thought that they were someone who probably had a lot of money to start their own business. But you don't have to have that much money. I also thought that they were someone who had a lot of free time, like, oh, they can do whatever they want.


Frank Porco: I think an entrepreneur is someone who is - to me - is constantly growing, someone is constantly striving for more. But most people think it's something where you can - you have to start up a business and that's it. Like, you just you think of an idea, you start the business and it's over but I think it's there's more to that. It's about growing and pushing yourself and changing and - and it's, to be honest - a lot of it is about failure, too. You have to fail to learn and build. So, it just it's a special type of person. I will admit that most people who are, who consider themselves entrepreneurs, are probably not. And those who are are a very special breed.


Katie: Before you were an entrepreneur, how would you describe one?


Ashley Moore: In two words? Elon Musk – in a weird way. Like, I honestly don't know if I had an opinion, almost like maybe in-your-face, kind of, you know, that like billionaire kind of money, shove it in your face kind of vibe. Like, that's not what I think of when I think of like an entrepreneur. I think of myself as a small business owner, but I am technically an entrepreneur and I see that. But, you know, I almost think that there's like two different like, you know what I mean? Like, there is like the billionaire entrepreneur and then there's the small business entrepreneur. So, I feel like it's, you know, it's a lot of what we said. It's a lot of time, it's a lot of putting that in. And I don't think you realize that until you're really in the hot seat.


Kevin Shaw: What I thought of being a tech entrepreneur was, was you had to be like Steve Jobs and sort of know all the answers up front and I found out that entrepreneurship really is a journey of discovery. You know, entrepreneurship can be big, but it can also be small and going out and becoming a tech entrepreneur and starting up the next Facebook is like the dream of everybody who's out in –  certainly in the tech entrepreneurship space. But entrepreneurship is so many other things. It's it's starting up a store, it's starting up a grass cutting service and anybody can start anybody can do this. And entrepreneurship can be big and it can be small. But, you know, I definitely think that there's there's room for everybody in in the world of entrepreneurship.


Andrew: So, there can never be too many founders. Everyone is successful. Win, win, win.


Katie: And anyone can do it. You don't need experience, even though it does seem like just to make a sandwich at Subway these days you need a bachelor's degree.


Deidra: Even with the podcast, I didn't feel qualified to talk about this stuff. I'm not an entrepreneur.


Tammy: I think everyone has doubts. Even when I started the makeup thing, it was my second try at it because I didn't believe in myself enough.


Andrew: If you think you've had doubts, let me tell you about Mary. I met Mary four years ago through a mutual friend when I was looking for help promoting my cafe business. At the time, Mary worked as a freelance social media manager, videographer, photographer and editor while holding a desk job as a secretary. As if that wasn't enough, Mary started a market full of maker projects.


Mary Jubran: It's just because I wanted to do it. Straight up, just because I wanted to do it. And a lot of times I will start selling something simply because I have made a lot of it and I've got nothing else to do with it. Like soaps, you're making a product. Like, I can make as many soaps as I want, but I'll be here and an empire of soap that will never be used. So, it was like, okay, I could just sell this. And it ended up going a lot better than I thought it would. Same thing with candles. It was like, alright, I have all the materials to make candles. I love making my own candles. You could only burn them so quick. I could start making it for other people. Same thing with decorations and, like, ornaments or I don't even know what else. Oh, I've printed shirts for people too or on Redbubble, too. It's like, well, I make these designs for fun, you know, I might as well put it somewhere, especially when people are like, wow, I would love this if it was on a T-shirt, which people do actually say - it sounded fake, but they do. And often times, too, not only is it because I wanted to, like, I do things because it entertains me. You know, like, at the end of the day, if I'm doing like a side gig like that, for lack of a better term, it's because I like it and I want to do it for me.


Tammy: Andrew, what is Redbubble?


Andrew: Redbubble is a site that you can upload designs and they'll print that onto mugs and other collectible items, T-shirts, posters, and then sort of dropship it to people for you. It's a big marketplace.


Tammy: Oh, okay, cool.


Katie: So people are going to have matching T-shirts and Christmas ornaments.


Andrew: Exactly. And soap, and candles. But none of that was enough for her parents.


Mary Jubran: No matter what I was doing, because I wasn't like a doctor making like a three figure, or sorry, a six figure – three figure salary [laughs] – a six figure salary, or I wasn't a lawyer or like an engineer, they thought that I was just going to kind of amount to nothing and like it was worry. And I do understand that it's worry, but it's also like anybody with immigrant parents can know, can like, already know. It's like, well, what what other people think? What do you think your relatives are going to think like, oh, what do we tell them? Why don't we tell them? You're like, I don't care what you tell them.


