True or False: Entrepreneurship Edition

Common Misconceptions About Entrepreneurship… Is Entrepreneurship What You Really Think It Is?

There is always going to be a societal perception surrounding any topic because of information society has instilled in us as the “norm” and what “usually occurs”. Entrepreneurship is one of these topics. There are certain elements that coincidentally occur with most situations, but that does not limit it to every single occurrence. Individuals with no knowledge or experience with entrepreneurship may tend to perceive it in a way that is learned from pop culture, media, or experiences in their daily lives… but that isn’t all it is.

Although the majority of people may perceive entrepreneurship a certain way, these common misconceptions can be dissected and explained below:

1. Entrepreneurs are born, not made

Image Source:  Giphy

Image Source: Giphy

Some people tend to believe that individuals are born as entrepreneurs, which means that they cannot be “made” or “developed”. It may seem as if individuals are born to follow a certain path because of their natural talents and abilities. However, talents and abilities can be practiced and built. It is definitely nurture rather than nature because entrepreneurs can be created, honed, and trained simply through passion and determination. If you are passionate and have a plausible idea, you can become an entrepreneur as long as you are not a quitter and are determined to see your idea through to the end.

You don’t necessarily have to be a “born leader” to be an entrepreneur or be born a genius at running a business. You can learn these skills through lessons or real-life experiences. If you are willing to learn and put in the time and effort, you can definitely succeed. Regardless of whether you are naturally born with talents, any skill needs to be consistently practiced. It’s possible to acquire skills and abilities to become a successful entrepreneur no matter if you were “born talented” or not. Anyone can become an entrepreneur – you just have to be passionate and dedicated to your idea or what you want to achieve.

2. Entrepreneurs are gamblers

Image Source:  Giphy

Image Source: Giphy

Creating any business on your own is risky which is why people have a perception that entrepreneurs are “gamblers”. It is a common belief that the more you risk, the higher the return/reward you can get. However, entrepreneurs only take up risky challenges if they believe the odds are in their favour and that they have a chance to gain the reward because they tend to seek the best risk/reward action. All risks need to be carefully calculated and thought out. This is because all risks can put the business’s reputation, time and investment at stake. You do not want to take a risk purely on your belief – lots of research needs to be done beforehand. Most businesses are risky, but with thorough thinking and planning, one can take calculated risks and not lose everything, even if the business may not fully succeed.

3. Entrepreneurs just want to make a lot of money

Image Source:  Giphy

Image Source: Giphy

Contrary to popular belief, money is not the only means in which success can be measured, and financial gain is not the only factor that motivates entrepreneurs. There are various factors that can motivate and inspire someone to become an entrepreneur such as chasing a dream, a desire to have a flexible schedule, being your own boss, having freedom, and making a change in the world. Money is definitely a motivator, but that doesn’t mean that it was what drove them to start the business. People usually create businesses because of their true passion for it and this is why they have the patience and effort to grow the business.

4. You have to be young to be an entrepreneur

Image Source:  Giphy

Image Source: Giphy

People tend to have this idea that an individual should become an entrepreneur at x age to x age because below that bracket would be too young or above that bracket would be too old. Yet they don’t realize that age should not be a limitation for entrepreneurship; in the end it’s simply a number depicting how old you are which shouldn’t hold back what you choose to do at whatever point in your life.

As we are currently in the digital age, businesses can be easily started wherever and whenever through e-commerce. With the technological advancement today, no matter where you are and how old you are; you can start a business.

5. All entrepreneurs have a degree in business

Image Source:  Giphy

Image Source: Giphy

Obtaining a degree in business may help you yield a slight advantage, but it isn’t a necessary component to become an entrepreneur. So many notable and successful entrepreneurs didn’t actually start out with a degree in business – let alone finish school for that matter. With hard work and determination, anyone can be a successful entrepreneur. You just have to WANT to learn and be willing to learn constantly – whether it’s marketing or another topic related to your business such as food.

