In managing marketing strategies and campaigns for major global brands like Gillette and Avon, Bobbi Leach discovered her passion for growing businesses. Her natural inclination toward business development quickly led her to become a highly successful executive, as well as the founder of various ventures of her own.
“I always liked creating things from scratch. Back when I started working for a marketing agency in Ottawa, where I also became a partner, the original founder and I were the primary drivers for growing that business from essentially a few $100,000 to a few million in annual revenue. That’s really where I got my first taste.”
After earning an Executive MBA, she returned to her hometown in Victoria, BC, co-founding three startups and holding three CEO roles in the tech industry. When COVID hit, Bobbi decided to pause and reevaluate her path. Motivated by her drive to support women entrepreneurs, Bobbi shifted her focus toward helping women business owners navigate their own paths toward personal and strategic growth.
Discovery Foundation’s Strategic Mindset Program
With a vast pool of experiences to pull from, Bobbi joined Discovery Foundation’s Strategic Mindset Program as a Mentor in 2022, facilitating collaborative knowledge-sharing sessions among women business owners. She has returned to mentor another group of women in the program for 2023. This unique peer mentorship program, presented by WeBC, unites women entrepreneurs all over BC to build their networks in small groups led by experienced women tech leaders. The program uses WeBC’s award-winning Peer Mentoring model, which uses action learning to solve business problems in real time and supports women in growing their businesses.
“The Discovery Foundation Program is amazing because of its unique format. I’ve done a lot of one-on-one mentoring, which has its own value, but opening up a space that allows women from different backgrounds to come together and give each other advice and support provides a diversity of feedback that you can’t find elsewhere.”
Q: What challenges did you encounter on your journey as a business owner and entrepreneur?
A: The consistent theme through all of the businesses I’ve been involved in and something that many entrepreneurs struggle with is the revenue side of the business. If you’re in that business-to-consumer market, then in order to generate revenue you have to have a sizable marketing budget. Likewise, if you’re in a business-to-business market, you need to have the persistence and desire to drive a sales-focused mentality for your business.
Q: What do you feel is your greatest strength in your business?
A: I’m very comfortable in a sales role, which gives me a lot of stamina in the business development space. In my teenage years, I took on various jobs that allowed me to step out of my comfort zone, like raising funds for my softball team or being a tour guide and speaking to large audiences. That was a great foundation for me to begin developing various skills that allowed me to thrive as an entrepreneur.
Q: Why do you volunteer your time as a Mentor to help less experienced women business owners?
A: Being a founder or CEO of a company can be very lonely. In a lot of cases, there are things that you either don’t want to or can’t share with your staff. Having mentorship in place gives women business owners someone in their corner that listens, provides a safe environment, and allows them to think through their challenges, whether they’re personal or business.
Q: You have returned as a Mentor for this program again this year. What do you like about this specific mentorship program?
A: Leading and facilitating sessions for this program was a tremendous experience. I love its format and supportive environment. Having the group setting allows entrepreneurs coming from different backgrounds to share their unique experiences and perspective. Each week, it was someone else’s turn to talk about their business and the challenges they faced. At the end of the session, that entrepreneur always walked away with some fresh ideas, more clarity, and new resources to explore.
Q: What’s the biggest lesson you have learned while being in business for yourself?
A: Being an entrepreneur is an emotional rollercoaster. In the beginning, things are new and exciting, you have an idea and a plan to get to where you want to be, but eventually you hit a wall. You realize that building a business is hard and that’s why it’s so important to have support structures in place. Whether it’s a business partner, mentor, or a community like WeBC, pull from your support network, continue pursuing what is working well, and don’t get discouraged when you fail! It’s a part of every business journey.
Where to find Bobbi Leach
Connect with a Peer Group for your business journey
Would you like to connect with other women business owners, as Miki did? You have options!
- Apply now for Discovery Foundation’s Strategic Mindset Program, delivered by WeBC, for tech-focused and tech-enabled businesses
- Learn more about the WeBC Peer Mentorship program and join the waitlist to be notified of upcoming intakes