Tara Bosch has always had an affinity for ideas that could change the world for the better. Her ‘million dollar idea’ came to her after a conversation with her grandmother, who expressed regret over the amount of sugar she’d consumed in her life. This led the Surrey, BC, native to months of recipe-testing in her kitchen, where Bosch would eventually craft SmartSweets – delicious candy without all the added sugar. A simple, straightforward idea, but one that has created a positive ripple effect for candy lovers across Canada and the U.S.

Now, the young founder and owner has a new venture to help fellow female entrepreneurs get their start – in BC and beyond. In an interview with Curiocity, she explains how she felt about the transition to becoming a full-time business owner herself.

Bittersweet beginnings

“SmartSweets was really the catalyst that made me feel passionate about supporting other women in their journeys, and specifically, supporting other women with all of the feelings I had every single day: Feelings of self-doubt, insecurity, questioning whether I was capable, and overall imposter syndrome,” she says

Even as SmartSweets gained traction and received international acclaim, Bosch felt an internal disconnect from her company’s success. “Those feelings never really went away for me.”

Bold Beginnings

And that’s where Bold Beginnings comes in – a program for women under 30 to jumpstart their visions and lean on each other for support.

“It exists to help women with big ideas feel empowered to know that they are infinitely capable, believed in, and equipped with the knowledge to bring their visions to life,” says Bosch.

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Ultimately, Bold Beginnings will select one woman out of 8-10 every year to receive a $25,000 grant – AKA, no equity taken. All participants will leave the experience with a network of peer support that they can lean on as they navigate their lives and careers.

In addition to preparing young women for the challenges and barriers they may face in the business world, the program is about the internal shift as well.

“I think about my younger self when I was starting SmartSweets and what she needed to hear. And it’s that every single person with a vision has felt the same feelings that can paralyze you and keep you from moving forward,” Bosch says.

When it comes to confronting these emotions, Bosch shares that what helped her was a promise to herself to “never hesitate.” Overcoming insecurities and learning how to be more confident in one’s choices is what Bold Beginnings is all about.

“There’s such power to be found in someone who has done what you want to do, and has experienced the same feelings as you have.”

Eligibility and application info

As far as eligibility goes, anyone who lives in North America, identifies as a woman, and is under 30 can apply online.

What’s more, you don’t have to have a fully-fledged, incorporated business to apply, or even have a complete product. However, applicants will need to demonstrate that they’ve taken action when it comes to bringing their visions to life.

The online application will direct applicants to share more about themselves and their visions, taking around five minutes to complete. Applications will be open until the end of August, and those selected to participate in the program will be notified in early September.

You can learn more about the program and what to expect by visiting Bold Beginnings’ website.

For Bosch, she says there’s only one difference between those who succeed at what they’re doing and those who don’t.

“Those who succeed keep putting one foot in front of the other despite any feelings they may have, every single day.”