During one week each November, thousands of events and competitions in 160 countries inspire millions to engage in entrepreneurial activity while connecting them to potential collaborators, mentors and even investors. Global Entrepreneurship Week is about celebrating the entrepreneurs who make our economy and our cities better. It’s about encouraging everyone to explore the opportunities entrepreneurship presents while connecting people with success stories and peers from around the world who share a similar mindset.
Although I may not be attending any big events or competitions this week, I’m happy to be reflecting on my decisions and my personal entrepreneurial journey. When I first dove into the world of entrepreneurship six years ago and began jotting down name ideas for what would become Blab Media, I had no idea what the future would hold. I started my business as a way to find a job within a market that didn’t offer me enough options. At the time, it was a difficult decision and I was honestly quite scared. Fast forward to 2016 and it’s the best decision I’ve ever made. Ironically enough, I still have my ups and downs but that’s just how entrepreneurship works. Some days you celebrate and others you struggle but when you close your laptop at the end of the day, when you walk away from your desk and turn off the lights in your office, there’s this sense of accomplishment thats beyond compare. It’s knowing that even if you do fail, you’ve done something that most wouldn’t dare try. You’ve survived without a steady/constant income, you’ve worked ridiculous hours, you’ve sacrificed and you’ve had to pave the way for your own success. There is truly nothing comparable to the feelings that entrepreneurship evokes. It’s a fire in your soul that can’t be put out and I’d have it no other way.
Happy Global Entrepreneurship Week to my fellow entrepreneurs and to all the inspired minds of the future #GEW2016
Each year on June 30th, the world comes together to acknowledge and celebrate the value of social media and how it’s impacted our lives for the better. Cities across the globe celebrate with concerts, events, panel discussions, tweetups and engaging activities that bring the community together as part of a larger discussion. Blab wanted to get involved on a larger scale this year so we’ll be facilitating a discussion about the history of social media on Twitter using the hashtag #WESMDAY2016 while also running a contest and giving away gift cards to four local business that are doing a fantastic job creating and growing their social presence. To enter our contest, click here. But don’t wait too long, it’s only open until midnight tonight!
Social Media Day is an important day of celebration for businesses of all sizes. The tools social platforms provide allow companies with 2 employees to compete on the same level as companies with 2000 employees and the medium in general does a great job of breaking down the barriers of traditional advertising, allowing interaction and engagement for all. As a small business, we know that it’s very important to promote and support other local businesses, especially when their digital presence helps push Windsor into the spotlight online. Regardless of size, industry or target market, the businesses chosen for our Social Media Giveaway have all demonstrated the importance of “finding your thing” online and working hard to do it better than anyone else. The following businesses that were selected for the giveaway each have a social strong-suit that’s worth highlighting and is something we can all learn from:
Cafe March 21st
A charming cafe in downtown Windsor that specializes in pour-over coffee, Cafe March 21st is bursting from the seams with personality. While small in size, the space is quirky, fun and completely unique and owner Henry does a fantastic job of transferring that personality online. The cafe’s social accounts are filled with fun photos, cool updates and customer-generated content that perfectly conveys the brand’s personality in the digital realm. Using social media as an extension of your brand while staying true to its personality can be a difficult task, but the crew at March 21st has nailed it!
Windsor Rock Gym
It can be difficult to generate excitement for a business before its even opened, but Windsor Rock Gym has done a fantastic job of getting the community involved with their launch months before it happens by creating a visual progress checklist and posting updates online as the project nears completion. Often times businesses will begin their social media journey months or years after opening their doors. Taking the plunge before they’ve even become operational would pose a serious challenge for most, but not Windsor Rock Gym! Thank you for setting a great example for other businesses and proving that social media success is about more than sales.
Carrots N’ Dates
In a city full of amazing restaurants, photography can not only help differentiate you, but it can set you far apart from the pack. Carrots N’ Dates, a cozy cafe specializing in wholesome, gluten free and 100% plant based food, has a habit of pumping out some seriously impressive food photography and we couldn’t help but notice. Since launching in 2012 they’ve done a fantastic job of using visuals to share the wholesome goodness they serve every day. Their Instagram photos are a sneak peak inside their well-crafted menu and give consumers a chance to better understand the amount of care and effort that goes into each dish they prepare.
Ask any marketing expert and they’ll tell you that 2016 is the year of live video and while it offers incredible opportunities and value, a lot of businesses are shying away from it because they aren’t sure how to incorporate it and execute it properly. Shop Eco, a popular eco-friendly boutique in Walkerville, has embraced it on multiple platforms and continues to add value for their growing community with product reviews, updates, sneak peaks etc. It’s refreshing to see a small business dive right in and embrace technology, especially when it can sometimes be a scary transition. If you haven’t had a chance to check out their videos yet, you can visit them on Facebook or Instagram and see the value they provide firsthand!
