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GroYourBiz Game Changers: Patra deSilva

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“This Entrepreneur marries her love of pets and her passion for business.”


Patra deSilva, CEO, NHV Natural Pet Products (


Q: Who is an ideal business role model you admire? What are the qualities you admire most about him/her?

A: There are many business people that come to  mind.  Oprah Winfrey for her accomplishments in her media empire and how she touches so many people’s lives.  Warren Buffet because he is an inspiration leader, Dale Carnegie for his philanthropical work. But most of all I admire all the amazing business women I have met through organizations such as GYB and other networks.   These women are my hero’s.  Their stories are an inspiration because they have pursued a dream and never given up in accomplishing what they set out to do.


Q: What is 1 golden nugget or diamond gem you can share right now to significantly inspire or ignite brilliance in someone’s business or personal life?

A: When you start out in business a new idea is in fact like a diamond in the rough;  visualize what can be achieved and always keep that picture in your mind and work towards it.  I would also say – don’t dwell on what went wrong, learn from the mistake and move on and always, most importantly, celebrate your wins.


Q: What habit or behavior have you pursued/implemented for at least a year that has most improved your business?

A: For me I find that I perform best if I move about every few hours.   Just moving and taking a break from what you are doing helps improve your performance.  I have my little dog – her name is Chaya and she comes to work with me and we walk to work everyday rain or shine. I find just being outdoors before and after work so refreshing.  She also makes sure that we go out for regular short walks during the day; which is so fantastic as it clears the mind and energizes the body.


Q: What are you most grateful for?  

A: What am I most grateful for? That’s such a deep question.  I have a lot to be grateful for – that I live in a country that is peaceful, for a partner that lets me pursue my dreams and encourages me, for all my wonderful family and friends that share and celebrate life’s moments, for my adorable pets for their unconditional love and all the joy they bring.


Do you know a woman “Game Changer”?    Nominate one now….

GroYourBiz in Kamloops

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Please join us for an informational session of GroYourBiz in Kamloops , an initiative developed for women entrepreneurs that want to take their business to the next level. You will meet the members of MyBusinessMyBoard Advisory Board, Kathy Grant, Chair for Kamloops, BC, along with Barbara Mowat, Founder & President of GroYourBiz Ltd. They will share how business peer advisory boards have helped shape and grow companies from all sectors.

A Taste of GroYourBiz Kamloops January_14_2019

Guest Blogger: Diana Bishop

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GroYourBiz is pleased to provide a blog by leading specialist, Diana Bishop, granddaughter of First World War flying ace Billy Bishop.  Helping  Women Trailblazers take center stage is a second act for Diana Bishop, also known as The Storytelling Coach. Diana spent 20 years as national and international TV News Correspondent working for CBC, CTV,  Global and NBC News where journalism took her around the world covering the stories and careers of some of the biggest newsmakers of the day from Nelson Mandela to Celine Dion.

How Do You Choose the Right Tools to Tell Your Story?

I recently spent a day doing a seminar with a talented group of Sales and Marketing MBA students from the University of Salzburg, Austria, entitled  —

Communicating A Successful Business Story In the 21st Century.” 








With all the different and new ways to communicate to our clients or customers, how do we choose the right tools or platforms to market and promote our business story?

And we think that young people know everything! But clients ask me the same thing. With the vast options available to attract one’s audience from print materials, email, websites, blogs, newsletters, videos, PR, advertising, presentations, workshops, direct mail telemarketing, to internet marketing and social media (which of course is driving this communications revolution), it’s easy to get overwhelmed and panic asking ourselves

Is this all getting too far ahead of me?” 








Breathe. The good news is this. No matter what new avenues they come up with to communicate, it is still all about the STORY you tell. Communications is STILL primarily about CONTENT, and content that your client, customer or audience really wants to hear!

So for most of us in our businesses, there are really just three things that we need to research and articulate first and foremost–

  1. Who is the audience we want to attract?
  2. What communication tools do they use?
  3. What are their challenges that we can help them with?

If you’re a financial advisor and your market is business people over 40, research the tools that age group uses. Do they find you on your website? Do they like to communicate using email?  Do they network using LinkedIn?

You can do this if you are selling tea, cars, real estate, and marketing services.