Individuals have the ability to come up with an idea and create something regardless of the degree they have – you can even have no degree. People also learn as they go, so skills that you may not have now that you may need in the future can be learned through taking lessons, self-teaching or through real-world experiences. Entrepreneurs come from all different backgrounds; the diversity is what makes entrepreneurship so interesting because you use what you know to your advantage and constantly build your skills as you go.

There is not one true path to success with regards to entrepreneurship. You can be a college dropout and become a very successful entrepreneur. It is all about how innovative you are, how passionate you are, and how much you want to succeed.

Even in Enactus Ryerson, not all of the project managers are pursuing a degree in business – they come from all different programs across campus.

Like Enactus Ryerson on Facebook.

Follow Enactus Ryerson on Instagram

Jenny Headshot.jpg

Blog post by:

Jenny Bang


5 Pieces of Advice from Successful Entrepreneurship Students


Thinking about majoring in Entrepreneurship? The Entrepreneurship major (ENT) is one of Ryerson’s newest and most exciting majors. With classes like Entrepreneurial Behaviour and Strategy, and Identifying Opportunities, students are not only taught entrepreneurship strategies but also how to begin to think and solve problems like an entrepreneur. Much of your classes will focus on experiential, or project-based learning. Concepts such as design thinking, and out-of-the-box problem solving are enforced with hands-on projects and venture creation.

If this sounds interesting to you, you might want to consider majoring or minoring in ENT! To help incoming ENT majors prepare, we reached out to ENT majors at Ryerson and asked them for advice they would give to incoming students.

1.     Stay Involved!

Like all other majors, you can only take full advantage of the skills and concepts you learn, once you put them to use! School programs and groups are a great way to do this. In the Entrepreneurship major, it can be especially beneficial to attend workshops to learn how to expand on, and apply concepts learned in class in a social setting. Networking events are also a great way to meet more individuals in your major and those interested in entrepreneurship. This can broden your network, and allow you to ask upper-years questions. The Ryerson Entrepreneurship Association (REA) hosts lots of ENT-centered events throughout the year; these can be a great place to start.

2.     Take Advantage of Zone Learning

Image Source:    WhyRyerson   .

Image Source: WhyRyerson.

Ryerson Students have access to 10 different start-up incubation zones, each for different industries. This means bringing your ideas to life has never been easier. Enhance your student experience by taking advantage of startup workshops and employment opportunities hosted by the zones. You can even apply for a membership if you have a business idea, but don’t know where to start. These memberships offer mentorship, funding, resources and connections to get your startup or experimental project off the ground. Joining a zone can give you real life experience as an entrepreneur.

3.     Discover Your Purpose and Nurture Your Passion

In order to become a successful entrepreneur, it’s no secret that you need drive and a passion to make change. To enhance your success in this field you must dig deep and find out what type of change you want to make. Are you passionate about a social change you want to see in your environment? Or maybe you have an idea that you know will change the world for the better? Figuring out what drives you can motivate you toward success and give you a sense of your goals as an entrepreneur. Once you choose something that inspires you, the possibilities are endless!

4.     Set Goals and Work Towards Them

Being an entrepreneur isn’t simply working in a specific industry, but being an industry trailblazer with your own unique ideas. Think about where you want to go once you graduate, or what types of businesses you might want to start. Think about the skills you will need to make your goals a reality and actively work towards them. Once you focus your studies using a specific business or product idea, you are able to focus your learning and motivate yourself more!

5.     Delete Misconceptions and Be Ready for the Realities of Entrepreneurship

Many people think the life of an entrepreneur is glamorous, and some choose the profession only because it seems trendy, or because they don’t want to work for others. It’s important to understand the life of an entrepreneur isn’t just those things. Just because many of your classes won’t have exams, doesn’t mean the program isn’t serious. Prepare yourself for a lot of hard work, sleepless nights, and thinking on your feet. Just like any other profession, success will come your way so long as you’re willing to work hard, and develop connections and instincts. Much of the learning you do in class is experiential, so be ready for lots of hands-on learning, and for both positive experience and mistakes.

Overall, pursuing an Entrepreneurship major is a unique and a rewarding experience. We hope these tips help you decide if the major is for you, and prepare you for what may come next.

