FrontFundr Proudly Welcomes Jill Earthy as Chief Growth Officer
We are very excited that Jill Earthy is joining FrontFundr as our Chief Growth Officer. Jill brings tremendous value to the company through her years of experience as a serial entrepreneur and in her leadership roles with various renowned organizations supporting entrepreneurs. Her vast experience in entrepreneurship, strategy, business development and community engagement will be highly valuable as we expand our company across Canada and internationally.
Adding a professional of Jill’s caliber to our team strengthens our position to achieve our goal of becoming the leading funding and investment platform in Canada, with strong footprints internationally.
Having launched last May, FrontFundr is a first mover in Canada’s emerging investment crowdfunding space. It is now imperative that we grow our presence in startup ecosystems across the country, both on the investor and entrepreneur sides. As Chief Growth Officer, building strategic relationships and alliances will be Jill’s primary focus within the management team.
With Jill joining us, FrontFundr is entering a new phase in its development: growing the business full throttle!
About Jill Earthy
Jill Earthy is an entrepreneurially-minded leader with a passion for supporting entrepreneurship. After completing her MBA at the University of Victoria, she successfully built two companies, grew them nationally and then sold them.
For the past 8 years she has led two non-profit organizations focused on supporting entrepreneurs through the provision of financing, mentorship and education, including five years as CEO of the Forum for Women Entrepreneurs BC. As a community leader and active mentor, Jill serves on the Board of Governors for Simon Fraser University and the Board of the Women’s Enterprise Centre, and is Co-Chair of the WEB Alliance, a collective of over 25 women’s business networks.
Jill has been recognized as a BIV Top 40 under 40 (2010), Top 100 by The International Alliance for Women (2011), as a finalist for the YWCA Women of Distinction Awards, and recently as one of University of Victoria’s 25 Alumni to Watch.
Get to know Jill Earthy
What excites you most about FrontFundr?
I love the tagline: The New Capital Market. It’s time for a shift in the market to connect more entrepreneurs with a broader network of investors, and vice versa. The opportunity to work with a great team to make this happen is very exciting.
How did you know FrontFundr was the perfect fit for you?
FrontFundr offers an opportunity for me to build on my passion of supporting entrepreneurs across Canada, while also educating a new group of investors.
How do you see equity crowdfunding evolving over the next 1-3 years?
Canada has some catching up to do in this space! Both entrepreneurs and investors are seeking new ways to connect and succeed; equity crowdfunding offers an effective and efficient way to do this. It also elevates awareness of investment opportunities by showcasing businesses that may not otherwise be profiled.
With the very recent changes in legislation, it will take a bit of time to educate both entrepreneurs and investors on the merits of equity crowdfunding; however, after a few success stories, I believe we will see a quick uptake. FrontFundr is well positioned to lead the way!
How will your experience with Futurpreneur help you in your new role?
For the past three years, I’ve been helping young entrepreneurs access financing, either through the Futurpreneur Canada program or other avenues that may be a better fit for their particular situation. I’ve become very familiar with the numerous resources available to entrepreneurs across Canada and have developed a strong network in the space. I understand the needs of entrepreneurs and love helping them access what they need to move forward. My role at FrontFundr is a perfect fit as I’ll be able to continue to make these connections.
You're heavily involved in supporting female entrepreneurs and investors. How will FrontFundr help you continue this mission?
FrontFundr fills a very important gap in the marketplace. Only 4% of venture capital in Canada goes to female entrepreneurs. There are several reasons for this. Research indicates that women entrepreneurs tend to ask for smaller amounts of capital. Another factor may be that less than 15% of Canada’s venture capitalists are women. However, women are 4x more likely to be funded by crowdfunding than traditional finance. By offering equity crowdfunding, FrontFundr is providing a new option for both women entrepreneurs and investors.
What is the #1 piece of advice you offer female entrepreneurs?
Don’t be afraid to ask. People want to understand how they can help, and it often just comes down to asking a question. If the person you’re asking can’t help, they will often direct you to someone who can. There truly is no such thing as a bad question. If you don’t ask, you will not move forward.
What about your #1 piece of advice for female investors?
Be open to exploring new opportunities. Do your research but also check your gut. Ask questions, be smart and understand your risk tolerance. FrontFundr provides a great platform for investors to take smaller risks in really interesting companies.
What fuels your passion to shape Canada’s ecosystem for young entrepreneurs?
Entrepreneurs are the foundation of our economy, and young entrepreneurs are our future. As a proud Canadian and former entrepreneur, I understand the importance of entrepreneurship but also how difficult it is to build a successful business. We all need to support young entrepreneurs by providing access to resources including mentorship, capital and education.
What is your idea of happiness at work?
Working with good people in a high energy environment to help move entrepreneurs and ideas forward.
Do you have any rituals or routines that keep you energized -- or grounded?
Spending time outside helps keep me both energized and grounded. I just signed up for my first half marathon later this fall!
Do you have any advice on how an entrepreneur can build a strong network?
Be authentic and follow up. To build a strong network, be yourself. Identify people who can help you and then reach out with a clear ask. The key is to also ask how you can help them. Both parties need to feel valued and relationships are built on trust. Always follow up on whatever you say you will do.