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Leading with Pride: Corrie Melanson on Entrepreneurship and Inclusivity 

In 2009, Corrie Melanson founded Sea Change CoLab, a business that helps organizations across all sectors create transformational learning experiences. By leveraging evidence-based research, personal development, and a hands-on learning approach, Sea Change CoLab aims to foster positive change. “Learning is a part of everything we do,” Corrie emphasizes. 

Entrepreneurship offers numerous benefits, including freedom, personally and professionally, the ability to create impact, and financial stability. Corrie shares that “entrepreneurship is a lot of work, but there is so much potential, you can transform your life. With your own business there is an ability to set goals and identify where we want to be”  

Through Corrie’s connection with the CWB, Corrie has had opportunities to build social connections, and receive financial and strategic advice. Corrie shared, “I’ve taken part in CWB’s Coffee Talk program where I was able to meet other business owners, and I discovered great opportunities that benefited my business. I had the chance to develop a growth plan through CWB’s CAS program, which significantly impacted my decision-making process for future business plans. It helped me clarify our goals and determine how we would achieve them.”  

The business world has changed significantly since the pandemic, especially in terms of how we work. “I love the idea that people on my team can regulate their own time and energy. I don’t care where or when you do the work as long as you do the work.”  

For those interested in starting a business, Corrie’s biggest tip is to, “Go for it! Finding mentors who have lived experience is key, build a solid community and connect with other women and gender-diverse people. Entrepreneurs have a ‘fail forward’ mentality, trying things out, testing them, and learning from the outcomes.” 

As an advocate for the 2SLGBTQ+ community personally and professionally, Corrie reflects during Pride month on its meaning within the business community. “Pride is not only a time to celebrate but also a time to create awareness, have important conversations, and share stories that haven’t always been represented in the business world. It’s a time to affirm diversity and belonging.”  

“It’s also a time to identify gaps. Yes, we’ve come this far, but where are the gaps, and what can we do to close them?” 

Pride doesn’t just end in June. “At Sea Change CoLab, we provide a lot of training around allyship, ensuring that people in positions of power have the correct tools and understand why inclusion and allyship are important. This work doesn’t change unless allies make the change too. It’s great to be a good ally, but what does that look like in practice?”  

“For anyone, entrepreneurs, small businesses, or large corporations wanting to become more inclusive, my biggest tip is to embrace intersectionality. Hiring people from diverse backgrounds not only has huge financial advantages but also brings a wider array of skills and expands the knowledge base within your business.” 

Not only is it important to celebrate and support Pride month in June but let’s make sure to carry the spirit all year round. Happy Pride!  

Learn more about Sea Change CoLab here: