Founder & Managing Partner
Learn how Lisa Hooey's compelling vision and unwavering persistence are reshaping the fundraising landscape.
Step into Canada's first woman-led traditional search fund, as Lisa Hooey champions a new era for female entrepreneurs.
Discover Lisa Hooey's unique approach to embracing challenges, fostering win-win business acquisitions, and turning setbacks into stepping stones.
Lisa Hooey embraced a pivotal moment in her professional career when she made the decision to leave Scotiabank Global Banking and Markets after seven years of honing her financial acumen, exiting as Associate Director of Global Loan Syndications, to embark on the path of becoming an acquisition entrepreneur. Drawing on her extensive experiences in the corporate world, including international expansion, driving operational efficiencies, and executing high profile deals in global banking, Lisa was inspired to pursue entrepreneurship through the search fund model. It resonated with her, as it allowed her to leverage her transactional experiences while returning to her operational roots and fulfilling her passion for entrepreneurship.
She launched her fund called Freda Capital—the name an homage to her strong and inspirational grandmother. Lisa is quick to acknowledge the people who provided the crucial guidance she needed in her early days of exploring this path including her mentors, advisors and other search fund entrepreneurs. She learned from them, including how to identify valuable investors who were truly beneficial partners rather than mere sources of capital. By being methodical, she was able to compile a list of ideal investors, some of whom graciously made introductions on her behalf.
Importance of Vision and Persistence in Fundraising
Before she formally launched her fundraise, she took the time to cultivate relationships with these investors, understanding their pivotal role as long-term partners in her entrepreneurial journey. One critical lesson she shares is the importance of hustle in the fundraising stage, comparing it to the effort needed in finding a business to buy. A successful fundraise, she emphasizes, requires professionalism, a clear vision, persistent follow-ups, and a compelling pitch.
However, the most crucial part is defining your deep "why," which is not the financial upside the search fund model can provide but the intrinsic motivation that keeps you going when the going gets tough.
"Your why is not the potential financial upside, but that deep why that's going to really keep you going when things get hard. That's something investors really like to hear."
For Lisa, part of her unwavering motivation stems from her resolute dedication to forging a path for more women role models in entrepreneurship and executive positions. As Canada's first exclusively woman-led traditional search fund, she feels a profound sense of obligation to surpass expectations and demonstrate the immense value that women leaders bring to the table. Her determination to "knock it out of the park" is fueled by the aspiration to inspire more investors to embrace and support women leaders, fostering a more inclusive and diverse business landscape.
Advice for Aspiring Female Entrepreneurs and Investors
When asked what advice she'd give to aspiring female entrepreneurs and investors, Lisa emphasizes the importance of believing in oneself. Acknowledging the common struggles women face, including self-doubt and imposter syndrome, Lisa encourages women to have faith in their own abilities and experiences, urging them to embrace calculated risks. She also emphasizes the value of building a solid network, sharpening one's skills, and being resilient as critical elements for success.
Lisa highlights the significance of fostering transparent and trusting relationships with potential sellers when considering businesses to acquire. By understanding their motivations for selling and ensuring a genuine need for an operator to assume control, Lisa's focus on relationship-building proves vital for overcoming acquisition challenges and securing long-term success. Her objective is to achieve a win-win outcome for business owners, leveraging the flexibility her fund provides to preserve their years of hard work and sacrifice while driving sustainable growth that builds upon their legacy.
Resilience and the Power of Embracing New Opportunities
As she puts it, setbacks are inevitable when you're reaching for the stars, but they should be embraced as valuable learning opportunities rather than insurmountable roadblocks. In her perspective, each setback encountered along the entrepreneurial path has the potential to fuel personal growth, refine strategies, and ultimately propel one closer to success.
Lisa leaves us with her personal mantra:
"When one door closes, another one opens."
Even if a path doesn't work out, it may be leading you to a better one.
Final Thoughts and Invitation to Connect
Freda Capital's growth strategy emphasizes long-term planning and investment in the acquired business. Lisa intends to cultivate a robust company culture that encourages creativity, innovation, and learning from mistakes. Her diverse experiences, including her time as a competitive athlete and server, have bolstered her resilience, discipline, and personable approach – essential skills for effectively leading and inspiring a high-performing team.
As a trailblazer in the search fund space, Lisa is setting an example for aspiring entrepreneurs who wish to leverage their skills and passions through the search fund model. Her dedication to preserving a legacy, building trust, and fostering sustainable growth will undoubtedly contribute to Freda Capital's success as she continues her journey to acquire and grow an exceptional business.
In conclusion, Lisa extends an invitation to connect with any business owner looking to transition their business. She asks that Freda Capital be kept in mind and invites potential business partners to reach out to her via LinkedIn. She is a testament to the power of resilience, self-belief, and being open to new opportunities and pathways. Her journey offers valuable insights and advice for aspiring female entrepreneurs and investors looking to break into the industry.
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