Digital Conference for Women Entrepreneurs
StrikeUP2021 has concluded. Register to re-watch the conference sessions.
Let’s StrikeUP together to advance women’s economic empowerment and grow the number of women-owned Canadian businesses.
Let’s StrikeUP together to build capacity within the entrepreneurship ecosystem and close gaps in service of women entrepreneurs.
Register now to re-watch the StrikeUP 2021 virtual conference to invest in yourself and to grow your business in 2021, gaining access to growth partners, mentorship and finance.
MINISTER OF SMALL BUSINESS, EXPORT PROMOTION AND INTERNATIONAL TRADE
The Honourable Mary Ng was elected as Member of Parliament for Markham–Thornhill in April 2017. Minister Ng is a devoted community leader who has always believed in the power of public service. She has 20 years of experience in the areas of education, women’s leadership, job creation, and entrepreneurship. Minister Ng immigrated to Canada from Hong Kong with her family, and grew up learning about the struggle and eventual success that many new immigrants experience in Canada. Her years working for the Ontario Public Service, Ryerson University, and the Ontario Ministry of Education led to her being recognized as one of Canada’s top-performing public sector leaders. She later served as Director of Appointments for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
FOUNDER OF THE 10TH LARGEST BREWERY IN THE WORLD & CO-STAR OF CBC’S DRAGONS’ DEN
Manjit Minhas is 40 years old and was born and raised in Calgary, Alberta. This Petroleum Engineering student turned beer baroness is a Dragon on the hit TV show Dragons' Den on CBC in its 15th season (for which she has been on for 6 seasons/years). Manjit leads a privately owned empire that had revenues in excess of $220 million last year.
Manjit is the co-founder and co-owner of the Minhas Brewery, Distillery and Winery. She started her companies at the ripe age of 19 in Alberta, when she launched her spirits in 1999 and her beers in 2002 in Alberta with her business partner and brother, Ravinder Minhas. Together with $10,000 they gave the big boys a run for their money, thereby becoming the first successful company to enter the Canadian beer industry in many decades. Currently, she has over 90 brands of beers, spirits, liqueurs and wines. Her products are sold in 5 provinces (Ontario, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and British Columbia), as well as 47 states throughout the USA and 16 other countries.
Over the last few years, wherever Manjit and Ravinder have entered the marketplace, and especially in Canada, they have single headedly caused a huge stir in the marketplace. To date, her companies have sold over 7 billion pints of beer! Many beer drinkers in Canada and USA have welcomed her style of beer as a tasty alternative to the higher priced mediocre beers that dominate the marketplace.
Manjit takes Social Responsibility very seriously. Manjit Minhas is the 1st brewer in Canada to voluntarily put a Management Warning on all her beer cans. The Management Warning on the cans reads; MANAGEMENT WARNING: Please do not drink and drive - ever. Expectant mothers should avoid drinking alcoholic products. Enjoy this product responsibly - Respect yourself and others". She recently put this on all her products because she believes as a responsible brewer and citizen of this country, it is important she does her part to educate Canadians.
Manjit has also created a special 48 can pack of beers for COSTCO which has the least amount of packaging materials compared to any other product in Canada or USA. It uses no plastic hi-cone rings and needs least amount of box material. This product alone will save millions of pounds of packaging materials ending up in the already over-filled landfills. Similarly, Manjit has sold millions of cases of other brands of her beers such as Boxer Lager with minimum packaging materials using sound engineering principles in protecting the environment.
Manjit believes that effective use of science and engineering can do a lot of good in people's lives. She has used her engineering background in producing beer using least amount of cleaning and water treatment chemicals, gas, electricity and water. Canadian and American consumers suffering from the Celiac disease have also been beneficiary of her innovative method of making best tasting Gluten Free beer from Sorghum and sold at half the price of the competition.
Manjit and her brother purchased the 2 nd oldest brewery in the United States in Monroe, Wisconsin in 2006 and renamed it "Minhas Craft Brewery;. Being in their mid 20s, the purchase of this Brewery officially made them the Youngest Brewery Owners in The World. Their brewery is now the 9 th largest in North America. From this brewery, world quality beers are shipped across the USA, to Canada and overseas to 16 different countries such as Japan, UK, Brazil and Korea. The Minhas Distillery distills and bottles premium spirits and liqueurs such as Artingstall’s Brilliant London Gin.
Manjit opened a new brewery in Calgary in June 2012 - the Minhas Micro Brewery and quickly added a distillery also. This facility makes unique and specialty beers, spirits and wines such as White Wolf, Boxer Lager and Pilsner, Rovers Irish Cream, Blackstone Vodka and Punjabi Club Whisky.
Manjit also co-owns Spotlight TV and Film Production that writes, directs and produces numerous documentaries, feature films, lifestyle programs, tv and digital commercials and corporate videos based in Calgary, Vancouver and Los Angeles.
In Early 2015, CBC approached Manjit to star on Dragons’ Den; Manjit has experienced the highs and lows of entrepreneurship and is keen on helping others who work hard to create successful businesses and follow their passions and dreams. Being a venture capitalist Dragon allows her to share her knowledge, experience and expertise about being an entrepreneur with millions of Canadians each week. Manjit has invested in 31 businesses the last 6 seasons/years.
In 2020 Manjit’s companies had revenues in excess of $220 million.
Manjit has won several business industry awards. A few of them are listed below:
Manjit and her story has been featured in many publications such as Macleans Magazine, Canadian Business Magazine, Alberta Venture Magazine, The National Post, The Globe & Mail, The Calgary Herald, The Edmonton Journal, The Toronto Star, The Toronto Sun, The Winnipeg Free Press, Bar & Beverage Magazine, etc. She has also been featured on TV in programs such as the CBC National News, CBC Venture, Money Wise, Careers TV, and many other news programs across the country. Outside of Canada, her story has also received lot of attention such as USA and India.
