Volume 10 Week 10

Monday, Nov. 20


 

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Tim Tierney

 

 

 

   

 

(Posted 9:30 a.m., Oct. 19)
Modest Orléans start-up looking for angel investor
By Fred Sherwin
Orléans Online

Three women on a mission to help others who are facing mental and physical challenges integrate into the digital work-force, are looking for help to grow their Orléans-based business.

The Innovation and Creation Lab was founded by Huguette Jean-François, Lynne Collins and Nicole Baptiste, all of whom either lived with disabilities themselves, or have children who are dealing with mental or physical issues. The company’s motto is “Inspire, Dream, Transform”.

The Innovation and Creation Lab is the brainchild of friends and colleagues Nicole Baptiste (left), Lynne Collins and Huguette Jean-François. Fred Sherwin/Photo

“We all have been discriminated against in the workplace because of our disabilities,” admits Jean-François, who is the company’s president and CEO. “(The Lab) is a way to help women who are in the same situation.”

The women provide three major consulting services through their company in accounting, management and creative services, all areas in which they excel.

Some of the courses include: Website Design; Design and Editing; Authors and Publishing; Business Innovation; and an Introduction to Bookkeeping. They also provide mentoring services to young female entrepreneurs.

A dozen volunteers, eight women and two men, support them in their efforts. When they are able to afford employees, Jean-François promises they will always hire women.

After only nine months in business, the company is still in its infancy and Jean-François readily admits its been slow going thus far: “We have a few small contracts, but it is still not enough to afford a salary and carry out our mission.”

That’s why the company is actively looking for help for a proper start-up. The monetary assistance would allow them to rent a proper space and buy equipment.

“The business runs in my living room. That’s where we work every day. When we meet our volunteers, they come to my house, or we book a room in the library,” says Jean-François.

Without the necessary financing, the three businesswomen find themselves unable to fulfill their corporate mission. In addition to the desire to equip women with disabilities to integrate into the labor market, they want to set up a laptop recycling service and send them to girls schools in Haiti.

Anyone looking to avail themselves of the services offered by the Innovation and Creation Lab can call 613-699-0488, or visit innovationcreationlab.org.

Although the site is currently only in English, Jean-François promises a French version will be available by the middle of November.

(This story was made possible thanks to the generous support of our local business partners.)

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