Monica Kretschmer: CEO of Canadian Business Chicks shines all across Canada by helping other women shine

To bring women together. That is the entire purpose for Monica Kretschmer. To create a place where women feel empowered and are able to mentor each other. A place where women can network and find support while building their businesses. “I know firsthand the challenges, struggles women face in the corporate world and the strength that is required to start and scale a business. I had a vision to break barriers and silos and collaborate, and have been laser focused on this from the beginning,” says Kretschmer.

It all started when Kretschmer found herself suddenly single with a young child to take care of. She had a job in corporate Calgary, but always knew she wanted more. “I’ve always been an entrepreneur, always had ideas percolating… I’m a visionary, a connector.” She had this crazy idea of a place where women could work together to foster a community where diversity, innovation, recognition, mentorship and a disruptor mindset were all valued. Where women could feed their souls and their pocketbooks, all while finding much needed mentorship. A place where Purpose, with a capital P, could be found by all. To Kretschmer, everything is about Purpose. Everything she has gone through – all the hurdles and hardships – have led her to this point. Her Purpose is to help other women find their own Purpose. She loves the beauty and symmetry in that.

In 2014, she took the leap. Kretschmer quit her corporate job and set out on her own. “We only get a few opportunities in life to make a difference and if you don’t stop and pay attention to the lessons and pick up the bread crumbs you’re missing out,” says Kretschmer. It is with this mindset that she created The Nest and Canadian Business Chicks. “Canadian Business Chicks is a community of professional and entrepreneurial women with a passion for business and profit who embrace life with courage, confidence, commitment and integrity.”

To keep with the idea of community and mentorship, Kretschmer created an online and in-person community called The Nest. “The Nest Foundation is a non-profit organization that empowers women to live On Purpose through education, mentorship, and wellness to inspire dreams with courage confidence, commitment and integrity.” The Nest provides members a platform to connect, empower, learn and celebrate through Monthly Breaky networking events, business directory, speaker platform, Annual Women of Inspiration Awards, Special Events including International Women’s Day, BOSS Chicks Authentic Mentorship Program and The Nest Foundation to build a legacy and support the health, wellness, and financial freedom of single mommas and their children.”

It is The Nest Foundation that showcases where Kretschmer’s heart lies. As a single mom, she knows the struggles women face, and the sometimes herculean tasks single moms are required to take on, and she wants to give back to others and show that there is a way to make it. “The Nest Foundation empowers women to rebuild lives for themselves and their children with health, wellness, financial freedom and a memorable experience. The Nest Foundation partners with organizations who believe together we are stronger and can make a difference in the lives of others. The Nest Foundations transforms lives from the under ordinary to the extraordinary. We pay it forward by donating a portion from every membership to The Nest Foundation to empower single mommas and support programs to end domestic violence.”

In everything she does, Kretschmer adheres to her core values; courage, confidence, commitment and integrity. It is through these values that she has been able to create a business out of nothing but an idea of wanting to honour the women who gave her strength and helped carry her through her hard times. “I recall hiking in Canmore one day and scribing the draft for my whole business plan. It was clear… and included a celebration to honour the woman who had inspired me to greatness.”

Throughout every woman’s life, there are women who inspire us and who tell us that we can achieve anything. They’re our cheerleaders and our support system. It is through the Women of Inspiration Awards that Kretschmer is able to honour the women who inspire us all to achieve our dreams. “Kretschmer created Women of Inspiration as a legacy event to honor a woman who inspired her to greatness. Women of Inspiration celebrates women from all walks of life who lead, inspire and motivate… This year, the Women of Inspiration awards will celebrate 150 Women of Inspiration from across Canada and Award 11 Women of Inspiration with an extraordinary women’s empowerment event to recognize women who inspire.” The event September 30, 2017 and tickets can be purchased online at canadianbusinesschicks.com/event/women-of-inspiration/.

Kretschmer has a go big, or go home mentality. She is full of energy and a quirkiness that is not often found in a business setting. She is refreshingly down to earth and loves to laugh, which is often contagious. It is hard to remain straight faced around her. She brings her energy and business acumen to everything she does. When asked where she sees Canadian Business Chicks in 10 years, she laughs and says “world domination,” but then clarifies, “I want to go global with Women of Inspiration – building an international platform for celebrating women of inspiration across the globe to advance women personally and professionally through education, celebration, mentorship and inspiration.”

As our interview was coming to a close, I asked Kretschmer what her favourite part of this entire journey is and she answered, “the blank pages. Each page is fresh and a clean slate and is a chance for me to do something new and crazy.”  I think that’s beautiful. — Autumn Riley

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