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At 22 years old, Michele Romanow, now chief executive officer of investment firm Clearco, was running a caviar brand – selling what she has called one of the “world’s most unnecessary luxury products” – when the Great Recession hit in 2008. “I had done all this planning for a caviar business… and then it was like, ‘Okay wait a second. The market is not going to want this’,” Romanow said at an interview with Yahoo Finance Canada at the 2022 Collision Conference. “I had to say, look, no one is going to buy caviar. I’m going to have to figure out something else.” Romanow had to shut down that business, but she said it taught her that the companies that are able to change and adapt the fastest to changing market conditions are the ones that will ultimately succeed. It’s a lesson that may prove useful to entrepreneurs in 2022 who are facing an economy that includes persistently high inflation, rapidly rising interest rates, and ongoing geopolitical tensions that have created worldwide impacts. Romanow says while it may seem like a “super scary environment”, there are opportunities to build great companies through challenging times. “My advice is remember that great companies were built during recessions,” she said. “Uber, Airbnb, Groupon all came out of the last recession. So it’s actually a really good time to build, it’s just a time where you’re going to have to think about doing a lot more with a lot less.” Romanow says in recessions the cost of talent and goods typically declines, making it possible to build at a lower cost. She also points to other funding opportunities, such as partnering with private equity firms, that could open up in a downturn as the amount of venture capital dollars available declines. Alicja Siekierska is a senior reporter at Yahoo Finance Canada. Follow her on Twitter @alicjawithaj. Download the Yahoo Finance app, available for Apple and Android.