Thank you to the following Ryerson Entrepreneur students, for providing insights on their program experience for this article: Aniel Molina, Rand Abu Ras, Marie Rocha.

Like Enactus Ryerson on Facebook.

Follow Enactus Ryerson on Instagram

Zoe Headshot.jpg

Blog post by:

Zoe Papakonstantino


Feedback: a Wallet-Friendly Way to Bring Meals to Those in Need

An interview with Feedback’s founder

An interview with Feedback’s founder

For most of us, the idea of starting a business, making a plan or even sharing an idea, can seem daunting or frightening. So many of us have great ideas, but for whatever reason, are hesitant to take the plunge and share them with the world. At Enactus, we value the courage to embrace this entrepreneurial spirit, especially in the context of helping those in need. And so we sat down with Josh Walters, founder of food purchase app Feedback, who told us his best advice to anyone wanting to be an entrepreneur is to “just do it”.

As Josh talked about growing his company, and his journey as an entrepreneur, the message that the world belongs to those who reach for it rang clear. To an extent, the decision to begin is just that simple. And it seems to have worked pretty well for him; his app is now transforming the way the restaurant industry interacts with customers, while feeding the Toronto community, one meal at a time.

How was the idea for feedback born?

“I went for a late night pizza and as I was leaving the owner was closing up shop for the night, and he offered me all the pizza he had left for a fraction of the price. It got me thinking [about how] restaurants experience these times of the day where there are no customers and they’re wasting food, and price is a great way to drive traffic at certain times. That’s when I came up with the idea for an app that consolidated all the restaurants that had pre-prepared food, or quiet hours of the day and they could upload these time specific promotions to reduce waste and get customers when they’d otherwise be empty.”

So, how does the app work?

“You log into the app and scroll through a list of restaurants; they’re all offering food [between] 20% to 70% off depending on what time of day. You can go directly into the restaurant through the app, look at their menu, place your order, and then you go to the restaurant during those hours, show your mobile receipt, and pick up the food.”

And how exactly does each order from the app help to reduce food waste?

“We started with just end of day deals at restaurants, and this was only pre-prepared food, sitting in a window, whether it was pizza, like my experience, or salads or sandwiches, even juices, sushi is a great example, and they were gonna throw it out. We started with that since it was most obvious, but we realized pretty quickly that restaurants actually throw out waste throughout the entire day. They prep for the lunch rush, and then when the lunch rush is over, they throw it out. And so our restaurant owners actually came to us, with this platform where they could offer time specific deals and said ‘hey can we also do this at 2:30 when no one is eating at our restaurant?’ We understood then the problem wasn’t just this leftover food at the end of the day, it was really the demand and peaks and valleys in demand at the restaurant. If you operate a restaurant you have like a huge lunch rush, and a big dinner rush, and not necessarily much traffic in between. And all that in between is what causes the waste and leftover food at the end of the day. So, in using price in sort of a dynamic sense instead of in a one-price fits all model, you can really control when customers show up, and ensure that you don’t have food to throw out at the end of the day.”

I’ve read that a portion from every purchase goes toward helping bring meals to those in need, how does that work? Do you partner with any other charities or companies to make this happen?

“When you start to deal with the issue of food waste it’s hard not to think of the issue of food security, and how many people don’t have enough food, especially when you see all this great food being thrown out at the end of the day. So we looked around Toronto for someone either to pick it up and donate it, or whatever it was, but logistically it’s very complicated. With so many restaurants all wasting a small amount. We found Second Harvest which is an incredible food rescue and donation charity, [..] we created a deal with them where from our profit we [..] give them a monetary donation equivalent to what it costs them to provide a meal to someone in need. And we do that based on each users purchase behaviour. Once you order a certain value a certain amount of times [on] the app, we obviously collect revenue per set commission on each sale, and from our profit we donate money to Second Harvest for them to donate meals to people in need.”

There are a couple other popular food purchasing apps on the market right now, what makes feedback different? Do you think it’s socially conscious positioning attracts more customers?

