If you speak with local small businesses owners in Saskatoon you will have a hard time finding one that won't mention the name Monica Kreuger, who has been a staple in the entrepreneurship industry in the province for 30 years.
“She is not only just dynamic she’s inspirational, she’s motivational, she’s sincere, and she’s truly helping entrepreneurs in Saskatoon,” Christina Cherneskey, a former student of Kreugers and CEO of her own company told CTV.
Kreuger was born in Illinois where her father was getting his doctorate before the family moved to Saskatoon while she was still young.
After completing her schooling in Saskatoon, Kreuger moved away to Toronto for work with Statistics Canada before coming back to Saskatoon after four years to be closer to family.
Kreuger went on to found Global Infobrokers, which just entered its 30th year of business. The company is dedicated to education, entrepreneurship, the environment, and global citizenry.
Through Global Infobrokers Kreuger was instrumental in the founding of Praxis School of Entrepreneurship.
“The style of teaching we do is what I would call entrepreneurship immersion. Everybody in our program is an entrepreneur. Everybody who is a facilitator, a coach, even the special presenters that we bring in, they all run their own businesses,” Kreuger told CTV.
“We wanted the experience to be that everywhere a person in the program turned, they had access to someone who understands the experience.”
Through the school, Kreuger said she has had 1,100 students come through the program to start their own business, many of whom have stayed in the province.
CTV received nearly 40 letters recommending Kreuger as Citizen of the year, with letters from multiple business owners whom Kreuger has helped, and even one from the president of the University of Saskatchewan.
Kreuger said during her time in the industry she has had to adapt a lot, keeping the curriculum fresh and relevant, providing the best information to would-be small business owners.
She said she loves her work and finds joy in spotting potential people haven’t seen in themselves yet.
“The thing I continue to enjoy the most is watching people where finally the light goes on that they have the ability inside themselves to create their own future.” Said Kreuger.
“We are here to help people find out who they are and understand that there’s a world of possibility open to them.”
In addition to her work through her companies, Kreuger has also served as the vice-chair on the Board of Directors with LutherCare Communities, President with the Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce, as a guest lecturer at the U of S, and is the co-founder of DancEgypt dace Co. just to name a few.
She has picked up several awards during her time in the industry. From a 2012 ATHENA award for leadership to making a top 10 list of women of influence in Saskatchewan in 2008, she has been recognized for her contributions to the community.
Cherneskey said that the impact that Kreuger has on the city and even province can be seen in the “open” signs on small businesses all around Saskatoon.
“She has not only contributed to Saskatoon’s small business sphere, but she has shown hundreds of other people how to do it and has made Saskatoon a prosperous city,” Cherneskey told CTV.