In her own words, Petra is “an activist entrepreneur, former book publishing executive, and mom who is capable of both dining at the Waldorf and living in her car”. That line is too good not to share 🙂 She is the founder and former CEO of Fifth Town Artisan Cheese, and former Executive Director for the Imagination Catalyst, OCAD University’s start-up incubator. She’s also the founder of Eve-volution, offering consulting in feminist business practices, design and coaching, and founder and publisher of Liisbeth.com.
In this interview, Petra offers you a Master Class on how to incorporate feminine and feminist traits/ideals into start-ups so we can design and grow more whole businesses and business leaders. She talks about how the current start-up investment models aren’t working for most women-led companies, and why the narrative around what makes a good, successful entrepreneur needs to change.
Even if you think you know, or have heard it all about the issues women face when starting and growing businesses, I promise you’ll learn something new from Petra.
What you’ll learn:
- What the Feminist Business Model Canvas is, and how feminist business practices differ from the business management science we currently accept/rely on
- How we can change the current narrative around entrepreneurship and what Petra suggests it should be
- Why structuring partnerships effectively early in their businesses is so important for women
- Why the women’s venture investment space (ie. SheEO, Ellevest, The Helm) is so important and why it’s growing
- What she means by entrepreneurial feminism
Key segments (timed):
09:30 – Why it’s important for women to structure partnerships for the future
13:00 – How hearing the questions female entrepreneurs were asked in pitch competitions encouraged Petra to start Eve-Volution
18:45 – How Petra believes investors could flip the script in investment meetings with women AND men to encourage investing in whole people
20:35 – How entrepreneurial feminism includes ALL genders
22:30 – How we can approach women’s issues from an intersectional perspective that leaves no one sidelined
27:00 – The Liisbeth Manifesto – why the current entrepreneurial narrative is based on masculine, military-style language and what it could look like instead
33:30 – Discussion on the female business investment space, why we need it, and why it’s growing
37:30 – Why the accepted objective of 30x returns for scalable start-ups skews value and teaches young entrepreneurs the wrong things about what VC funding: a) will do for them, and b) means for their future roles in their own businesses
48:30 – Petra turns the current definition of ambition on its head and suggests a new way of looking at it that women might find more appealing
Women Petra is ambitious for:
- Aerin Fogel, founder and producer of Venusfest, a feminist music festival in Toronto, and
- Dharaa Patel, an entrepreneurial millennial from Gujarat, India, whose letter to Liisbeth about her ambition to advance gender equity in India inspired Petra.
More books and organizations mentioned in this podcast:
Effectual Entrepreneurship, by Stuart Read, Saras Sarasvathy, Nick Dew, and Robert Wiltbank
Paulina Cameron’s Canada 150 Women
Kelly Diels – feminist marketing consulting, Vancouver, BC
Christina Zeidler, The Gladstone Hotel, Toronto, ON
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