KARL MOORE – This is Karl Moore of the Desautels Faculty of Management at McGill University, talking management for The Globe and Mail. Today, I am delighted to speak to two new entrepreneur sisters, [Chelsea and Ali Beloff], former students of mine here at McGill, who have started [MUthins], a [Montreal-based] company selling [low-calorie bran] muffins to the world, and very healthy muffins I may add.
As young women, have you run into some prejudice against you out there in the business place or do you think it has actually helped you?
CHELSEA BELOFF – I think as a young woman, specifically – first of all there are two separate answers to this question, being young specifically has helped us in what we do. Because of my experience in social media, I can directly relate to our target audience. Social media has given us accessibility to people around the world with a click of a button, so in that sense, that has been great. I think that going into a meeting with someone from an older generation, they value and respect us for the knowledge that we have that they don’t, which has been a great thing.
As young women, it has been incredible and at the same time it has been challenging because you still do feel a little bit of pressure when you are sitting at a board meeting with the majority being men, but you get over that. Especially in the health industry, the food industry, there are a lot of women doing incredible things, so I think it is important to link up with them and together we are taking big steps.
ALI BELOFF – We have also had some major role models throughout the whole experience. We were part of the Dobson Cup Business Plan Competition at McGill in 2012 and some of the judges in the consulting team, like Andrea Courey, for example, who started Grandma Emily’s [Les Granolas d'Émilie], her story and how she mentored us and consulted us into getting to our vision, we could relate to. It’s people like that that, who, as young females, we look up to and we aspire to.
CHELSEA BELOFF – It’s inspiring.
ALI BELOFF – It pushes us to stick to our vision.