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Economy and entrepreneurship

Créavenir: Do you need certain personality traits to start a business? Tina Pranjić, CEO of Élance, thinks so.

January 30, 2024

In this third of 4 profiles, we'll take a look at how the Créavenir program can propel your startup with accessible financing and personalized support. We spoke with Tina Pranjić, co-founder and CEO of a tech startup that helps organizations adopt and improve their equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) practices. 

A second-generation immigrant who majored in gender studies at McGill University, Tina Pranjić started her career as an EDI consultant. A few years later, she and a colleague noticed 2 interesting things. First, organizations don't have the tools required to implement EDI practices in the workplace. Second, they don't have any data to measure their progress. Tina co-founded Élance in 2022 in hopes of improving things.

Despite holding a graduate diploma in business administration and management from HEC Montréal, this step was a giant leap for the young entrepreneur. The challenges she encountered along the way made her believe you need specific skills to start a business.

1. Courage

"The entrepreneurial journey is riddled with obstacles and pitfalls. You need to have a desire to overcome adversity without letting it get to you." 

Even if it's a powerful motivator, fear can also be paralyzing. Being in business requires a great deal of bravery. According to Tina, you have to be comfortable with the idea that you'll need to find courage on a regular basis, if not daily. For example, fear of failing, not having enough cash flow, not adopting the right approach, missing an opportunity or saying the wrong thing to your clients means you have to be comfortable thinking to yourself, "Okay, I might be scared right now, but I'm determined to keep going and give it a shot."

2. Resilience

"It's really hard. It's sad to say, but unless you can be positive on a daily basis, you're just not going to make it."

As an entrepreneur, you learn to expect the unexpected. If you want to reach your goals, you need to be open to everything. This mindset helps you deal with challenges head on and be more adaptable. As a result, each challenge creates an opportunity to learn and get stronger in the process. Something that feels hard today can feel easy tomorrow. You're building a foundation that you can rely on for years to come. 

On the other hand, repetition is also part of a day's work. The situations we encounter tend to be cyclical or recurring. They're also rarely unprecedented. "We're never alone in what we experience," Tina says. "The steps involved in running a business tend to be the same for everyone." Speaking and collaborating with others can be a big help.

3. Open-mindedness 

"The Créavenir program gives you access to banking tools like a line of credit, a credit card and a grant."

Although Élance's advisory services allowed the company to access the cash flow it needed to stay afloat and develop their technological platform early on, financing can still be a major hurdle. Businesses need to keep their ear to the ground to make sure they're aware of the various programs and grants available, so they know where to go when they need it.

"The Créavenir Youth Entrepreneurship Program introduced us to Desjardins Business. That led to great things," Tina says. She's referring to the many opportunities that came out of that meeting, including Desjardins's Startup in Residence program, which she got to be a part of.                                                             

Being open-minded makes it easier to be aware of what's going on around you, so you can make adjustments in real time. "Startups are not stable. And that's okay, because that's what we need to innovate and stay agile and in tune with the needs of our clients."


To learn more about the Créavenir Youth Entrepreneurship Program, check out the free information session about financing your company (in French only). It could be your turn to take action and make the most of the program. Learn more!