“Most of the food ordering apps are centered around convenience, so your paying a premium to get the convenience of delivery, or it being prepared ahead of time. Ours is kind of flipping that around, [we’re asking you to be] a little more flexible, and pick [your food up] up at a certain hour, but your getting a discount, and you’re actually helping with a larger problem. And what we talk about and what we tell everyone is that you have two major types of customers: price sensitive, and socially or environmentally conscious. The price sensitive customer is just gonna jump at the next best deal, the one who’s actually tied to the mission of our company is the one whos gonna be a loyal customer and the one who's gonna stay with us in the long term. It’s not just a marketing ploy to get people to use the app; its actually ingrained in our mission and who we want our customer base to be.”

What was your biggest challenge in growing feedback?

“Feedback operates as a marketplace, restaurants on one side, our customers or diners on the other. Growing [both] out at the same time is always difficult because you sign up some restaurants, and don't have enough customers, then [restaurants] feel like it’s not really working. Then you get a lot of customers all over and they want restaurants nearby. So in scaling our model, the trickiest part was trying to manage that supply and demand side of the marketplace at the same time.”

And how did you overcome that?

“[It's] still something were dealing with but now that we have over 300 restaurants and many people [are] using the app every day. I think as you scale there’s sort of a snowball effect in terms of restaurants get orders, and because they get orders the staff know how to handle the orders better and it just leads to a smoother operation.”

In what ways are you currently working to grow feedback?

“We’re signing up new restaurants every day. We found that signing up a lot of restaurants in a small geographical area is the best way to deal with that supply/demand mismatch problem, and so building the restaurants out, and following up by either digital ads or stopping by local office buildings or community centers [..], to spread the word and we’re [just] sort of being really hands on with it, and growing out both sides at the same time.”

I know this is a pretty deep question, but where do you see Feedback in 5 to 10 years?

“What we’re doing now, is gathering a lot of data around pricing. We want to know what price at what time, shown to which person will get that person to show up at the restaurant. We think after sort of dealing with this issue, that having a static price at a restaurant that just stays the same the entire day makes no sense. You’ve got other industries like [the] flight and hotel industry that have the same sort of peaks and valleys in demand, whether its a flight over the holidays, obviously more expensive, or a hotel room on New Year's Eve is more expensive, so we say why would a bagel fresh out of the over, and minutes before being thrown out, cost the same? So our idea has really flipped the industry on its head in terms of bringing dynamic pricing to the restaurant industry. Not to surge it during lunch and dinner, but to do the opposite in terms of flattening out the demand throughout the day,  and helping them manage their inventory. We believe that is the root cause of the food waste problem also. Ideas are a dime a dozen, it’s all about going out and doing it properly.

What do you think the biggest misconception about being an entrepreneur?

“That it’s glamorous. It’s absolutely not, it’s a lot of responsibility, you have a team that relies on you, and eventually you have investors that demand things of you. And at the same time you’re trying to run a business and build a culture and do all sorts of things that you don’t necessarily think about at the start but it’s definitely worth it.”

What advice would you give to anyone wanting to start their own business?

“Just to do it. So many people have ideas and want to start and don’t know where to start. Talk to people who’ve done it before, they’re more than happy to help for the most part, [...] find some good mentorship, whether that be through the university, or just friends or friends of friends, and yeah take the first step.”

From this experience, what was your biggest lesson learned as an entrepreneur?

“Not to let the ups and downs move you in either direction too much. Like, on a day to day [..] there will be great moments and moments where you think it’s all gonna end, and its important just to like stay level headed and work through that entire process toward your goal.”

Overall, the difference this app has been making socially, and the difference it has already made is truly inspiring. What I personally took away from this interview was that, although it is never easy, the keys to forming a socially disruptive company include a revolutionary idea, devout belief in that idea, and most importantly, the dedication needed to put yourself out there and try. Josh Walters and his company are a testament to the statement that a simple idea, grown through passion and dedication, can be capable of making a true difference.

Want to find out more about Enactus Ryerson and Feedback?

Like Feedback and Enactus Ryerson on Facebook.

Follow Feedback and Enactus Ryerson on Instagram.

