Opening the doors so others can pass through

Rosemary Brown, Canada’s first Black female member of a provincial legislature, once said: “We must open the doors and we must see to it they remain open, so that others can pass through.”

A few years ago, I was on the business pitch TV show, Dragons’ Den, shaking in my boots as I held the hopes of my team, my investors, customers and family in my hands. The pitch was a success. The opportunity was transformative for our company. It opened doors in ways I hadn’t anticipated.

I was on a flight last year with my daughter, madly writing a proposal with one eye and keeping the other eye on what she was up to. She was watching an episode of Dragons’ Den and I noticed a pattern but wondered if she would pick up on it. In-flight snacks came along, and she took off her headphones. I asked her what she thought of the show and what pitches interested her. And then I asked her, as casually as possible with a pre-teen, if she had noticed anything. “Yeah, it’s weird but it was all men who were presenting.” “Hmmm,” I said, trying desperately to keep my reaction neutral. “What do you think about that?” I added. My daughter’s response: “Well, you were on the show. And if you can do it, I can do it too.” We must keep the doors open, so that others can pass through.

While COVID-19 has closed many doors, it has also given us an opportunity to open new ones. To collaborate in new ways, find different models for connection and work together. Entrepreneurs are problem solvers. When we work together to solve big problems, we invite transformation to the table.

Supercluster support has been that type of catalyst for Curatio and our consortium. It has enabled us to form collaborations in service of overworked physicians, isolated patients, stressed families and vulnerable citizens. It has helped us produce some of our best work and co-creation to date. Working with our partners, we are connecting patients and families to private, personalized social support, evidence-based programs, coaching and remote patient monitoring technology that reduces the burden on doctors and supports patients at scale.

The truest honour of being an entrepreneur is the chance to make a difference. To radically change the world. To leave your mark and know that you left the planet a bit better than you found it. Being an entrepreneur mirrors the journey of being a parent – it’s an investment in the future. It’s not an easy balance to grow a family and business at the same time. In fact, there is no balance at all, to be quite honest. There is simply the desire each day to make a difference, try again, pick yourself up, lead your team, nurture your children and boldly turn the handle on the door in front of you and encourage others to walk through.

Learn more about the Stronger Together: Social Infrastructure for Community Health project here.