The daughter of South African freedom fighters Yoli brings a radical approach and point of view to excellence in business and life. “Scrappy discipline” is her mantra where innovation is the backbone of running thriving organizations. Whether she is talking to youth about their career development, small businesses, startups or seasoned marketers about building their business, Yoli fuses a message of proven performance principles and disciplined risk taking. As the Founder and Chief Entrepreneur at WELL | welearnlive.com she teaches and collaborates with entrepreneurs helping them bring ideas from concept to customers. Yoli is currently leading demand creation and demand generation for Microsoft’s multi-billion dollar BtoB business in the US.
Yoli Chisholm has a passion for the impact of culture as a lever to optimize business performance. We were first introduced to her thinking with her 2013 TEDx Talk “Are you a strong tree” which was well received with over 25,000 views. Currently Yoli Chisholm is a Senior Director at Microsoft and debuts as an author with Crushing Corporate where she makes the case for the value of taking that corporate job before you venture into entrepreneurship. She has a 20-year record of corporate entrepreneurship having worked for Fortune 100 companies like Microsoft as well as startups that have grown to corporations like eBay, Points.com and Lavalife.com. Yoli has crossed industries from technology, retail, healthcare, dating, travel to tele-communications in multiple markets Canada, United States, South Africa. Yoli has experienced different corporate cultures having worked at 10+ corporations including consulting for the porn industry to working for the Danish Embassy over a 25-year span and brings to her writing a point view on intrapreneurship and entrepreneurship. She founded the startup incubator WELL-welearnlive.com and is developing a community of Intrapreneurs at Crushingcorporate.com. Her book Crushing Corporate asks the reader “What if instead of pushing people to become entrepreneurs first, we enabled professionals to be better intrapreneurs – would the results be more successful entrepreneurs? Is the negative narrative on working for a corporation doing wannabe entrepreneurs a dis-service? Can we do better than the current startup success rate? Where would successful startups like Facebook that grew up to be corporations be without professional corporate operators?
With 20 years of helping companies like Microsoft and eBay build solid revenue driving businesses there is nothing “textbook” about the way Yoli looks at strategy. She brings to her speaking real-life, in-the-trenches business experience and concrete examples of what is working and how to apply it to your organization.
For over 20 years Yoli Chisholm has helped companies develop and market new products, apps and services. Under Yoli’s leadership, Microsoft launched new vertical media channels in Canada acquiring Canada’s leading retail companies as customers. In the US Yoli improved Microsoft’s central marketing organization’s digital marketing impacting their multibillion dollar enterprise business. Working at eBay Yoli developed innovative marketing technology designed to increase new customer activation. At Points.com Yoli increased user activation by 300% by developing a new customer experience working with the world’s leading airline, hotel and credit card companies. At Lavalife.com Yoli launched new apps and developed new partnerships with the world’s leading telecommunications companies.
In addition to working with large corporations Yoli has a passion for startups and is sought out for advice sometimes taking on formal advisory roles. Yoli Chisholm was selected as a mentor for the SXSW V2V 2014 conference putting her proven experience to work for startups.
Beyond digital marketing Yoli is an intellectual following in the footsteps of her grand-father and teacher to Nelson Mandela, Z. K. Matthews who helped shape the minds African men who went on to become Presidents of various African nations. She is passionate about the power of Ancestry in life and business and speaks on the topic. Her TEDx talk “Are you a strong Tree?” has been very well received.
A business “backbone builder” with deep marketing and personal roots. Seeking to motivate in ways that matter delivering measurable transformation to organizations and people striving to excel