This is one in a series of stories featuring businesses in the Brock LINC incubation program, the LINCubator. The LINCubator supports a small cohort of early-stage businesses and helps them reach their next stage of business development. The eight-month program combines workshops, mentorship, networking, business coaching and partnerships with local investor groups. For more information on the LINCubator, visit brocku.ca/linc/lincubator
Working in the non-profit sector for 15 years, Krystal Snider saw first-hand the gaps in education and awareness that exist around human trafficking and gender-based violence.
She was driven to create change, while recognizing the limitations of non-profit organizations. When the pandemic reached its peak, Snider took the leap into entrepreneurship and launched Collaborative Community Solutions.
“Although non-profits do incredible work with little funding, it was difficult to address big issues in a way that was quick and brought together multiple stakeholders from both non-profit, corporate and private sectors,” says Snider, a resident of Brock LINC’s LINCubator, an eight-month incubator program open to early-stage businesses. “It was through entrepreneurship that I thought my current skill set around training and consulting could have larger impacts.”
A Niagara-based consulting firm, Collaborative Community Solutions provides training for agencies on the identification and intervention of human trafficking, and symptoms of trauma associated with gender-based violence.
Since launching the business two years ago, Snider has worked with a variety of agencies and their staff, including social, youth and health-care workers, police, paramedics, fire services and school boards to deliver gender-based violence and anti-human trafficking training. Through the training, staff learn how trafficking happens, how to identify human trafficking, how to engage survivors of trafficking and who to call for support.
Snider aims to help staff understand the impacts of trafficking, the journey to healing and tools to engage survivors for better outcomes. In addition to the training she offers, Snider also does public speaking engagements on gender-based violence, human trafficking and community collaboration.
As a new entrepreneur, her day-to-day activities vary greatly, from developing posts for social media and creating strategic marketing to providing consultation to survivors of human trafficking or supporting a school board in rolling out awareness activities.
“Every day in entrepreneurship has been new learnings and new projects,” Snider says. “While I navigate through these different moments, I value that I can take breaks, connect with my children or work on a school assignment. Every day is new and full of growth, reflection and learning.”
Four months into the LINCubator program, Snider is valuing the opportunity to take a step back as her firm’s ‘Executive Disruptor’ and realign her business strategy with the help of Brock LINC resources.
“The LINCubator program has helped me to continue to grow my knowledge and skills as an entrepreneur, and has led to successful moments building networks with people I have met along the way,” she says. “The mentors are an absolute gift to connect with and learn from.”
Prior to launching her business, Snider worked with the YWCA in Moncton, Brock University’s Human Rights and Equity office, and the non-profit organization Women at the CentrE. She currently sits on the board of directors for the Niagara Sexual Assault Centre. In 2019, she co-facilitated a workshop in Johannesburg, South Africa, at the World YWCA Council. She also received the Niagara Top 40 Under 40 award in 2020 for her anti-human trafficking work.
In addition to all of her achievements, Snider is a mom of two, a partner and a Brock University student, where she is working to achieve her Bachelor of Arts in Women’s and Gender Studies.