IG: a coach, a quarterback and an all-star team
As Nurture Growth’s EVP Marketing & Business Development, Le Luong says the Rhyze Up! program provided her with an amazing support network. “Linda [Horowitz] is like the coach pulling resources together and Peter [Warmels] is like the quarterback,” she said.
Nurture Growth rescues food waste and transforms it into safe organic fertilizer for commercial and home use.
Rhyze Up! has provided a high-level of expertise and leadership that as an entrepreneur, Luong would not otherwise be able to afford. One of the things she values most from the program is the relationships she developed with the four IG mentors with whom she worked. “Even when the project is done, they are still available through fee for service opportunities. Continuity moving forward is important.”
She also said as opposed to agencies that prioritize the size of a project, she never had to worry about whether she would be a priority with IG. “I felt a warmth with IG, it’s entrepreneur-friendly.”
Luong says IG helped her address leadership performance, speaking with the Board about expectations and understanding different personalities. “Integrity is important to me and the ability to flex to other personalities and better understand them increases my performance,” she said, adding that mentor Eric Solowka helped her learn the best way to communicate with others based on their traits. Although she had learned about personality traits before, Luong said that in working with Eric she now has the maturity to understand the importance of empowering her team. “It’s about providing that spark that ignites and inspires my team,” she said. “That has been most insightful. Discovering how to ignite the spark makes me feel like a good leader.”
While Nurture Growth promotes their product as 100 per cent organic, having completed garden surveys, they learned what people really resonated with was the rescue of food waste. As a result, IG mentor Saska Brussaard provided guidance that inspired Nurture Growth to update labels and messaging with new key messages backed by the expert advice of IG’s mentors.
“Buyers now have a clear reason to buy,” Luong said, “our messaging is tapping into the why buy vs the what we are.”
Luong referred to IG’s mentors as an all-star team with in-depth experience – everyone is a superstar! The project work has helped build the fundamentals to ensure sustainable growth and gain exposure to the right people. In fact, she said her team really appreciated Dr. John Kelly who helped them understand the unique characteristics of the farming community as well.
As an entrepreneur you can’t do it all on your own, she said. If a company qualifies for Rhyze Up! they should do it! “You might find out what you think you need isn’t what you really need,” she added. “Especially for women, it gives them an extra little bit of a push for success.”
“I’ve grown as a leader,” she said. “There’s been a lot of positive change and I just want to thank Innovation Guelph.”