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An exclusive one-on-one with Marie-Josée Richer, visionary social entrepreneur and co-founder of PRANA, speaker and Dragon on Dans L'Oeil du Dragon (French version of Dragons’ Den).
Which companies or entrepreneurs from here and elsewhere do you admire the most?
I like what Patagonia has been doing since the beginning. Yvon Chouinard is a passionate man and he’s pushed the limits of entrepreneurship. All entrepreneurs inspire me in one way or another, they’re people who turn their ideas into concrete projects!
What advice would you give to a young entrepreneur?
Follow your heart and your intuition. Just do it!
In your opinion, what explains the success of PRANA?
Good timing, a whole lot of love and passion and a lucky star.
How did your role as a mother change your role as an entrepreneur?
I was a bit of a workaholic before I had my children; they brought balance to my life. I don’t think it changed my role as an entrepreneur, but out of necessity, I had to trust and delegate to others.
What personality traits were useful when you started your company?
I’ve always been a go-getter, hard-working and above all, I always challenged the status quo, I think that drove my parents crazy! I would tell them, "there has to be a better way to do it” about everything…
What are you most proud of?
My 3 children ;) and that PRANA - through its team and vision - has become an example of a company that redefines success in business, a company with values. To have contributed in our own way to changing the Canadian food landscape, making organic and vegan accessible and tasty.
MARIE-JOSÉE'S FAVOURITE PRODUCTS
organic raw European almonds
organic non roasted cashews
organic blanched almond butter
organic 70% chocolate chunks
organic dried cranberries
organic dried mangoes
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