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10 aspiring Concordia women entrepreneurs get behind-the-scenes access at C2 Montréal

The delegates will produce digital content to document the commerce and creativity conference, which features speakers Spike Lee, and Guy Laliberté
May 17, 2019
Ana Marinescu: “We want these students to embark on a shared mission." | Photo by Arianne Bergeron

Every May, entrepreneurs from around the world flock to the C2 Montréal Commerce + Creativity Conference. The event offers workshops, master classes and keynotes by industry icons and trailblazers — including, this year, filmmaker Spike Lee and musician and tech entrepreneur

Among the 2019 delegates will be 10 Concordia students.

The John Molson School of Business (JMSB) has partnered with C2 Montréal and URBANA Marketing to grant 10 women full and exclusive access to the forward-thinking business event, which runs at the C2 Montréal venue from May 22 to 24.

The selected student delegates will co-create digital content as they document their C2 experience.

The Women Entrepreneurship (WE) Initiative is the brainchild of Ana Marinescu (MBA 09), a JMSB lecturer and president of URBANA.

“The idea began in 2018 when the Government of Canada launched its Women Entrepreneurship Strategy. Its goal is to double the number of women entrepreneurs in Canada by 2025,” she says.

“I thought to myself, why don’t I apply the same design thinking approach I use to empower students and clients to co-create value and relevant solutions to help reach this objective?”

Marinescu held three design thinking workshops for aspiring women entrepreneurs, existing entrepreneurs, support organizations and business leaders. 

Her JMSB colleague Ingrid Chadwick, associate professor of management and director of the National Bank Initiative in Entrepreneurship and Family Business, observed the workshops and is using the findings to further her research on women in leadership.

Marinescu calls this Phase 1 of the WE Initiative.

Behind the scenes of C2 Montréal

The second phase is sending the 10 female students to C2.

The idea came from a conversation Marinescu had when she was presenting the WE Initiative to longtime friend and fellow Concordia alumna Caroline Lavergne (MBA 09), former editor-in-chief at C2.

She referred Marinescu to Julia Cyboran (BA 03), VP Marketing & Audience at C2, and another proud Concordia grad. They connected instantly over the same shared drive to help women achieve their full potential.

“We want them to embark on a shared mission to create value and viability among Canadian women entrepreneurs,” Marinescu says.

“These students will benefit from behind-the-scenes and personalized experiences during C2, team building and coaching provided by URBANA, access to a network of women leaders and entrepreneurs and the opportunity to collaborate with a production crew to document the experience.”

Interested students were asked to complete a questionnaire, submit their resumé and produce a short video that explains why they wanted to participate in the initiative.

The selected women come from Concordia’s four academic faculties. Follow them on social media to get the inside scoop of C2 Montréal.

Sarah Givens

Sarah Givens

MFA, sculpture, Faculty of Fine Arts / innovation, technology and society, Gina Cody School of Engineering and Computer Science

Givens is a maker of friends, designed objects and immersive experiences. She believes that playfulness is essential in the creation of meaningful interactions.

Find Givens on: LinkedInInstagramFacebook, and Twitter.

Paula Rueda

Paula Rueda

Innovation, technology and society, Gina Cody School of Engineering and Computer Science

Rueda is a sociologist and a social innovator. She is passionate about social change and developing connections. She has a desire to inspire others to make a difference.

Find Rueda on: Instagram, Facebook

Seynabou Ndiaye

Seynabou Ndiaye

Mathematics and statistics, Faculty of Arts and Science / Computer applications, Gina Cody School of Engineering and Computer Science

Ndiaye founded Aquantix, a Montreal-based startup that aims to ensure that the quality of fresh water sources remains good for future generations. Ndiaye is from Senegal and she takes the issue of climate change and water scarcity to heart.

Find Ndiaye on: LinkedIn, Facebook.

Phoebe Chang

Phoebe Chang

Applied human sciences, Faculty of Arts and Science

Chang is a Chinese Canadian who comes from a lineage characterized by perseverance, resilience and hope for a better future. She believes the key to living a healthy, fruitful life is building a positive relationship with oneself, which in turn allows us to build positive relationships with others.

Find Chang on: LinkedIn, Instagram here and here, Facebook, You are Here.

Berothie Cazeau

Berothie Cazeau

Human resource management, John Molson School of Business

Cazeau was born in Haiti, where she lived until she was 16. She is invested in helping others see their potential and achieve their dreams. She also loves digital marketing, entrepreneurship and event planning.

Find Cazeau on: LinkedIn.

Kelly McManus

Kelly McManus

Business technology management, John Molson School of Business

Hailing from Massachusetts, McManus was a musician, actress and stage manager in a past life. She is the operations manager at District 3 Innovation Center. McManus thinks entrepreneurship is a way to make an impactful, positive change in the world.

Find McManus on: LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter.

Nadeen Rayan

Nadeen Rayan

Translation studies, Faculty of Arts and Science

Rayan is a freelance translator. She specializes in French to English translation, while working with Spanish and Arabic as secondary languages. She strives to develop strong relationships, both professionally and personally, as she believes this is the foundation for her future success.

Find Rayan on: LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook.

Maria Stawnichy

Maria Stawnichy

Applied human sciences, faculty of arts and science

Stawnichy’s interest in leadership and entrepreneurship brought her to Montreal to study organizational development and change management. She is currently working at the dean’s office in the Faculty of Arts and Science. Stawnichy is thrilled to attend C2 to form new connections and explore the latest technology.

Find Stawnichy on: LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook.

Funmi Ajike

Funmi Ajike

Marketing, John Molson School of Business

Ajike has an international background and a taste for the intersection of business and creativity. Determined to go beyond her classroom and textbooks, she joined the WE Initiative, among other exciting adventures, for the upcoming academic year.

Find Ajike on: LinkedIn.      

Karina Bosca

Karina Bosca

Marketing, John Molson School of Business

Bosca loves the endless possibilities that come with creative marketing. She has been involved with student groups since her first year at JMSB and she just finished her mandate as president of the Commerce and Administration Students’ Association. Bosca strongly believes in the WE Initiative’s mission to support women entrepreneurs.

Find Bosca on: LinkedIn, Facebook.


Find out more about Concordia's John Molson School of Business. Follow C2 Montréal on social media using the hashtag #C2M19.


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