Donor Feature: Meet Kelsey Grieve

Learn more about the campaign here.

Thanks for taking the time to chat with us, Kelsey. We’d love to hear about your journey and what you’re up to now!

I graduated with a Marketing degree from St.FX  in 2016 and was unsure what my next step would be. I stumbled across Venture for Canada and applied to the Fellowship Program – thankfully I got in! That was a really transformative experience for me because it was a great stepping stone to help me figure out what I wanted to do.

I always knew I wanted to start my own kind of entrepreneurial venture, but never really knew what that was. 

I worked in a few different startups at a very early stage (like employee number seven), which was an interesting experience. After that, I moved on to actually working on the team at Venture for Canada, which I’m very grateful for. It was cool to be on both sides of the program, and to really see all the work that goes into it behind the scenes. From there, I moved into Real Estate. Now I’m a realtor in Toronto and I work all over, but primarily in the East End. Real estate seemed like a natural next step for me. I had family in real estate, and I like to call it a more structured form of entrepreneurship.

I think there are a lot of misconceptions around Real Estate. People know what it means to be a realtor but at the end of the day, you’re hustling, you’re building your own business, you’re building your own brand, and those are the most exciting parts of entrepreneurship to me.

It’s been a really rewarding and exciting experience to help people navigate the housing market, and you. It has had its ups and downs, but it’s been exciting to see how resilient the market has been, and it’s something I’ve grown to be very passionate about.

Outside of work, my other passion is food. I’m a big foodie!

What an incredible journey! There really are so many paths to an entrepreneurial career. Can you tell us why you’re passionate about supporting young Canadians seeking entrepreneurial opportunities?

I think entrepreneurship is really unique in the sense that it’s so wide open, and yet so undiscovered. Growing up, you know there are these set professions like doctors and lawyers and firefighters, and no one really talks about entrepreneurship. I am thankful to come from a family where my dad was a Real Estate agent, andt my grandparents owned their own businesses, so I had some exposure to entrepreneurship through them.

But it wasn’t really until I got to the later years of university and discovered Venture for Canada that I really started to understand what entrepreneurship is all about. Providing those opportunities sooner and more widely across Canada is really important because I think a lot of people would find that entrepreneurship is a great fit for them, but they just haven’t had that exposure.

I also think a lot of people think of “entrepreneurship” as these big Facebooks and Instagrams and Twitters, and at the end of the day, entrepreneurship doesn’t have to be this grand thing – it can be a small side hustle. It’s about the mindset.

It’s hard to know where to start and some people think, “I can’t do that” or “I don’t have millions of dollars in funding”. The more we can break that down and demystify entrepreneurship, the more we’ll see smaller businesses pop up and start growing. And that’s important because it always starts from something small.

Absolutely! Entrepreneurial mindset is HUGE! As you’ve pointed out, entrepreneurship looks different on everyone. So we’re curious … What is your vision for a more entrepreneurial and inclusive Canada? 

It’s really showcasing that entrepreneurship doesn’t have limits. The possibilities are wide open, and it’s really what you make it. Also to show people that we’re talking about different kinds of entrepreneurs. Demystifying and breaking that down to the essence of what entrepreneurship is. 

I think recognizing entrepreneurial behaviours and entrepreneurial mindsets is key. It’s really all about following a passion and building something, whatever that something is. Making it work for you and your goals and your lifestyle.

Lateefa Farah is a content creator who has a passion for listening and sharing people's inspirational...