Entrepreneur Profile: Trish Long and Sarah Grant, founders of Goldfinch Energy

Staples is proud to support Canadian entrepreneurs with tools and resources to help them build their businesses and turn their dreams into reality. That’s why, together with Ownr (by RBC Ventures), Shopify and Moneris, we joined the Canada Starts initiative to support Canadian entrepreneurs by awarding grants to help them get their big idea off the ground. We caught up with Trish Long, founder of Goldfinch Energy to find out how her business venture is going since being awarded a Canada Starts grant.

Tell us a bit about your business

Goldfinch Energy helps clients modernize their homes with the latest clean technologies. Our services include helping plan for a green renovation, doing energy audits to earn rebates, fixing rooms that are too hot or too cold, and installing the latest cleantech solutions like low-carbon HVAC and solar PV. We help clients save money and reduce emissions!

How did you get started?

Sarah and I were both working on climate-based events when the pandemic started. When those were inevitably cancelled, we had a blank slate to reinvent how we worked on climate solutions. Having watched how much people enjoy their electric cars, we decided to help homeowners take the next step by reducing or eliminating their reliance on fossil fuels for home heating. Not enough people know that heat pumps, which provide both heating and cooling, are the low-carbon alternative to burning gas. Many people are switching out their furnaces for heat pumps.

How did COVID-19 shape your business idea?

Sarah and I were among the first energy advisors to undertake online training during COVID-19. We also took our exams, separately, in a practically empty exam centre. Doing everything online helped us prepare for the lockdowns. We learned how to help people remotely and we can offer these services to people outside our region.

Why did you decide to start a business during the COVID-19 pandemic?

Necessity is the mother of invention! We knew it was a risk, but with everyone feeling so uncertain we knew we wouldn’t be alone. Canada needs to modernize its economy and our hope is that people will join our effort to cut emissions and choose cleantech alternatives.

What’s your greatest struggle as a business owner right now?

The lockdowns have been necessary, but they’ve been a tough blow to a lot of businesses. It has been challenging to start up and slow down several times over, however, we’ve recently reopened, and demand is greater than ever.

What are your expectations for 2021 as an entrepreneur?

Nothing could be tougher than 2020! Regardless of the way things go with the pandemic, we’ve become incredibly open-minded to quickly adapting to the current situation. While visiting clients in person is ideal, we can also continue to meet virtually. There’s also so much opportunity – brand new federal rebates provide homeowners with up to $5,000 for heat pumps, Solar PV and efficiency upgrades. The timing for Goldfinch Energy couldn’t be better!

Where do you think entrepreneurs should invest their time and money?

I think it’s important that we all do our part to help modernize the economy. We need real solutions to combat climate change and they need to be rapidly scalable. I would love it if every entrepreneur could think about steps they could take to help make their business a little more sustainable.

What keeps you inspired and working every day?

The fact that many solutions to combat climate change already exist. We just need our communities to implement these changes for the better.

What tips do you have for aspiring entrepreneurs in 2021?

Go for it! It was a scary leap, but we’re so glad we did it. It’s amazing to be purpose-driven and doing work we love.

How does Staples Canada help your business?

We loaded up on office supplies from Staples and use their printing services, so our materials look professional.

Learn more at www.goldfinchenergy.ca

Facebook: @Goldfinchenergy

Check out Small Business & Entrepreneurship on our Working and Learning Blog to learn more about how Staples Canada is supporting Canadian entrepreneurs.

By Staples Canada

August 02, 2021

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