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Small Business Week: Digital Presentations from our Speakers

The YWCA Hamilton hosted expert guest speakers online and at our Putman location for Small Business Week October 2023.

The theme of the online event was Addressing Gaps in Technology through Entrepreneurship. Attendees heard from insightful guest speakers on new ways to use technology in your entrepreneurship journey and think outside the box on approaches to modern issues through a technological lens.

The theme of the in-person event was Innovation and Thinking Outside the Box. Guests spoke about community building, bouncing back from challenges and thinking outside the box throughout your entrepreneurship journey from successful entrepreneurs.

Below you will find digital presentations for our Guest Speakers from both the online and in person event.

Laura Schaefer
The Impact of User Experience

Laura Schaefer is a Director of Product Design at Loblaw Digital, overseeing product design teams for Loblaw Media and Design System/Platforming initiatives. Laura also teaches Inclusive Design at Sheridan College’s Digital Product Design graduate program.

Working in the digital design space for over 15 years, she followed her interests and worked through various roles and skill sets, from illustration to art direction to UX strategy. Finally, she landed in Product Design as a culmination of her skills.

Lily Varga
AI for Small Business

Lily Varga is a seasoned Digital Creative Director at Saatchi & Saatchi, with more than a 15-year career dedicated to shaping the digital landscape. With an innate talent for crafting flawless user experiences, she seamlessly marries innovation and design, setting the bar high in her pursuit of cutting-edge solutions. Lily’s fervor for new technology fuels her boundless creativity, making her an indispensable force in the ever-evolving world of digital marketing and design.

Alyssa Lancia
Small Business, Big Impact: Engage, Empower, Excel in the Community

Alyssa Lancia, the founder of Darling Donuts and Werk Nights, is a passionate community builder in Hamilton. With her Gourmet Baked Mini donuts and her passion for building female entrepreneurial connections through Werk Nights, Alyssa is a driving force behind creativity and community in the city. Alyssa is also part of the Centre for Entrepreneurship team at Mohawk College. When she’s not working, she enjoys spending time with her toddler, husband, and golden doodle, and loves checking out new restaurants and events in the city.

Dr. Audrey Jamal
Community Wealth Building: A path toward building more sustainable and equitable economies

Audrey Jamal, PhD is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Management and the Assistant Dean (Strategic Partnerships and Societal Impact) in the Gordon S. Lang School of Business and Economics at the University of Guelph.

Audrey is a community-engaged researcher. Her research focuses on the role of community leadership in building local economies. Audrey’s research aims to build stronger, more resilient communities and looks at everything from community wealth building to newcomer integration, downtown renewal, entrepreneurship, and the sharing economy.

She earned her Ph.D. (Urban Planning) from the University of Waterloo and holds a M.A. in Conflict Analysis and Management from Royal Roads University.
Audrey’s research has seen her collaborate with the Canadian Urban Institute, Social Innovation Canada, Community Foundations Canada, 10 Carden Shared Spaces, and the Shorefast Foundation.

Prior to joining Lang, Jamal served as the Chief of Staff in the Office of the President at the University of Guelph. In this role, she was focused on advancing campus-wide sustainability initiatives. She has previously held executive roles in the not-for-profit sector and has an extensive background in government relations, project management and fundraising.

Milli Gould Entrepreneutial Centre

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The YWCA Hamilton acknowledges the support of Innovation, Science and Economic Development.

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