Deidra: I definitely understand where she's coming from with the immigrant parents.


Andrew: My folks aren't too supportive of me at the beginning either. But Mary powered through, burning her own candle from every side. I couldn't imagine how she kept it up.


Mary Jubran: Oh, lots of coffee. Not very well in the, like, health sense, but like, mentally and emotionally when you do have so much going on, you do just kind of get to a place where you're like, you become very, like, structured, which is really funny and it feels like you wouldn't. But at least for me, it was like, okay, from – arbitrary times here, of course – from 9 to 5, I'm going to do this from 5 to 7, I'm going to do this from 7 to 8, I'm going to do this. And you're like, go, go, go, go. And you're really on the dot with it. And that's like, I quickly fell into it, which is funny because I have ADHD and Lord knows that like, I can be a mess sometimes, but once you're really into it and you just don't have time to do things, like, your body just clicks into place and then your brain clicks into place. It's like, okay, this hour’s for this, this 30 minutes is for this, this 50 minutes is for that.


Tammy: That coffee is absolutely necessary.


Andrew: And coffee in hand, Mary kept going, chasing her dreams, and her hard work was paying off. She was getting results and her family started noticing. She booked a gig doing videography for a Toronto movie event and ended up filming on the red carpet.


Mary Jubran: It wasn't until my first red carpet, but my mom finally was like, oh, this is something, you know? But now that I've pivoted careers, too, and I've found something that really works for me and I really, really love and I do think I'm excelling in there's like, no, no question anymore.


Katie: I think it's very clear that she loves what she's doing, and I think that makes it easier to start a business when it is something that you're so passionate about.


Andrew: She definitely did. But the pandemic hit. Mary had already earned a steady rotation of clients and work and things slowed down, but Mary didn't. She applied for a position using the unique and vast experiences she gained from her entrepreneurship. And again, her work paid off. She found a position with a major podcast network doing a job she truly enjoys but keeping her freelancing alive.


Mary Jubran: Sometimes the path is very windy and rickety and breaks off and splinters. But as long as you keep doing what it is that you want to do and you keep your eye on, like, this is what I want to do and keep going after it, you will get there. It might seem impossible, especially when you're first starting out. It might seem completely, like, insurmountable and you look around you, but no, like, as long as you want it and you put in the work for it, it will come. Whatever it is, it will come. It will happen because someone will pick up the fact that you've done so much work and then another person will. And then another person will and another person will, until you look around you and you're like, you know what? I love my job and I love my life. So just keep on keeping on.


Andrew: Hell yeah.


Mary Jubran: Hell yeah.


Katie: So, Mary was always ready to dive in headfirst. Tammy, was Frank always ready to jump in as well?


Tammy: You know, it's funny. The people we see as so talented sometimes just don't see it in themselves. Frank is such an amazing tattoo artist. He's gentle, easy to talk to, and even easy to open up to if you're in the chair for hours. And he is so talented. I’m covered in his art, yet he still finds himself believing he isn't good enough – something I think is quite common for business owners.


Frank Porco: Yesterday we had this - we were all tattooing and I said that I felt really like, like strange and like I just wasn't good enough. And Josh was like, yelled over to me, he goes, “That's imposter syndrome!” And I was just like, what the heck is that? And I had to like, look it up. And I was like, oh yeah, that's exactly it!


Andrew: None of us have ever had imposter syndrome. [laughs] What's that?


Tammy: So I actually looked it up. Imposter syndrome is when someone doubts their skills, talents or accomplishments and has a fear of being exposed as a fraud. This is something Frank says he deals with a lot.


Frank Porco:

Sometimes I can't even believe that this is real. Like sometimes I think like, I don't deserve this at all, but I know I do, but like because I put in the time. But it's like sometimes I'm like, how the heck did this happen? Like, it's so, you're right, it's like, I don't feel like I belong here.


Tammy: I also learned that imposter syndrome can affect people in ways I never even thought of. Frank told me something that floored me.


Frank Porco: For a few years. I didn't get tattooed and stuff because I didn't feel like I belonged in the industry at all.


Katie: So, you're telling me a tattoo artist had no tattoos?


Tammy: None. None that were visible, at least.


Katie: Wow.


