Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in personal and business development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Nicole Troster, Founder and Manager of ELLA Accelerator, located in Toronto, Canada.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
ELLA is Ontario's first accelerator focused on supporting women-led product and service-based businesses. We give women entrepreneurs access to the community, knowledge, and resources they need to scale their businesses.
Tell us about yourself
I came from a family where my mom immigrated from Brazil to Canada. Despite being a lawyer back home, her credentials weren't recognized here. So, to support the family, she bought a business, which she ran successfully for 34 years. Over the last 11 years, I have dedicated my career to supporting entrepreneurs. First, as a lobbyist representing the interests of small and medium-sized businesses, and then as an advisor helping founders to overcome challenges inside and outside their businesses. I then got the opportunity to launch and oversee ELLA. ELLA is close to my heart because my mom didn't have the type of support that ELLA offers. So, in a way, my work with ELLA allows me to help women like my mom.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My biggest accomplishment is creating an award-winning program that helps to support the women entrepreneurs who need it the most.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
One of the biggest challenges that I face in my job is ensuring that we have funding to continue supporting entrepreneurs. We know there is a need in the market because 78% of the women we have helped have not previously been part of an incubator or accelerator. We provide opportunities for women who have not traditionally had support from the ecosystem.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
Customers are key. The more conversations you can have with your customers or potential customers about what their needs are will put you in a position to meet those needs and ultimately succeed. Cash is king. Many women shy away from understanding their business finances because it can be overwhelming. There are so many resources out there. The more in tune you can become with your finances, the greater the likelihood of success. Community is essential. We know that statistically speaking, women do better in business when they have a robust network. One of the greatest assets that ELLA provides is access to a community of other entrepreneurs and experts that all want to see women entrepreneurs succeed. Again, there are many groups and resources to help you with this; don't be shy about connecting!
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
If you want to learn more about how to get involved with ELLA, please visit yorku.ca/ELLA
Thank you so much for the opportunity to work with Subkit. We really appreciate it and would love to receive information that we can share with our community about what you have to offer.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solopreneur that you'd like to share, then email firstname.lastname@example.org; we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
Feel inspired to start, run or grow your own subscription business? Check out subkit.com and learn how you can turn "one day" into day one.