Check out Feedback’s app and support their amazing initiatives.


Interview by:


What Goes Around Comes Around: Kind Karma Spreads Goodness and Positivity

An interview with Kind Karma’s founder

An interview with Kind Karma’s founder

Enactus Ryerson values making a difference in people’s lives and aims to help others through entrepreneurship. We discovered Kind Karma through Ryerson’s Social Ventures Zone and saw how their values aligned with ours, so we decided to learn more about what they do.

We reached out to Laurinda Lee, the founder of Kind Karma to find out more about her, and her company that she established only one year ago to “counter negativity with hope and kindness.”

What is Kind Karma?

“Kind Karma is a social enterprise and we employ Toronto at-risk and transitioning homeless youth to handmake quality jewellery. We provide all of the tools [and] all of the training. In addition to getting paid an hourly wage, all of our youth get proceeds to support their goals, so all of our employees identify a goal; whether it’s to continue education – some courses for personal development or housing, and then we support [them] that way by giving them proceeds from [our] sales.”

How did the name Kind Karma come about?

“It’s always hard when you name your business. I feel like that’s something that has to identify you, and you always second guess yourself. I really like the idea of ‘what goes around comes around,’ so that whole karma cycle that if you exude positivity, kindness is going to come back to you. I think that’s the same thing in terms of society, if we help the people – the next generation, then they can continue to make society a better place. I mean, if we let them be, and follow a negative path, then that’s not going to do anybody any good; then you just continue a cycle of poverty and negativity. That’s where karma comes in, I think it’s that whole cycle of action. When it came to one thing that society needed more of, it was just kindness. I think kindness cures so many things. We don’t necessarily have to understand everybody’s differences or their opinions, and of course we want to educate ourselves, but even if we don’t understand, if we just be kind to what people are going through or what they believe in, and not judge them and not be rude or disrespectful. I think that in itself, goes a long way. That’s kind of where I came up with the name.”

How did this start-up first come together/what inspired you?

“I was always inspired to be an entrepreneur. I remember when I was working full time, I’d go in and tell a coworker every week a different business idea. But, when it actually came down to it, I had to think about what was most important to me. Everybody has different things that drive them – some people are money driven, some people want to create a huge global enterprise, and for me, it was most important that I did something that gave back and had a positive impact. That’s where Kind Karma was born; when I originally had an idea about giving back. I combined my passion for jewellery making, [something] I had always done as a hobby. At first, I wanted to help minors in Peru or something, maybe it was because it was where I wanted to go and visit, but that was not logistically easy, so it made me rethink what I was doing. When I looked outside, I just saw all these people that needed help, and I felt like I could help them in a different way than what was already out there – by offering more of an art therapy-based employment model. That’s how Kind Karma was born.”

What has been or is your biggest challenge?

“I think my biggest challenge, on a personal level, was to balance all aspects of the business and manage it properly because when you start your own business, you drive every single aspect of it: the marketing, sales distribution, [and] customers; all of [those elements]. I think for me, it’s trying to put everything into a priority list and not feel like everything has to get done today or yesterday because that can create a lot of pressure. For me, that’s one of my biggest challenges – is to just take it one step at a time, and not feel like I have to get everything done at once.”

What are some goals you are trying to achieve with this start-up?

“I would love to see it grow. In terms of our long-term vision, I would love to have a Kind Karma office in every major city in Canada because I think youth tend to fall more into the cracks in big cities because there’s such a large population, and you’re just one of millions; I’d love to see Kind Karma grow that way. I would also love to see our youth progress in different departments. Whenever we bring on a youth, they might be a jewellery artisan, but they might have a passion for marketing or sales. We want to develop those skills, and I hope eventually as our company grows, we can have a completely vertically integrated company that’s run by street youth, and your VP of Marketing could have been somebody who started out making jewellery; I think that’s so cool. Another goal is that I would love to see [us] partner with different artisans, so it’s not just jewellery. [Perhaps] we can create clothing or different accessories and things like that, so youths have more of a variety in terms of the skills they learn, and if they are more fashion-focused or they like sewing instead of jewellery making – we have those options as well. Hopefully that can be something we can do!”