There is certainly great value in reading about and researching how communications, and particularly social media is evolving, because it really is the Wild West out there, and the latter is a living breathing organism that is transforming how we connect with each other. No turning that back. But–know that without a good story, nobody cares. CONTENT is still KING — so research the tools that your audience uses, and then work on your story. It may be a brave new world but the best story still wins!

Diana Bishop is communications and personal branding specialist. She is the creator of The Success Story Program at








Diana Bishop

For twenty years, Diana Bishop was a national and International TV News correspondent working for CBC, CTV News and Global Television in Canada, and NBC News in the U.S, with postings as Quebec City Bureau Chief, Beijing Bureau Chief in China, and Senior Parliamentary Correspondent in Ottawa where she covered national politics and international affairs. Diana is now a leading communications and personal branding expert having worked with more than two hundred business people and companies across Canada, the U.S and Europe.

Diana’s background and experience can be reviewed at

BMO and Women Entrepreneurs

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Announcing Women Entrepreneurs and Innovation Report

The official launch of the report “Everywhere, Every Day Innovating:  Women Entrepreneurs and Innovation” was released on Feb. 14th with the Honourable Bardish Chagger, Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister of Small Business and Tourism, along with report authors Clare Beckton, and Janice McDonald.

This report outlines implications for business and the Canadian economy resulting from gender differences in approaches to innovation.  It offers recommendations for the development of gender-sensitive entrepreneurial, investment and board participation strategies that can support the contributions women entrepreneurs are, and can make, to the Canadian economy.  A must read.  Thanks to BMO for Women for their contributions and support.

In Everywhere, Every Day Innovating – Women Entrepreneurs and Innovation, researchers Clare Beckon and Janice McDonald from Carleton University and The Beacon Agency set out to see where, how, and what women entrepreneurs were doing to innovate within their businesses. Through interviews with 146 diverse female entrepreneurs, including 23 Indigenous women, the study found that women’s innovations are often under-recognized… simply because many of their innovations fall outside the technology sector.

Additional findings show that:

  • Ninety per cent of female-led businesses are in the service industries where innovation extends from developing new products and services, to engaging employees and devising new ways of marketing and selling;
  • Women entrepreneurs do not generally view technology products as their end-goal, but are eager and comfortable with using technology to adapt and meet their other business objectives;
  • Women entrepreneurs feel restricted by many of the available incubator and mentorship programs which focus on attracting technology companies and have age limits for participants;
  • Women entrepreneurs feel there is an under-representation of fellow female mentors and potential investors, which hinders their ability to raise capital or attract the attention of policy makers for funding opportunities.

By recognizing the barriers that women face, the report highlights the importance of more robust eco-systems for female entrepreneurs, supported by governments, financial institutions, and the women entrepreneurs themselves. Key recommendations are made for everyone involved in building that framework, and include:

  • The introduction of a government-created innovation framework that includes women entrepreneurs in policy design and commits equitable grant funds;
  • Work by financial institutions to address unconscious bias in small business loan acceptance, track payback rates of female entrepreneurs as a proof point to their growth and continuously explore partnerships and invest in programs that support female entrepreneurs;
  • Educating female entrepreneurs to ensure they are informed about options available to them, and establish relationships with banks and investors beyond when loans are needed;
  • Work from policy-makers to deliver enhanced child-care and maternity benefits for women entrepreneurs who are primary caregivers;
  • Addressing the lack of business training and ineligibility for financing among Indigenous women due to lack of property needed for collateral loans if living on-reserve; and
  • Establishing training, mentorship programs and networking opportunities on-reserve to help support new Indigenous women entrepreneurs.

To read the full report, click here.

Vancouver Fashion Week

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Kristina Benson (GYB Kamloops member) will be featured at Vancouver Fashion Week March 19 – 25th, to show her INSPIRED INTENTIONS COLLECTION.

Proudly made in Canada Kristina reconnects fashion and yoga with her unique unconventional combination of eco-fabric yoga leggings, draped kimonos, and delicate scarves. VFW event is one of the fastest growing fashion weeks in the world, and since 2001, has acted as a stepping-stone for emerging designers to launch their creations into the fashion industry in hopes of one day appearing on the stages of London, Paris, Milan, and New York.  Congrats Kristina!

Press Release Below:

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