By Caroline Veilleux-Foppiano
This event was organized by McGill Women’s Alumnae Association in collaboration with the McGill Dobson Centre for Entrepreneurship. It began with a practice of mindfulness from Zoonie, founder of Talentelle TV. She started off the discussion with 3 words: gratitude, privilege, and courage for her and the panelists to keep in mind as they shared their wisdom.
Our panelists Natasha, founder and CEO of Kiffin, and Caren, co-founder & senior partner at Benjamin-David gave us a glimpse into all they have learned along their journeys.
1. What to leave behind as your cultural heritage can be a challenging but important question these entrepreneurs tackle. Caren discussed the importance of sharing her passion with her children to show them her fearless drive to learn and hustle. Natasha always had to strive to overcome prejudice, which allows her to always see someone as they are. This competitive edge creates well built teams and accountability wherever she goes.
2. Our panelists then gave advice on how to succeed within social entrepreneurship and digital marketing. Natasha said to pick an industry you really understand and to not spread yourself thin over industries just because they are trendy. That once you understand an industry is when you can start fully understanding its problem. Caren shared about how industries, technology, and algorithms are always changing and that you always needs to be agile and learning in order to keep up with the ever-changing digital industry.
3. The final takeaway from our panelists was on the influence of AI on our world. Caren shared that AI gives marketers answers to abstract problems they could not solve before. Increasing productivity of marketing for marketers in more channels than ever before. Natasha said that AI will benefit startups because it can provide the technical resources that they will need at a much cheaper rate. With these positives of AI also come with concerns from our panelists, warning about the decrease in the need for technical jobs and an increase in the need for soft skills.
This lovely evening of sharing and learning then wrapped up on a more personal and approachable note by breaking up attendees into small Q&A groups with a guest speaker at each table, allowing them to get their questions answered by these highly successful entrepreneurial women.