What are some opportunities the youth have been able to pursue/achieve from this project?

“We’re only a year old, so we haven’t seen a youth going to college [with us] completely paying for that, but that is definitely what we are working towards. One of our youth actually recently identified that she wanted to go back to school to be an art therapist. We hope we will be able to give her a significant scholarship to go when she starts; hopefully next year. The youth that we work with have expressed that [we are] totally different in that we’re flexible enough to give them an opportunity that takes into consideration what’s going on in their lives, and the challenges they are facing. One of our youths recently lost housing, so he had to move to Bowmanville, and he was really upset that he couldn’t continue working here and he wanted to reapply when he came back. But he’d already been with us and learned all the skills that he’s needed, so I suggested that I could just mail him supplies and he could mail me back finished pieces. In that sense, we could still continue to help him with financial independence, and he still has a connection with us, and hopefully he can continue when he finally gets housing again in Toronto. Another one of our youths was recently admitted to CAMH unfortunately, but she actually reached out and asked if she could have materials to make jewellery while she was there because she found it therapeutic. So, we dropped off materials and said, ‘no pressure if you can’t complete, this is just to help you with your well-being if you wanted to do it.’ She said it actually relaxes her, so she still can make jewellery while she’s recovering. I think it’s great in that sense, and that’s kind of what our youth has taken out of it – is it’s not just employment for them, it’s actually something that boosts their self-confidence and their self-esteem, and it gives them something to look forward to.”

What is some advice you would give to others hoping to pursue a start-up?

“The number one thing is to figure out what’s most important to you because there’s going to be times where it’s very hard and you might want to give up, and if you’re not completely dedicated to what you’re doing or what you’ve started, then it’s easy to just call quits; and that was me with my five million business ideas before this one. By identifying what’s most important to you, it doesn’t matter what it is, just commit to it and then go for it. The biggest and hardest part is to take that first step. Even with anything in life, you’re always [going to be] like ‘oh I’ll start next week,’ or ‘I’ll figure it out later.’ But once you take that first step, it’s easy to keep going. Just go for it, take that first step and don’t push it off; even if you fail at something, just find a different way around it. Always keep going and persist. Every huge business that we see today has been through periods where they’re going to close doors or go bankrupt, but if you push through, who knows what’s on the other side.

Want to find out more about Enactus Ryerson and Kind Karma?

Like Kind Karma and Enactus Ryerson on Facebook.

Follow Kind Karma and Enactus Ryerson on Instagram.

Check out Kind Karma’s handcrafted jewellery and support their youth on their website. All proceeds are returned to their employed youth to support their individual goals.

Jenny Headshot.jpg

Interview by:


All About Restore: Affordable, Sustainable, and Eco-friendly Housing!

An interview with Restore's Project Manager

An interview with Restore's Project Manager

Enactus Ryerson is comprised of a variety of projects, created by students, which aim to make a difference to the communities and the students we work with. We want to share with you more information about our projects and show you how we empower others, so we sat down with Project Manager Anthony Garcia to find out everything you need to know about Restore and his journey so far.


Anthony Garcia, a fourth year Accounting and Finance student at Ryerson University, founded Restore in 2017, and has since been working with Enactus Ryerson, Ryerson University, and the Social Ventures Zone to grow and raise awareness on the housing crisis in Indigenous reserves.


What is Restore?

“Restore is a social venture that aims to tackle the housing crisis in Canada. We are currently working on trying to alleviate the housing issues on Indigenous reserves. What a lot of people don’t know is that 1 in 5 Indigenous people live in homes that are overcrowded, mold infested, and just unsafe to live in. Restore is a company that helps to bring affordable houses, but also couples it with construction training, and different transferable skills; so that people are well equipped to maintain the homes as they live, and to ensure that they not only have these opportunities to a house, but they also have these different skills that they can put towards their own lives and better their entire lives altogether.”


How did the idea for Restore come about?

