The Women Founder alum series aim to highlight stories of women entrepreneurs and startups who were/are part of the Women in Leadership/Women Founder program at Parkdale Centre for Innovation. We hear from the founders on where they’re currently at with their business, some of the successes and challenges they’re facing, life, and everything in between.
The last time we caught up was summer of 2019 as part of the Women in Leadership program, it seems like ages ago! Can you share some exciting milestones and breakthroughs you’ve had since then for your business?
Yes, it definitely feels like ages ago! Shortly after the program, I began prepping for EGO’s annual Stay Whole Retreat (SWR)—which was partially funded by ArtReach & TAC. I got to offer 10 scholarship spots for women to attend! I look forward to the retreat each year, because it’s such a beautiful wrap up of the work, myself and the women in my community, have put into ourselves throughout the year. In 2019, I had 6x the number of attendees compared to the previous year so that was super exciting!
During the school semester my focus is usually on course work & facilitating workshops—I got to work with 4 different schools (including the one I attend!) & booked my first corporate client! I also started a creative writing & performance workshop series for students at Humber College—in a collective with two of my school mates. We are currently hosting virtual summer sessions on Thursdays @ 5pm (follow @speakblac for more details). I loved that I got to share some of my facilitation knowledge & skills with my colleagues and our participants.
I’ve been continuing along with what I’ve always loved doing. Which is creating pockets of communities that value prioritizing their wellness while being in, and building community.Igho Diana
What has been the biggest challenge you’ve encountered as a result of COVID19? Has COVID19 had any positive impacts on your business?
Since the start of quarantine I was very intentional about how I was choosing to respond to it, as well as the language I use concerning it all. So, I haven’t encountered any challenges—but more so opportunities to pivot. For instance, with the corporate client I booked: the plan was to go in and deliver an engaging & interactive presentation that would hopefully lead to on-going programming. Due to COVID19 and other circumstances, the presentation had to be virtual. The impact was a little different but it taught me to make my presentations, moving forward, dynamic enough to create higher impact whether virtually or in-person.
As someone who wears multiple hats, the quarantine definitely helped me slow down and focus on re-prioritizing my commitments.
What are you looking forward to over the next few months?
I’m looking forward to planning this year’s SWR! I look forward to it each year! It will be another pivot for sure, as it’ll be my first time hosting it as a virtual retreat. I have definitely been paying attention to elements of virtual gatherings that I have been enjoying so far. And I’m looking into adding these pieces into the retreat.
What are some ways people could support you and your business now?
I actually started a YouTube channel in May! I share tips on creating self-care systems, healthy habits and other wellness tips. I have gotten some really good feedback on the content and how it has been really supporting people—especially right now. So, I’d love to gain more traffic that way! I also have a self-paced Prioritizing Your Wellness course available for anyone looking to manage stress and maintain a lifestyle of ease & peace, during crises. And of course, if folks are just looking for daily wellness inspiration—they can follow me on IG @EGOInitiative.
Igho teaches Black women, youth & businesses how to create self-care systems & prioritize their wellnes. She’s a speaker, facilitator, and consultant. You can reach her on Instagram and support her work here.