Owner: Sophie Dupont
Established: 1998
Q and A Session with Sophie Dupond, Ergo-Consult-O.T.

Q: How did you choose your business name?
SD: In the early days, we were a company that manufactured feeds for aquaculture under the name Corey Feed Mills. As our company grew, we expanded our catalogue to include pet foods. At this time, the name Corey Feed Mills no longer fit our business. In 2010, we transformed to Corey Nutrition Company to better reflect our principles of high-quality pet and aquaculture feeds. Using our family name is a point of pride, a measure of quality and an opportunity to communicate our family values to our customers.

Q: How would you describe your business?


SD: We offer occupational therapy services to maximize the client's functional potential. Activity/ occupation is at the centre of our approach, it is the intervention tool in occupational therapy. For example, we allow the child to operate better at school and at home, adults to return to work or function better at home following an illness and/or accident. The occupational therapist intervenes at the very core of the being by allowing the client to succeed in his or her daily life! We work in conjunction with other professionals in an interdisciplinary team, to allow people to give meaning to their lives. What a reward as health professionals!

Q: What are your current markets?
SD: Our activities take place primarily in New Brunswick and Quebec. Our clientele is comprised of the private and public sector, including motor vehicle and long-term disability insurance, industrial accident victims, private companies, provincial and federal governments, as well as individuals.

Q: What markets would you like to penetrate in the short-term?
SD: To be able to offer more services to clients with chronic pain and mental health issues as well as to pediatric clients. The purchase of service from the private sector must be strongly considered by public authorities in order to overcome a glaring lack of services from children with physical as well as psychological and social difficulties.

Q: What are your greatest achievements and successes?


SD: To be able to share my passion for work with other colleagues and health professionals by providing them with a stimulating job in a friendly work environment since, yes, it is possible to have fun at work! Ergo-Consult-O.T. --will be celebrating its 22 years in business. In a small environment, removed from large centres and in a field of practice where financial coverage is still a challenge, the long-term viability of our business is in itself a great success! This is made possible thanks to the joining of forces of each member of an extraordinary team!

Q: What are the biggest challenges you encountered as a woman entrepreneur?


SD: I wouldn't say I experienced any bigger challenges as a woman entrepreneur. In my case, to be an entrepreneur, whether male or female, is to decide to make your passion a business. Work is then never seen as a sacrifice and challenges are only fuel for reaching new heights, sex/gender has little to do with it in our profession. Ah yes, I forgot, at the very beginning when starting the business, a financial institution required my spouse's signature to endorse my project ... it's a shame because they lost a good client! But luckily with all the programs that exist today, there seems to have been a positive development in helping women to start a business. Obviously, a good business idea, whether by a woman or a man, is a good idea! I think we finally got it!

Q: What are some tips for a woman starting a business?


SD: To surround yourself well right from the start! Do not try to do everything alone but rather go and find people who are competent in their field. We can't know everything, and we don't have to know everything! If we are surrounded by trusted people, the viability and success of the business will follow! Stand out in what you want to offer, don't "repeat" what is done elsewhere just to be in business. You will gain the respect of your customers and from the business world.

Like I always say, make sure you do something you love, be passionate about it, so working hours will never be a sacrifice. Take action--the challenges will simply be an impetus to move forward. Besides, enthusiasts are rarely "balanced" people!