“The idea for Restore came when we were put in contact with a community here in Ontario called the Mississauga New Credit First Nation, where we had the initial meeting to talk about how Enactus could help them with their different issues. The concept of housing kept coming up, and then we started to really talk about how bad the housing is on different Indigenous reserves across Canada. Together, we started figuring out different ways to figure out a faster, more affordable solution. Hearing about the different trends about how people are using shipping containers to create all of these really cool, innovative structures – we looked into it, we had constant meetings with the reserves to see if this was something that was of interest, something that works with the community and different people. Slowly, we started crafting Restore, our different business models, and figuring out what it is exactly that we wanted out of this project and that’s how it came together.”


What do you do as a project manager?

“As a project manager the main thing is keeping the relationships with our different partners. We’re currently working with a number of partners; we have Giant Containers, which is our main supplier of different shipping container structures. We’re also working with Ryerson University, Enactus, and George Brown College. So, a big part (of being a project manager) is keeping the communication with all our different partners, but also ensuring that the vision and the goals of the company is followed through, and to making sure that all the tasks we have are being done by all our members; making sure everybody has all the tools and resources that they need to complete all the different tasks. It’s also a lot of creating different ways on how to move forward, how to tackle this issue in different ways that it hasn’t been tackled before, figuring out how where governments are going wrong, where they are going right and figuring out how we can really nail this issue at the roots – just to ensure that you know these people are living a proper life.”


Have you always wanted to be an entrepreneur?

“No. I originally wanted to be an architect, and then when I got into Ryerson, I started studying finance, so I wanted to be a financial consultant or a strategic consultant. I don’t know how I ended up with entrepreneur – I think it was Enactus, just being more involved with creating your own things, not listening to people, and just doing it. That’s kind of what made me want to be an entrepreneur, which I never thought I’d say because I always thought entrepreneurship was something really scary, something for people who like risks, people who are okay with failing, which I’m not – I’m really scared, really shy. I prefer being at home just listening to someone tell me what to do, but, somehow, I ended up liking that feeling of creating something and feeling that you made something instead of just being a little pawn and working for someone.”


What was the hardest challenge with getting restore off the ground?

“The biggest challenge was to get people to take me seriously. A lot of people don’t take you seriously when you’re a student trying to do something; mostly when you’re trying to provide people houses. Since I’m not really a handsy person, I don’t think I could lift something up and put a house or something together, so it’s really hard to get people to take me seriously. Also, we’re trying to work with Indigenous communities, and the hardest thing is to connect with these people because you don’t fully understand exactly what it is that they’re going through. The way we overcame that is to partner with different companies and different people who are experts at what they do to ensure that we have those spaces covered. The other part that’s an ongoing obstacle that we’re still trying to figure out is how to properly connect with these different communities, how to ensure that we never overstep – that we’re always including them in everything and just to really ensure that you know that connection is there and to ensure that we do everything in the proper way that it should be done.”


What’s something you think you could improve on as a project manager and entrepreneur?

“I think the biggest thing is communication. I’ve always been a very shy, very reserved person. I think as time is going on I’m getting a little bit better; it’s easier to talk to people, and I think that’s something I’m constantly working on; public speaking and talking one on one with different people. That’s something that I can work on and continue to work on because as an entrepreneur, as anybody, you need to have proper communication skills, especially in this age when everything’s about communication, who you know, how you know them, and how you connect with people.”

What has been the most rewarding part of being a project manager for Restore?

“I think the most rewarding moment was presenting for the McCain Social Enterprise Accelerator Challenge. It was the first time that we ever kind of talked about our idea to these big, important industry people. Getting that feedback and having everybody really into it, and liking the idea, we moved past the first round. We ended up not winning, but we came in second place, which was really rewarding. I wanted to win of course, but the fact that we came in second and there’s people that believed in us, believed in what we’re trying to do – it was amazing to see, to be on that stage and have all these people look at us and be excited about what we’re doing, think that it’s something that could be done and completely support us; that was really exciting.”


Want to find out more about Enactus Ryerson and Restore Housing?

Like Restore and Enactus Ryerson on Facebook.

Follow Restore and Enactus Ryerson on Instagram.

Jenny Headshot.jpg

Interview by: