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BMO and Women Entrepreneurs

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Announcing Women Entrepreneurs and Innovation Report

The official launch of the report “Everywhere, Every Day Innovating:  Women Entrepreneurs and Innovation” was released on Feb. 14th with the Honourable Bardish Chagger, Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister of Small Business and Tourism, along with report authors Clare Beckton, and Janice McDonald.

This report outlines implications for business and the Canadian economy resulting from gender differences in approaches to innovation.  It offers recommendations for the development of gender-sensitive entrepreneurial, investment and board participation strategies that can support the contributions women entrepreneurs are, and can make, to the Canadian economy.  A must read.  Thanks to BMO for Women for their contributions and support.

In Everywhere, Every Day Innovating – Women Entrepreneurs and Innovation, researchers Clare Beckon and Janice McDonald from Carleton University and The Beacon Agency set out to see where, how, and what women entrepreneurs were doing to innovate within their businesses. Through interviews with 146 diverse female entrepreneurs, including 23 Indigenous women, the study found that women’s innovations are often under-recognized… simply because many of their innovations fall outside the technology sector.

Additional findings show that:

  • Ninety per cent of female-led businesses are in the service industries where innovation extends from developing new products and services, to engaging employees and devising new ways of marketing and selling;
  • Women entrepreneurs do not generally view technology products as their end-goal, but are eager and comfortable with using technology to adapt and meet their other business objectives;
  • Women entrepreneurs feel restricted by many of the available incubator and mentorship programs which focus on attracting technology companies and have age limits for participants;
  • Women entrepreneurs feel there is an under-representation of fellow female mentors and potential investors, which hinders their ability to raise capital or attract the attention of policy makers for funding opportunities.

By recognizing the barriers that women face, the report highlights the importance of more robust eco-systems for female entrepreneurs, supported by governments, financial institutions, and the women entrepreneurs themselves. Key recommendations are made for everyone involved in building that framework, and include:

  • The introduction of a government-created innovation framework that includes women entrepreneurs in policy design and commits equitable grant funds;
  • Work by financial institutions to address unconscious bias in small business loan acceptance, track payback rates of female entrepreneurs as a proof point to their growth and continuously explore partnerships and invest in programs that support female entrepreneurs;
  • Educating female entrepreneurs to ensure they are informed about options available to them, and establish relationships with banks and investors beyond when loans are needed;
  • Work from policy-makers to deliver enhanced child-care and maternity benefits for women entrepreneurs who are primary caregivers;
  • Addressing the lack of business training and ineligibility for financing among Indigenous women due to lack of property needed for collateral loans if living on-reserve; and
  • Establishing training, mentorship programs and networking opportunities on-reserve to help support new Indigenous women entrepreneurs.

To read the full report, click here.

Vancouver Fashion Week

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Kristina Benson (GYB Kamloops member) will be featured at Vancouver Fashion Week March 19 – 25th, to show her INSPIRED INTENTIONS COLLECTION.

Proudly made in Canada Kristina reconnects fashion and yoga with her unique unconventional combination of eco-fabric yoga leggings, draped kimonos, and delicate scarves. VFW event is one of the fastest growing fashion weeks in the world, and since 2001, has acted as a stepping-stone for emerging designers to launch their creations into the fashion industry in hopes of one day appearing on the stages of London, Paris, Milan, and New York.  Congrats Kristina!

Press Release Below:

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Vaughan Business Achievement Awards Gala

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Daniela Hoffman (GYB Vaughn member) has been Nominated for an award in the HEALTH & WELLNESS category at the annual Vaughan Business Achievement Awards Gala!  This is the 2nd year in a row to be nominated.

National Nutrition

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Liz Bandelin (GYB Abbotsford member) won a National Nutrition gold medal for the best tasting Earl Grey Rooibos tea! Also stay tuned for her new “Canadian line of organic teas” in 2018 for more of her award-winning wellness teas.



Small Business Success Story

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Gina Ore (Phoenix, AZ member) Founder and CEO of Passion for Patients, was featured as a ‘Small Business Success Story’ in SBDC Arizona.

Read the PDF here: SBDC Article_Gina Ore-Passion for Patients_GYB AZ Member