Blab will also be heading out to Bull n Barrel at 4:30 for the Social Media Day Afterparty so if you’re a fan of social media or you just want to meet some like-minded individuals, come out and have some fun. Want to join in on the conversation online? Use the hashtag #WESMDAY2016 and let’s get chatting!
❤️?? Happy Social Media Day ??❤️
Last week Blab was out and about around Windsor with Rose City Sport & Social Club giving out lots of free goodies and smiles to complete strangers. We’d been working together on this campaign for over a month and from May 2nd-6th we were finally ready to hit the streets! Myself and two RCSSC team members set out to a variety of locations each day to surprise an unsuspecting individual with a Play Pack full of Windsor goodies that were provided by generous local businesses. The Play Packs included coffee from March 21st Bean & Leaf Cafe downtown, tickets to the Windsor Spits home opener game, passes for Urban Surf, a fresh rose from The Bourbon Rose Florist, tickets to see a MasterWorks performance from The Capitol Theatre, a John Max gift card, a cupcake from Sweet Revenge Bake Shop, EPIC Winery Passes from Tourism Windsor-Essex, Steam Whistle swag and a voucher for a free sign-up with Rose City Sport & Social Club all stuffed into a branded bag and tied up with balloons. How amazing is that?!
We called ourselves the Day Makers and I can honestly say, we did a fantastic job of making people’s days a little brighter. Seeing people surprised, smiling and happy made all the hard work worth while. CBC even joined us to surprise a teacher who was nominated at Sandwich West Public School! Although the whole experience was amazing, the highlight for me was when the team and I were walking down the street and spotted a young girl giving her Subway lunch to a homeless man. We just had to pass on the kindness so we caught her at the street light and made sure she knew that what she did for that man did not go unnoticed. She was on top of the world!
In a city that can be so full of uncertainty and negativity, it was nice to go out and spread some happiness. After five full days of adventure, photos, smiles, excitement and genuine happiness, I can honestly say the campaign was a success but we couldn’t have done it without all the donations from our amazing business sponsors so thank you very much for your kindness. A big thank you also goes out to Rose City Sport & Social Club for spreading the love. I’m a firm believer that together we can lift up this city one surprise/smile/good deed at a time!
Although I’ve never been able to attend this incredible event in person, I’m excited to announce that this year Blab Media has registered for a virtual conference pass! Over 100 presentations from industry experts covering a massive range of topics from building engagement online to mastering the art of the podcast and I can soak it all in from the comfort of my own home while networking with attendees online. The event takes place April 17-19 in San Diego California and hosts people from over 50 countries! Representatives from massive global brands and executives from the top social platforms will also be in attendance. I’m really looking forward to connecting with likeminded businesses and professionals online and streamlining my skill set by learning best practices, gaining industry insight and exploring new digital trends.
Stay tuned to our social channels for updates and insight during the conference. Only 41 days to go!
Last night Blab Media accepted the Biz X Magazine Award for Social Media Leader Who’s A Tough Act To Follow! It was an absolute honour to share the stage with so many amazing local businesses who truly make our city unique. It was truly inspiring to hear the words and stories of other business owners and humbling to share mine as well. The food was delicious, the company was superb and the theme was just out of this world! I’d like to thank every single person who voted for Blab Media and made this night possible, every client who believed in my skills, every professional connection who helped me along the way, every friend who supported me and my parents for always believing in me. I’d also like to send a big thank you out to the whole team at Biz X Magazine and everyone who made the awards gala possible. Without you and this event, so many small businesses would go unnoticed and unappreciated.
Congratulations to all of this year’s nominees and award winners and thank you for doing your part to make Windsor an amazing place to live, work and play. Cheers!
The first-ever two day Boost Your City event was a whirlwind of creative ideas, strategic execution and a whole lot of fun! Day one was fast-paced and incredibly productive with our web development, photography, graphic design and marketing teams brainstorming, strategizing and delegating tasks. The Sweet Revenge girls contributed to the final outcome through mini meetings and sessions with each individual team. By the end of the day, everyone involved had a firm grasp on the direction and began executing individual elements. Day two was a lot more task-oriented, focused and efficient with team members editing, sculpting and finalizing elements. Each team was responsible for rationalizing and reviewing their aspect of the project as part of a group presentation. The Sweet Revenge girls were given an overview of everything the group accomplished over the course of the event and were later provided with a full booklet outlining all strategies, recommendations, and necessary information.
Our team of volunteers was unstoppable! A combination of St Clair College students and industry professionals made up our web development, graphic design, marketing and photography teams. They all demonstrated impressive time management skills, produced inspiring content and kept their cool all while working seamlessly together in a group! We couldn’t have accomplished anything without them and we owe them a big thank you for their time, dedication, insight, skills and contributions to the event.
