Challenge Chat Speakers
David Scherpenzeel and Jef MacPherson
David and Jef are the Co-founders of Homegrown Land Bank Group. David grew up as a farm kid in rural Howick, Ontario. Jef was raised in the small town of Truro, Nova Scotia. David went on to receive a Business Degree with a focus on Sustainability from Wilfrid Laurier University. Jef earned an Agriculture Degree from Dalhousie University and a Business Degree from Vilentum University of Applied Sciences in the Netherlands. They did not meet until May of 2014 when they both were accepted to the Food Security Study Tour offered by the Canadian Foodgrains Bank in Nicaragua. After flying into Managua, Nicaragua on separate planes, they found themselves sitting next to each other on a bus full of strangers. While the bus meandered the Streets of Managua at night, Jef turned to David and said, “Gas prices aren’t too bad down here.” In that moment, the seed of Homegrown Land Bank Group Ltd. was planted. Seven years later, they operate an agricultural development firm that focuses on creating local solutions to global issues that threaten Small Scale Farmers. After a rocky journey, they have developed a strong presence in Southern Ontario and in 2021 have begun their national expansion. They hope to return to their international work following the Pandemic. It is their goal to…”Root Every Farmer in Fertile SOIL.”
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Michael Wu & Brian Yang
Michael Wu is a recent graduate of Western University and a recently admitted Ontario medical student. He was the student coordinator of the Western Sustainability Leaders Program and winner of a $1000 grant from WWF-Canada to supplement the program. Michael aims to continue to be involved in environmental advocacy during his lifetime.
Brian Yang is entering his fourth year at Western University in the Medical Sciences program. He is the Events Lead at the Western Sustainability Leaders Program and hopes to promote student initiatives and engagement towards campus sustainability next year.
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Norman Musengimana is the Founder & CEO, BizAcademy. Norman is an experienced small business and start-up advisor, and a social entrepreneur. A recent graduate from the Smith School of Business at Queen’s University. Born in Rwanda, Norman has had the opportunity to live and work in more than seven countries on three different continents. He enjoys traveling by road so that he can have the opportunity to meet and connect with new people in their communities. He lives by the virtue of being of service to the people and communities around us.
Norman enjoys helping and supporting potential entrepreneurs, early-stage entrepreneurs, and small and medium business owners. His previous experience involved working with business membership organizations, developing programs to help entrepreneurs develop their entrepreneurial spirits, guiding them on how best to build strategies that help tap into existing resources, organizing incubation programs and business plan competitions, as well as small business advisory. Norman has already founded three different businesses and he is currently the founder of BizSkills For Good, a social enterprise that focuses on helping young men and women who have great business ideas but are unable to access remote training, incubation, pitching, and virtual venture studio programs providing them a platform and foundation to be able to tap into mainstream entrepreneurial programs.
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Shari Hughson is currently a social entrepreneur with Wayfound Mental Health Group as Chief Operating Officer and partner. She was honoured as one of the Most Inspiring Female Entrepreneurs & Business Leaders 2021, by the Canadian SME Organization. She lived seven years with a remote Indigenous community and won a National Honour from the First Nation Health Authority for a community-driven innovation project that impacted the mental health of a remote She has been an entrepreneur, intrapreneur, social innovator, educator, and extreme adventurer. Shari started her first business at the age of 25 and won CIBC Entrepreneur of the Year before the age of 30. This company led to a very successful exit seven years later.
Shari Hughson has been an Advisor for over 125 startup and scale-up companies from diverse industries such as healthtech, edutech, real estate, and engineering and tech firms. Shari just finished five years of creating and building the Master of Management Innovation & Entrepreneurship program at Smith School of Business, Queen’s University. She is the Vice-Chair and Commercialization Committee Chair for Praxis Spinal Cord injury Institute. She is also a Board Director with 1 Million Teachers and a Trustee for His Highness Muhammad Sanusi II Sustainable Development Goals Challenge. Shari sits on three Indigenous community economic development committees in remote areas of Canada.
Morrissette Institute Workshop - What Venture Capitalists Look for In A Social Enterprise
Paul Hubert is the CEO of Pathways Skill Development in London, Ontario assisting individuals to overcome barriers to employment. A recognized community leader in social enterprise development and organizational growth, Paul is a highly sought-after consultant who assists clients in achieving strategic alignment for long-term sustainability. Paul spent seven years in Latin America, helping young leaders rise to their potential. Until recently, Paul served as the Deputy Mayor of the City of London, bringing thoughtful leadership to the public realm for 12 years. He has served on numerous boards of directors.
Paul holds an M.A. in psychology focused on the process of change. His research was in the area of desistance amongst young offenders and addictions. He brings passion and pragmatic insights to his presentations.
Eric Morse is the Executive Director of the Morrissette Institute for Entrepreneurship at the Ivey Business School. Eric currently serves as Special Advisor to the President and Director of Entrepreneurship at Western University. Dr. Morse is the founder of and the Academic Director for, Ivey and KPMG Enterprise’s QuantumShift Program for Exceptional Entrepreneurs.
Eric’s research has been published in top journals around the world including: the Academy of Management Journal, Entrepreneurship Theory & Practice, the Journal of Business Venturing, the Journal of Management, The Strategic Management Journal and the Sloan Management Review. In the most general sense Eric pursues research questions with three foci: the entrepreneur, the venture and the venture context. However, his emphasis has been on the entrepreneur, and Entrepreneurial Cognition is his main area of study.
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