Award-winning entrepreneur and Dragon’s Den judge Manjit Minhas knows what it takes to defy the odds and thrive in an industry dominated by men. At nineteen, Manjit co-founded Minhas Breweries, Distilleries and Wineries—becoming the youngest brewery owner in the world. It’s now the 10th largest brewery in North America. Manjit’s using her success to clear a path for all entrepreneurs of every age and gender by teaching real entrepreneurial skills, from how every business can defy expectations and tackle social problems to using disruptions to our advantage. Her biggest piece of wisdom? With the right approach, “everything can be negotiated, no matter who you are.”
“Minhas offers advice for women in business—new entrepreneurs, longtime leaders, and aspiring executives alike—looking to do great things, get ahead, and transform their industries.”— Women in Business Conference
Dragon’s Den celebrity judge Manjit Minhas has been able to do what few ever thought possible—break into the notoriously competitive and male-dominated beer and spirits industry, producing over 90 brands of beer, spirits, liquor, and wine. With her sharp strategy and keen understanding of the market, Minhas breaks down traditional barriers and has turned her small business into an empire.
Manjit is a specialist in brand development, marketing, sales, and retail negotiations, but her true passion is using science and engineering to change people’s lives for the better. She’s the first brewer in Canada to voluntarily put a Management Warning on all her beer cans, she produces beer using the least amount of chemicals, gas, electricity and water, and she changed the game for those suffering from Celiac Disease with her delicious Gluten-Free beer from Sorghum. She created a special 48-can pack of beers for COSTCO with less packaging than any other brewery in Canada or the US, saving millions of pounds of materials from ending up in landfill.
Manjit shares her business knowledge with equal parts force and finesse. You’ll learn the power of giving back, how to put a face to your business, Negotiation 101, why it’s essential to have a mentor, the art of pitching, and how to promote growth in your company. In her book Brewing Up a Damn Good Story, she recounts the compelling tale of her brewery’s survival, and draws upon her experiences to teach us valuable entrepreneurial skills.
Manjit was named one of Canada’s Women Executive Network’s Top 100 Women Entrepreneurs, Profit’s Top Growth Entrepreneur, and Chatelaine’s Top Entrepreneur Woman of The Year. She’s been profiled in Maclean’s, the Globe and Mail, the Financial Times, and The National, and was lauded as one of Canada’s Top 40 Under 40, a distinction honoring outstanding Canadian leaders. In 2020, she launched “The Manjit Minhas Podcast”, which debuted at Top 10 on the podcast charts. She serves as a Board of Director for ATB Financial, Decibel Cannabis, Hull Mental Health Services, Creator and Alberta Brewers Association.
“The fireside chat with Manjit just now was incredible and so popular with as our FKO! Thank you so much for making it happen, even when we needed to change dates!”6Sense
“The Manjit Minhas keynote was, to sum it up in one word, phenomenal. When we announced Manjit as our speaker, we received such positive feedback from not only our students, but alumni, faculty, and staff. The excitement carried through Manjit’s keynote and afterwards, as many reached out to thank the Alumni Association for putting on this event. Our audience learned so much from Manjit. They felt she was not only inspiring and resourceful, but genuine and humorous too.”Lambton College
“Manjit was very professional, and she responded to the keynote conversation in pure brilliance. Her responses to business issues and insights were spot on. She spoke the exact mind of many of the women, she nailed on each point in a sincere and open attitude. Manjit definitely knows her stuff and executed her role in a very profound manner. My organization would definitely bring her back.”de Sedulous Women Leaders
“It was such an absolute pleasure hearing her entrepreneurial journey and to benefit from her extensive marketing expertise on the panel. She really added a ton of value to that conversation. I appreciated it both as a moderator, but also as an entrepreneur, myself. I work with a lot of "thought leaders" and public personalities in my business and I just wanted to share that her capacity to tell compelling stories, share so many memorable (and quotable!) nuggets of business wisdom and keep an audience engaged was truly inspiring. It's a rarity!”CSuite Content
“Thank you for contributing to this year’s event, and making it an overwhelming success! Our delegates were extremely delighted with Manjit’s knowledge, breadth of experience, candidness and kindness. She created a collaborative and nurturing atmosphere that enabled participants to share, connect, and be inspired.”Aga Khan Council for Canada
“Manjit was an absolute delight to work with. The audience really loved her talk and she did an excellent job on the judging panel. Even with her not feeling 100%, she took the time to chat with a number of people so we really appreciate having her.”#BCTECH Summit
“I had the privilege of having a personal conversation with Manjit in front of 100 or so eager listeners at the President’s League Retreat on June 4, 2016. She is the ultimate example of what it means to be an entrepreneur. When you listen deeply to Manjit, you understand her incredible tenacity. She has overcome one obstacle after another. There were many times when her business looked like it might fail. She talks about being totally discounted and overlooked in a man’s world. It was tough enough to be a young woman, barely above the legal drinking age in Canada, let alone being a visible minority. She admits to having many nights of tears of frustration, but they also fueled her relentless determination. In addition, she was an absolute pleasure to work with before and during the President’s League event.”ATB Financial
“We were very impressed with Manjit’s speech. She was inspiring, engaging, and authentic. She connected with our audience and was very open to interacting after the keynote with attendees.”Accenture
Lessons from the Den Succeeding at Being an Entrepreneur
Empowering Women Achieving Business Success in Male-Dominated Industries
It’s so easy to conflate our positions, roles, and responsibilities with who we really are. It’s even easier to be scared when we start to see that these titles no longer represent us fully. Minhas—CEO, entrepreneur, mother, wife, mentor, and investor—gets how hard it can be: especially for women. Creating a full, well-rounded life and career that’s truly your own means being brave enough to push the boundaries of your comfort zone, and move beyond the limiting definitions of yourself you may hold.
As the co-founder of a now-$155 million brewery, Manjit Minhas is living proof that women can—and should—achieve success in even the most male-dominated industries. With her family-owned Minhas Breweries and Distillery, she’s combined savvy financial sense with passion, patience, and thick skin. In this keynote, Minhas will share her stories of challenges in her personal and professional life: and how she overcame them, re-define success, and thrive. She explores the tough questions many women in business face in today’s fast-paced world where work-life balance can seem like a luxury and true diversity can still seem like a dream. With candor, clarity, and unique insight, Minhas is the speaker sure to motivate and empower an entire generation of female innovators.
Rising to the Top How to Inspire, Learn, and Lead
Facing tough choices with tenacity and living up to our potential is so often easier said than done. How can we truly rise up to the occasions that challenge us? How can we harness exciting possibilities in a way that inspires others? Manjit Minhas is a mesmerizing speaker who will show you how to make a difference—at work, at home, and in the lives of everyone around you. With wisdom and wit, Minhas shares her memorable experiences as an entrepreneur and leader, showing what it means to have vision, perseverance and true teamwork—and what it means to lead.