Tammy: Frank told me last year was a hard one for him, even though he didn't let it show. He would just power through and act like everything was fine. He said that's all about change, though.


Frank Porco: This year, I just took a stance and I was like, no, I'm in this, so I belong here. And then I started like meeting new people and getting tattooed and stuff. But yeah, it was a there was a time where I was like, I don't belong in this, so let's just play it safe.


Tammy: As he was telling me this, I just couldn't get over how he sees himself compared to how others see him. But I also realized I do the same thing. All through the journalism program, I always wondered when they would realize I don't belong here. It's that imposter syndrome.


Andrew: It takes a lot of courage to do something that you're afraid of. And I think you pushing through imposter syndrome - and Frank - it sounds like a lot of bravery to go after what you want. But what if you're coming from a really shaky place?


Deidra: So, I met Naa-Adei at her small, cozy apartment in Toronto. There were candles and light music playing. It felt really Zen, and I was taken aback by her confidence and light. We talked about her being a student in school and talked about her fashion designs that she took all the way to New York Fashion Week. So, it was really jarring for me to hear that she was coming from such a dark place.


Naa-Adei Laura Marmon: So, I really struggled with depression and anxiety and substance abuse when I was, I guess from 19 and all the way through my twenties. And that time was just part of me not following what I was supposed to be doing in life. And then it turned into not being happy with myself, turned into just partying a lot and then turned into self-medicating.


Deidra: Remember earlier when we heard today talk about that dream she had?


Founders Drive Team: Yeah, yeah.


Deidra: That dream when she was a kid, got lost in translation because she was heading down a different path. Fashion was not on her mind at all.


Naa-Adei Laura Marmon: There were a few times where I was really, like, badly, like, suicidal, and there were even, like, times I really was thinking about, like, jumping in front of a train, honestly. Like, when I would go on the subway, I would have to stand with my back all the way, like pressed up against the wall because I would like hear these voices that would say, just jump, jump, jump.


Andrew: Wow, I can relate pretty heavily there. I went through a hard time and it cost me seven years of my life. And those are some similar voices for me.


Deidra: Obviously, in these moments, she didn't see herself as a future entrepreneur. Naa-Adei told me she eventually found God and her faith is really important for her. And because of this, she finally saw herself capable of living her dream. Naa-Adei never gave up. I could see the fighter in her when I was in her room doing the interview. Her story about perseverance is inspiring.


Naa-Adei Laura Marmon: And I will say that when I went to New York for Fashion Week, that really solidified for me that, you know, there are so many ideas out there because at the show there's every different kind of design, but there's a spot. There was a spot for me. There was 70 designers or even more, but we were all different and there was a spot for each of us.


Tammy: I really like that. I love that she had that moment where she realized that she could do it.


Deidra: It took me a second to wrap my head around the fact that this person sitting in front of me could go through so much and still come out on top. It took her some time to get to where she is now but she never gave up on her original dream.


Katie: So, Naa-Adei overcame serious obstacles, but it's not always like this. I have a completely different story about people questioning whether they can do it. Let me tell you about Jenna and Ashley of Bombshell Beauty. Downtown Bowmanville, Ontario is becoming trendy and popular. There's little cafés and shops along the main street, including Bombshell. When I walked into the salon, I was blown away. It's modern and crisp white. It has neon signs and a greenery wall. There's a coffee bar with lots of big windows and bright lights. It just felt so comfortable and I was welcomed by them. It's hard to believe they're in their early twenties, the same age as me, and they were both so confident. And what really surprised me is that they have always been this confident. Ashley has always been interested in the beauty industry, especially makeup. But her parents weren't. They had concerns about her doing makeup as a full-time gig because the schedule and income could be unstable. So, she decided to check out other options within the industry.


Ashley Moore: I decided to go to hair school, so I had asked a couple of the hair stylists like where they went to school and such. And then I was like, okay, well I'm going to Career (School of Hairstyling) in Oshawa, so I went to school. I loved it while I was there. I loved doing hair and I still do. It's just I actually can't be on my feet for long periods of time because I have endometriosis.


Katie: She fell in love with nails and that's how she met Jenna. Jenna started seeing Ashley to get her nails done and they became fast friends. Just the third time Jenna went to get a fresh set, her and Ashley started discussing opening their business together.


Jenna McInnes: And then we were just like, why don't we just partner? So yeah, yeah.


Ashley Moore: So, then we stumbled upon this space and then the rest is history, I guess.


