When was the last time you took a risk? If you look up the definition of “risk,” it sounds pretty daunting. And if you’ve ever watched a scary movie, you know they all involve at least one character risking it big time, from the young woman buying that bungalow everyone says is haunted to the eager beefcake traipsing around the lake searching for the serial killer. But small, everyday risks can reap mega rewards, like swiping right, dyeing your locks platinum blond or deciding to finally send out your updated resume. If there’s one consistent thread in the stories of the women we feature at On The Dot, it’s their ability to just go for it. When you take a risk, sometimes you learn some hard lessons, but more often than not, something beautiful happens.
WOMEN IN NUMBERS: $12 Trillion
If you think about it, women have always been risk-takers. Was there anything riskier than giving birth back in the day, when cavemen were just rolling rocks around during the Stone Age? There’s no doubt we contribute to the world, that’s for sure. According to a recent UBS report, women could add as much as $12 trillion to the global economy in the next 10 years, as our wealth is growing faster than men’s. Well, it’s about dang time!
WOMAN TO WATCH: Petra Kassun-Mutch, Founder and President of Eve-Volution Inc.
Today’s fabulous Woman to Watch is an extraordinary example of how taking the right risks can really pay off. Petra Kassun-Mutch is the founder and president of Eve-Volution Inc., an enterprise that helps investors, companies, nonprofits and governments create incubators and accelerators for folks who are marginalized in the entrepreneurial realm because of their gender, age, class, race or physicality.
So, how did Petra go from her first job slinging fries at McDonald’s to an entrepreneurial wiz who unlocks the power of disenfranchised innovators? Like any other lady boss, this forward-thinking Toronto gal set her goals and got to work. For nearly two decades, Petra held an assortment of jobs in the corporate world, from communications to sales, eventually ascending to the position of president for a $46 million division of a publishing company. Then she left to milk goats and sheep. Yes, seriously.
If you’re envisioning the classic bucket-wielding milkmaid getup, think again. Petra had a vision to create the most environmentally friendly dairy farm in the world, and eventually launched her passion project: Fifth Town Artisan Cheese. A for-profit social enterprise, the company specialized in cave-aged, handcrafted fine cheeses made from locally sourced sheep’s and goat’s milk from Prince Edward County, Ontario. Petra’s company received dozens of product, environmental and innovation awards, and she was on her way to ruling the artisan-cheese world.
Unfortunately, after nearly eight years running the successful business, an untimely divorce resulted in Petra selling her company. She has a great understanding that being an entrepreneur means everything is personal and you’ll have some seriously hard decisions to make. So, this determined go-getter forged on, and in 2012, created Eve-Volution with the goal of combining activism with scalable entrepreneurship and putting her feminist ideals at the forefront.
Eve-Volution offers clients gender analysis, market-feasibility studies, research, strategic planning, executive-advisory services, program design and program execution—all with a human-centered approach. The company also publishes a wonderful online magazine for feminist entrepreneurs called Liisbeth.
Petra’s advice for any woman on a mission to build the career she wants is simple: Start in sales. She says you’ll learn the markets, people and how the world of business really works. But regardless of your chosen career, Petra says it’s paramount women lead with feminist values at the heart of every decision. Amen to that, sister!
QUITE THE QUOTE
In case you still need some motivation to take that risk you’ve been contemplating, heed Oprah Winfrey’s advice:
“Think like a queen. A queen is not afraid to fail. Failure is another stepping stone to greatness.”
This is Melinda Garvey signing off until next time. Remember, ladies, empowered women empower other women. Share On the Dot so more women can have a voice. Thanks for getting ready with us.