In November 2020 Manjit launched a podcast called The Manjit Minhas Podcast and it hit the Top 10 Podcast charts on its debut day! In each episode of this business podcast Manjit interviews her friends who are successful entrepreneurs and CEO’s about their journey and path to success. Manjit explores their challenges and how they overcame them and their advice on how listeners can learn from their successes and failures. A few of the notable leaders Manjit talks to in Season 1 include Jim Pattison, Lisa Lisson (President of FedEx), Ed Sims (CEO of Westjet), Christiane Germain (Co-founder and President of Germain Hotels/ALT Hotels), Vincenzo Guzzo (CEO of Guzzo Cinemas) amongst numerous others. The Manjit Minhas Podcast is available on Apple Podcasts and Spotify.
Manjit currently serves as a Board of Director for ATB Financial, YYC Calgary Airport Authority, Spiritleaf Cannabis (ISH Holdings), Shop and Shout and Alberta Small Brewers Association. In the past she has served as board of director on TransCanada Trail, United Way, Shergill Homes and West Island College and was the United Way Campaign co-chair raising $60 Million plus for this charity that is close to her heart. Manjit donates time and money to philanthropic causes in Calgary that benefit women and children such as United Way and Ronald McDonald charities. Manjit has an extensive background and experience in government relations, shareholder relations, governance and executive performance and compensation.
Manjit is born and raised in Calgary and still calls it home with her husband and they have two young daughters.
DIGITAL INNOVATION SPEAKER & CO-HOST OF MARKETING DISRUPTED & THE AI EFFECT
Amber Mac is a world renowned expert on all things marketing, technology, innovation, and transformation. Her popular Twitter feed boasts more than 120,000 followers from around the world, each eager to consume her hard-won insights on the next generation of business and consumer technology. Whether it be enhancing customer experience, understanding how to leverage AI, or building an unforgettable brand from scratch—as she’s done—Mac empowers leaders and organizations to take advantage of the digital revolution. Now the co-host of Marketing Disrupted—the Accenture-produced series that debuted as the #1 business podcast in the country—Mac explores how CMOs can adapt to the changing landscape and incoming hurdles that digital disruption will bring.
FOUNDER & CEO, EMPOWER-GROWTH INC.
For many years, I thought I was thinking big but I realized I was wrong. I changed my perspective and my business exploded! Today I empower business owners and leaders to increase their 3Ps (Performance, Productivity, and Profitability) by helping them discover the four destructive conditions that may be affecting their success, using my proprietary Operation Model. I look forward to sharing with you the strategy that helped me shift my business so you can shift yours!
My name is Linda P. Cousineau, Founder and CEO of Empower Growth Inc.. I am a global bilingual Entrepreneur, Award-winning Speaker, energetic Trainer and certified Coach
FOUNDER & CEO, UGLY DUKLING
Melissa Davis, the President & Brand Architect of Ugly Dukling, is a creative visionary. She has gained a wealth of experiences & awards in the retail industry for over 25 years. Globe & Mail awarded Ugly Dukling as top 10 businesses in Canada.
Most recently Davis has been selected by the iconic brand Barbie as 1 of 60 role models who has become successful in their field & inspires independence, self acceptance and reinvention to women around the world. This accomplishment was featured in all Toys R Us stores throughout Canada, with a special pop-up event in Toronto, Ontario.
Ugly Dukling is an influential on-line lifestyle fashion & beauty boutique that collaborates with iconic brands, blockbuster films & celebrities to create adult capsule collections. Campaigns with special curated pieces, are launched through exciting experiences and memorable pop-ups in Cineplex Theatres, The Shopping Channel, Specialty Retailers & Luxury Department Stores.
Sarah Stockdale is the Founder of Growclass, a global growth marketing training company. She is also the host of The Growth Effect, a podcast with the Globe and Mail, and a professional speaker. Sarah has spent her career growing early stage technology companies. Sarah was one of the early hires at the Canadian Fintech giant, Wave which was acquired by H&R Block in one of the largest Canadian exits of all time. She then led growth teams at Tilt, growing the Canadian business from scratch. Tilt was acquired by Airbnb in 2017.
FOUNDER & CEO, RX BILLING GENIE
Dr. Shelley Morgan graduated with a Doctor of Pharmacy from the State University of New York (SUNY) Buffalo School of Pharmacy in 2002 prior to that she had obtained a BSc. in Biology and Environmental Sciences. After graduation she worked in both community pharmacy, Stateside at Rite Aid, as well as a Clinical Pharmacist at Chedoke-McMaster in both its ABI and Stroke Programs. One of the prized lessons she took from her father, an immigrant from Jamaica, was to look at the problems at hand and find a way to fix them for yourself. This advice has taken her through her entrepreneurial journey.
Currently living in Oakville, Ontario she is the Co-founder and CEO of Rx Billing Genie, an App that helps pharmacy staff save valuable time when processing prescriptions. Her previous endeavour was Zipsessory, a jewelry solution, that was featured on the Marilyn Denis Show's Momprenuer Program with guest hosts Dennis O'Leary, Amber Mac and Linda Reeves. Dr. Morgan is also a part-time staff pharmacist.
AWARD-WINNING, HARVARD-TRAINED PHYSICIAN, BESTSELLING AUTHOR
An award-winning medical doctor, researcher, and expert on the neuroscience of innovation, leadership, and motivation, Dr. Shimi Kang provides science-based solutions for health, happiness, and achievement in the workplace, classroom, and at home. With 20 years of clinical experience and extensive research in the science that lies behind optimizing human intelligence, Kang provides practical tools to cultivate the key 21st century skills of resilience, connection, creativity, and more.