Deidra: I love that they had instant chemistry.


Katie: Jenna made the decision to drop out of school and change her career goals to start this business.


Jenna McInnes: Like, I just do-what-I-want-to-do kind of attitude. So, like, I just dropped out and my parents were like, oh, do you have school today? And I'm like, no, I dropped out.


Andrew: I could never do that. My parents would have killed me.


Tammy: Right? Mine, too.


Katie: I know. Can you imagine? Despite the quick decision, her parents were always supportive.


Jenna McInnes: I don't know. I just kind of made my own decision. So, yes, 100% but I also just like, if I want to do something, I'm going to do something and I think everybody always knew that. Like, growing up, my parents would always be like, oh my God, we pray for the person that ends up with you because, like, there's just - I just do what I kind of want to do. So, yes, 100% like, their support was very good, but also, like, if it was bad, I think I would do the exact same thing. I just never really care.


Tammy: And they’re 20?


Katie: When they started, Jenna was just 19 and Ashley was 21.


Tammy: Wow.


Katie: Despite the young age, their confidence shines through and I could see that after my first conversation with them. And now they own one of the busiest salons in Bowmanville.




Andrew: Wow. I can't believe how confident Bombshell Beauty was. For me, it took me a couple of years of practice and prep working in a cafe before I felt confident owning my own business in the coffee industry. How about you? Did you feel confident, Katie?


Katie: Well, I was in high school, Andrew, so at the time I was just doing it for money and to spend some time with my friends. I did go and I got my certification to do eyelashes, but I think it caught up to me with how much I could or could not balance at the time and being in school and having to balance relationships and homework along with this new side hustle, it just didn't work out for me in the long run.


Andrew: And Tammy, you got into business during the pandemic. How did you feel about getting started?


Tammy: Well, I'm actually a really confident person as a whole, but when it came to starting a business, I was always unsure because I looked at it like I had no formal training in makeup or business. So, I was never really sure that I actually knew what I was doing.


Andrew: After hearing everyone else's stories about getting started, do you feel like you related to them?


Tammy: I feel like I could have kept going.


Andrew: Wow. Our very own Deidre is now starting a business.


Tammy: Alright, just spill the beans. What have you been up to the past few months? I know you've been working on something.


Deidra: Well, as I mentioned earlier, I'm a Type 1 diabetic and I was diagnosed when I was 11-years-old. And so it was really hard for me to come to terms with wearing a pump and having to adjust the way I wear my clothes to adapt to this new lifestyle. So what better time to start something new to help after I've had this idea for such a long time. And, Katie has been working with me on a business to make life a little bit easier for diabetics.




Katie: In this episode, we've introduced you to a range of entrepreneurs.


Tammy: For some, it's a part-time gig on the side of a full-time job. For others, it's their sole business.


Andrew: Some are small local makers. Others are selling on the global stage.


Deidra: Around the world, research shows young people are interested in entrepreneurship, especially on the heels of a worldwide pandemic that's found many people lose their jobs.


Katie: Our goal on Founders Drive is to lean into that, to put a face to the young people who are starting and running businesses - despite the odds. Young people like you who can make this world a better place.


Tammy: We hope you'll be inspired by them and consider this journey for yourself.




Andrew: Coming up in Episode 2, we ask the question: How can I be one?


Deidra: No money, little support, no education, no family history of self-employment, systemic discrimination.


Katie: Is it really possible?


Taylor Lindsay-Noel: Your worst thing in life that happens to you doesn't have to define you. It can actually be like your source of inspiration within yourself to overcome it in a big way. I always say there's so much life after tragedy and I think and I would hope that my story proves that.


Andrew: Thanks for listening to the first episode of Founders Drive. We hope that it moved you just like going and gathering all of these stories moved us. My name is Andrew Neary.


Deidra: I'm Deidra Clarke.


Katie: I'm Katie Sampson.


Tammy: And I'm Tammy Raycraft.


Andrew: And we'll see you in the next one.


[Music fades out]


Guest Speakers

a woman wearing a black turtle neck and gold hoop earrings
Naa-Adei Laura Marmon
a man in a pink sweatshirt standing in front of a graffiti wall
Frank Porco
Against the Grain Tattoo Collective
two women in black dresses standing in front of a house
Jenna McInnes and Ashley Moore
Bombshell Beauty
a man in a suit and tie smiling for the camera
Kevin Shaw
a woman with curly hair standing in front of a wooden wall
Mary Jubran