Fellow Interview with Sharita Henry

Sharita Henry is a graduate from the Honours Environment and Business Co-op program at the University of Waterloo. Currently, she works at Georgette Packaging Inc. as a Sales Consultant.

How were you inspired to be an environmentalist?

As a child, my mother made sure that I spent a lot of time outside; sports, camping, fishing, hiking, crafts. I developed an understanding of nature and a love for the environment at a very young age.

How do you see the future of environmentally conscious entrepreneurship?

I think that in order to be extremely successful, all businesses of the future are going to have to be “green”. Corporate Social Responsibility is becoming more and more mainstream in business practices, and for people looking to innovate for the future, environmental considerations are going to be a huge part of decision making and product development.

How much of who you are is what you do at work?

I work at a boutique package design and consulting firm. I love what I do; I’m all about the aesthetics. Working in an environment that values sustainability is fantastic. We offer compostable and recyclable product options, and print with plant-based inks. This is a perfect example of how environmentalism is being integrated into everyday business. For me, this perfectly embodies who I am.

What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced during your time at a startup, and how did you overcome the challenge?

The biggest challenge I’ve faced is “imposter syndrome.” Working for such a fast-growing company, it’s been amazing seeing things change so quickly, and as a recent grad, part of me still wonders if I’m the right person to be doing the job. To overcome this, I regularly check in with the founder and my co-workers to ensure that I’m working at the right pace. I remind myself that my job is to help our clients create a beautiful product, and as long as I’m doing that, I’m doing my job well!

Which is more valuable as an entrepreneur: imagination or analysis? Why?

Neither. I know plenty of entrepreneurs who are neither imaginative or analytical. I think the most valuable thing for an entrepreneur is to have passion for what you are doing. You can hire creatives, and you can hire people in analytics, but you cannot substitute the burning desire that an entrepreneur must have to get shit done. But if I had to pick one, I’d say imagination. It’s more fun to dream than it is to do. The doers can be hired.

Everyone has a good app idea. What’s yours?

I’ve actually just put my “app” on hold. I’m working on creating a software that allows parents and caregivers of persons with Autism Spectrum Exceptionalities to seamlessly track, trend, and share behavioural and medical issues. This means that doctors, therapists, teachers, parents, camp counsellors, and grandparents can all be aware of the person’s individualized care plan and management techniques.

If you could send a message to the entire world, what would you say in 2 lines?

Believe the scientists. Care about something.

What’s your favourite quote from a book you have read recently?

“If the windmill should prove too formidable,” said he, from the threshold, “I may see what can be done with the wind.” ― Rafael Sabatini, Scaramouche.

If you had to teach someone one thing, what would you teach?

Food sustainability. I’d teach someone how to start a garden and live off the land.

What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you hear Venture for Canada?

The next generation.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received during your time at Venture for Canada?

Find your passion.

What was your biggest ‘A-ha’ moment at Venture for Canada?

I’m competitive. Use that to my advantage.

Want to launch your career as an entrepreneur? Mark your calendars as our application for 2018 Fellowship goes live on 6th September!

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