All of our volunteers worked so well together and it was great seeing each of them contribute their unique skill set and ideas to the final product. We all had a great time despite the strict deadline and could not be happier with the outcome! The Sweet Revenge team was involved throughout the whole process and was able to work with each group to help sculpt the end result. They left with a rolodex full of professional contacts, new branding, print materials, a fully functioning website, custom icons and a full marketing and promotions strategy to help them plan for the future.
On behalf of the whole crew, we wish Saskia and the Sweet Revenge team nothing but the best! Your passion is so evident in everything that you produce and your delicious sweets were no exception. We’re so lucky to have had the opportunity to work with such a talented and motivated young entrepreneur whose passion and positive outlook are contagious. All we ask is that you don’t forget about us little people when you get your own baking show on TLC!
We’ve finally chosen the first ever Boost Your City business and we’re incredibly excited to get this project started! We’d like to send a big congratulations out to Saskia Scott and the whole team at Sweet Revenge Bakery in Olde Riverside. Young, fun and motivated to the max, Saskia sees big potential for her bakery to expand in size to start taking on my orders and expanding services. We can’t wait to learn more about her inspiration and her goals so we can give Sweet Revenge the boost it needs to succeed! Stay tuned to our social channels for event teasers and post-event updates as we progress!
We’re very excited to announce that our project, Boost Your City, is officially launching today! We’re also very happy to share our partnership with St Clair College School of Media Art and Design and Genesis Entrepreneurship & Innovation Centre! The first ever Boost Your City event will be held on Saturday June 13th & Sunday June 14th 2015 and it will take place from 9am-4pm both days at the St Clair College Centre for the Arts downtown campus. As a partner, St Clair College and the Genesis Centre will also be generously providing food and beverages for the hard working team of industry professionals and students during this two day project.
Part of the team will include junior positions and we’re excited to announce that these positions will be filled with qualified second year St Clair College students. These students will have the opportunity to work alongside industry professionals in their field of study and will gain valuable real-life working experience they can highlight on their resumes.
Boost Your City is now accepting business and team member applications so small businesses, students and industry professionals who are interested in getting involved can learn more by visiting the website at www.boostyourcity.com and fill out a business application here or a team member application here.
Let’s do this Windsor! We’re counting down the days until we can Boost Your City!
We’re incredibly excited to announce that we’ll be at the next Windsor Soup event on Sunday March 22nd in the hopes of getting funding for a cool community project we’ve been working on! Come out to the Walkerville Brewery at 6pm and for $5 you’ll get soup, salad, bread and a vote to support one of the four projects pitching at the event (hopefully ours).
If you’ve never heard of Windsor Soup, it’s a group that works together to offer micro grants for social change through public dinners that give people the opportunity to celebrate projects in Windsor. Whatever funds are raised throughout the night are generously matched by The P. and L. Odette Charitable Foundation and donated to the winner to help get their project off the ground. Initiatives like this help make our community so much richer and directly support the people and projects behind the scenes that make Windsor-Essex a better place to live, work and play. It’s a great way to bring the community together for the greater good and we’d love to see you there!
For more information check out the Facebook event page here
This month was one of our most anticipated events of the year – Startup Canada’s Day on the Hill. An annual event that brings together government leaders and the entrepreneurial community to create dialogue and advance Canadian entrepreneurship. As a Media Sponsor, Blab Media was responsible for creating content, taking photos/videos, managing social channels and generating conversation online throughout the event. Our goals were to lead the conversation online, generate excitement for attendees and keep the rest of the Startup community informed online. While it was a very busy job, working with Startup Canada makes me proud to be an entrepreneur and after attending Day on the Hill in Ottawa, I definitely felt the growing passion other Canadians have for it too.
This one day event brought together nearly 1,000 attendees – a mix of seasoned entrepreneurs willing to share their insight and young startups trying to make meaningful connections. It featured some of Canada’s top entrepreneurs, inspiring Startup Community leaders, media personalities, and government decision makers. The day program was fast paced and fed off of all the positive energy from the attendees. I’ve been to a lot of business events (surprise right?) and sometimes I feel like the networking gets impersonal and well… boring. This didn’t happen for a second and it honestly shocked me. There was a sense of camaraderie – everyone was there with the same goals and it was a collective effort to get to know each other. Where else am I going to hear Frank O’Dea (Founder & CEO of Second Cup) tell the most inspiring rags to riches journey of starting a business, meet Kellie Leitch (Minister of Labour and Status of Women) and Kerry-Lynne Findlay (Minister of National Revenue), laugh along with Dr. Sean Wise (consultant to CBC’s Dragon’s Den), and still get the opportunity to have real conversations with them? I was in entrepreneurial heaven. Packed bootcamps, free mentorship clinics, meaningful government roundtables, an evening soiree, and a bbq after party – it was tough to see it come to an end but I came home inspired and motivated to be a better entrepreneur.
Between all the tweeting, hand shaking, note taking (old school pen and pencil style), device charges, and awkward photo bombs I put together a highlight of my most loved moments from Day on the Hill 2014.