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The Growth Effect Season 2

They make it look so easy, but we know better than that. The Growth Effect is a podcast that delves into what it’s really like to launch and scale a business. Join host and Toronto-based founder Sarah Stockdale as she speaks to the leaders of some of Canada’s top growing companies to learn how they did it.

S2 Episode 6 The pizza pivot: How General Assembly transformed from a busy restaurant to an IPO

Ali Khan Lalani is the CEO of General Assembly. If you asked us pre-pandemic, we’d have told you that it’s a popular pizza restaurant in Toronto. Now, it’s reinventing itself as a successful food-tech company and recently secured $13-million in Series A funding with plans to go public. Many lockdowns in, we know the devastating impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on the restaurant business. But Ali’s is a story of a successful pivot in an industry that needs some good news. He shares how he led his company from in-person dining to pizza subscription company — and their plans for future growth.


S2 Episode 5 The untold origin story of Article, the rapidly-growing online furniture company

This is an online furniture brand that doesn’t let you sit on the couch before you buy it. A design company founded by four friends with no design skills… but it works. When 2020 forced us to spend more time inside our homes, Article’s e-commerce approach gave it an advantage. The company was already growing rapidly, but the pandemic was rocket fuel. It wasn’t a straight line to success though. CEO Aamir Baig and COO Andy Prochazka tell Sarah about how they became Article — and it involves a court appearance.


S2 Episode 4 How Bobbie Racette is fixing the gig economy for marginalized workers with Virtual Gurus

After losing her job, Bobbie Racette was reminded how tough it is to find work as an Indigenous LGBTQ woman, so she decided to start creating jobs that could be done remotely, flexibly, and for a fair wage. When she started Virtual Gurus, a Calgary-based talent marketplace that matches companies with virtual assistants and freelancers, she made a point of hiring from marginalized groups including single mothers, trans people, Indigenous women and people with social anxiety. It took her 170 rejections before she got her first investor, but now capital is knocking at her door. This impact startup approach isn’t just good for representation, it’s been successful business strategy - and Bobbie is happy to share why.


S2 Episode 3 Why Smash+Tess founder credits inclusivity and community as the key to their record romper growth

Be honest: when was the last time you wore pants with a zipper during this pandemic? Even before COVID-19 shifted our fashion priorities, sustainable loungewear company Smash+Tess was reporting nearly 5,000% 3-year revenue growth. The body-positive company has amassed a huge following with their stylish rompers, including celebrities like Hillary Duff and Sarah of The Birds Papaya. Founder Ashley Freeborn credits a lot of their success to the value they place on building an online community. She shares with Sarah how prioritizing inclusivity has been the secret to their growth.


S2 Episode 2 Fighting to grow: How Flashfood’s founder spun grocery food waste into a climate-friendly app

Flashfood is an app that keeps good food out of the trash. Users can buy discounted food that grocers would have had to throw out as it approached the sell-by date. It’s good for the environment, combats food waste and helps people who need cheaper food. But getting the business off the ground, into major grocery chains and through a global pandemic took an appetite for risk that not everyone has. Founder Josh Domingues shares how sometimes getting it wrong, pivoting and fighting like hell can help your business grow.


S2 Episode 1 How Vivian Kaye built a million-dollar business without a single investor

KinkyCurlyYaki is a company that sells high quality, kinky, curly and natural-looking hair extensions. As a Black woman, Vivian Kaye was building a business she saw a real need for. But venture capitalists didn’t share her vision. It’s a problem many Black founders face – receiving roughly one per cent of VC funding. Vivian shares her story of bootstrapping through these obstacles, and her hopes for the future.


S2 Episode 0 Coming soon: A new season of The Growth Effect

Sarah Stockdale returns for another season to talk with incredible entrepreneurs about what it’s really like to launch and grow a business. Spoiler Alert: The Growth Effect isn’t a normal business podcast. We talk to successful founders about their 4am anxiety attacks, running out of money, and the growing pains usually kept hidden. You’ll get a behind-the-scenes look at how companies really get built.


S1 Episode 6 A different kind of lawyer

Leena Yousefi wins 90% of her cases. But for her, winning isn’t everything. For a profession that isn’t typically associated with innovation or known for rapid growth, her firm stands apart. She approaches everything in law with heart and soul. And from how she approaches her clients to who she hires, it works. The founder of YLaw is one of the top 25 lawyers in the country. Her firm has seen its revenue grow by 331% in the last three years, making it one of the fastest growing companies in Canada. She does it all from a place of empathy, but that empathy comes from a tough past and a lot of personal growth.


S1 Episode 5 When your five-year plan becomes your five-month plan

Add 600 employees in 100 days during a global pandemic. That’s what CEO Cherif Habib did with Dialogue, an app-based telehealth company providing remote doctors appointments. He thought it would take Canadians 3-5 years to adopt remote healthcare - but then COVID-19 happened. So what happens when you have to fit five years worth of strategy, planning and rollout into just five months?


S1 Episode 4 Hustle not #hustle

Marc Lafleur, CEO of TruLocal, works really hard. He doesn’t apologize for the sweat that’s needed to be a first-time founder, but that doesn’t mean he’s a fan of the #hustleculture that’s big in the startup community. In this episode, he shares with Sarah how his goal of improving the food supply in Canada through his quality meat-delivery company doesn’t leave time for much else, and why he still thinks it’s worth it.


S1 Episode 3 Going from customer to CEO

We’ve heard about some of the challenges of launching and scaling a business, but what about stepping into a leadership role at an already successful company? Taking over the reins, and the expectations that go along with that isn’t for everyone. But it was for Cathy Thorpe, who went from being a customer to CEO of Nurse Next Door, a company that offers home care for seniors across North America, which has taken on a new level of gravity amid COVID-19.


S1 Episode 2 When to ditch a successful business

Would you start a business with your best friend? While on maternity leave? And then pivot drastically at its peak success? That’s what Becca Perren and Jennifer Kelly of Pehr did. In this episode, they chat with Sarah about going against conventional wisdom and when it makes sense to change course with a growing business.


S1 Episode 1 Why don’t CEOs talk about burnout?

Burnout: Most CEO’s won’t talk about it, many CEOs experience it. Marie Chevrier takes a different approach. On this episode, the founder and CEO of Sampler gets candid about how her experiences with burnout have made her a better leader in a high-growth, market-leading company.


S1 Episode 0 Trailer: The Growth Effect

They make it look so easy, but we know better than that. The Growth Effect is a new podcast that delves into what it’s really like to launch and scale a business. Join host and Toronto-based founder Sarah Stockdale as she speaks to the leaders of some of Canada’s top growing companies to learn how they did it.

Sarah Stockdale

Sarah Stockdale is the founder of Growclass, Canada's first growth marketing training program. Sarah has spent her career growing early stage technology companies. She 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 acquisition at Tilt, which was acquired by Airbnb in 2017. Sarah is a speaker, frequent guest tech expert with CTV, and the author of the popular newsletter for millennials We Need To Talk About This.

Advertising feature produced by Globe Content Studio. The Globe’s editorial department was not involved.

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