Lisa Williams | Winner of the 2018 National Startup Canada Entrepreneur of the Year Award
“I learned to share my goals and expectations with my business family so we can all grow together in the same direction”
Lisa is the founder of Unicare Home Health Care. In 2008, Lisa launched this first venture with one employee and one location in Miramichi, New Brunswick. In ten years, she has scaled to 6 locations, two additional businesses, and over 200 employees.
Her second venture, Uniclean Solutions is an eco-friendly cleaning company ranked among the top four in Northern New Brunswick.
Now on her third startup, Lisa is leading the development of new technologies to improve the safety and effectiveness of care workers and clients.
Lisa’s focus on customer service excellence has elevated her staff to be the best trained in New Brunswick delivering top-notch bilingual services. Lisa is a force to be reckoned with.
SN: What inspired you to become an entrepreneur?
LW: As my grandmother aged, she was able to remain in her home until her passing. I recognized a gap in the community for high quality in-home care; with the growing population of seniors in this area. I started Unicare Inc. to give all seniors access to the best in-home care possible and the dignity and independence of staying in their homes.
SN: What is the biggest lesson you have learned to date?
LW: I have, over the past 10 years, learned to keep my business environment positive, with people who are encouraging, energetic and forward thinking.I learned to share my goals and expectations with my business family so we can all grow together in the same direction.
SN: What advice do you have to those starting up today?
LW: I would tell an new entrepreneur, “Don’t be an island!” because entrepreneurship can be a very lonely road to travel, you must reach out to other like minded business professionals; who understand what you are going through. Networking is key to staying connected to your business community, either in person or online. Search out mentors that can guide you through the ups and downs of your business journey.
SN: What is the one thing you think we need to do as a nation, today, to position Canada as a global innovation and entrepreneurial leader?
LW: Nationally, Canada needs a unified in-home health care strategy. We need to see the same standards being applied unilaterally in every province and in every home.
Programs and training for each in-home caregiver should also be the same from coast to coast. This would give every Canadian the same high quality and standard of in-home service. As seniors are moving from east to west as they retire; these strategies must be developed and funded nationally for the quality and standards of care to be provided locally.
SN: What is your message to the world?
LW: The necessity of wellness is my global message. I see sickness everyday and want people to become more proactive about their health. The ‘wellness factor’ is paramount in everything we do as humans and I want to focus on keeping people well. No matter where you live in the world or what you do for a living; your health and wellness is key to your best life.
“The doctors of the future will give no medicine, but will interest his patients in the care of the human frame, diet and in the cause and prevention of disease” – Thomas Edison
SN: How have you benefited from being a recipient of the Startup Canada Awards so far?
Winning the Start Up Award had created a greater awareness for Unicare and shone a light on the growing need of in-home care throughout New Brunswick. Publicly sharing the personal story behind the company has made Unicare more relatable to people in the community. This award has created more mentorship opportunities. After the awards, other women in business have asked me to mentor them. I am more recognized as an expert in my industry, and have been sought out for my expertise.