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Shari Hughson

Shari Hughson

Adjunct Lecturer


Shari Hughson has led a unique and unconventional life.  She has been an entrepreneur, intrapreneur, social innovator, educator, and extreme adventurer.  Shari started her first business at the age of 25 and won CIBC Entrepreneur of the Year before the age of 30.  This company led to a very successful exit 7 years later.  She has been an owner of six more companies.  Another successful national growth company with a strong exit, plus two great learning opportunities (aka failures), and now three ongoing scaling companies (2 health tech & 1 e-commerce). Shari is currently a social entrepreneur with Wayfound Mental Health Group as Chief Operating Officer and partner.  She was honoured as one of the Most Inspiring Female Entrepreneurs & Business Leaders 2021, by the Canadian SME Organization.  Article & Interview   She lived 7 years with a remote Indigenous community and won a National Honour from the First Nation Health Authority for a community-driven innovation project that impacted the mental health of a remote community. Video

Shari Hughson has been an Advisor for over 125 startup and scale-up companies from diverse industries such as healthtech, edutech, real estate, and engineering and tech firms.  Shari just finished 5 years of creating and building the Master of Management Innovation & Entrepreneurship program at Smith School of Business, Queen’s University.  She is the Vice Chair and Commercialization Committee Chair for Praxis Spinal Cord injury Institute.  She is also a Board of Director with 1 Million Teachers and a Trustee for His Highness Muhammad Sanusi II Sustainable Development Goals Challenge.  Shari sits on three Indigenous community economic development committees in remote areas of Canada.

Shari is a competitive adventure racer, world traveler, and wilderness fanatic.  She has pushed her limits in the extreme adventure of living off the land with only the bare survival essentials for 7 years.  Shari and her husband built one of the most environmentally-friendly homes, an Earthship™, and lived the evolution of innovation from hunter/gatherers to living far more futuristic than current Western society.  Innovation for people and the planet are Shari’s top passions, as presented in her TEDx QueensU talk.

Shari is a professional speaker with over 30 keynote presentations and 100 conference engagements.  She teaches in the field of Entrepreneurship, Corporate Innovation, Design Thinking, and Leadership.  She is an engaging public speaker in topics related to Innovative Change, Social Enterprises, Well-Being, and Courageous Leadership.  Shari’s passion for inspiring people to do more than they ever thought possible is embedded in everything she does.