“Whatever you do, be different – that was the advice my mother gave me, and I can’t think of better advice for an entrepreneur. If you’re different, you will stand out.” Anita Roddick, founder of The Body Shop
March 8th marks International Women’s Day. This day celebrates the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. In a survey collected by Statistics Canada completed in May 2022, only 17% of Canadian small and medium sized businesses are owned by women. This year’s theme for International Women’s Day is #EmbraceEquity. This theme is meant to emphasize the difference between ‘equity” and ‘equality’. Equity is defined as recognizing that we do not all start the same place and must acknowledge and make adjustments to imbalances, whereas equality is defined as state of being equal. Encouraging and empowering women to take the leap into entrepreneurship helps to support their career aspirations and helps to inspire other young women that they too can achieve their dreams. As we work to close the gap between men and women in the workplace, women’s entrepreneurship supports the growth and diversification of our economy. In a report completed by Women Entrepreneurship Knowledge Hub, The State of Women’s Entrepreneurship in Canada 2022, women business owners accounted for 37.4 % of new self-employed business owners in Canada. These businesses employed over 1.5 million employees and contributed around $150 billion to the economy. Despite the challenges that are presented to women entrepreneurs daily, they continue to exemplify resilience, innovation, and creativity. With many great non-profit organizations, grants and resources, entrepreneurship can be a reality for even more women than ever before. If you or someone you may know is interest in entrepreneurship or are currently an entrepreneur looking to grow, we have compiled a list of some of the great tools that are available to you.
WE BC- https://we-bc.ca/
This not-for-profit organization offers Canadian women business owners with mentoring, skill development and training, loan programs, and professional advisory services.
WBE Canada– https://wbecanada.ca/
Women Business Enterprises Canada Council helps to build and create connections with Canadian women-owned business and corporate and government buyers, while ensuring that existing barriers are removed and supply chains are diverse an inclusive.
Women Entrepreneurship Hub– https://wekh.ca/
As part of the Government of Canada’s Women Entrepreneurship Strategy, WEKH provides resources and research on women entrepreneurs in Canada.
Women’s Enterprise Organizations of Canada– https://weoc.ca/
Women’s Enterprise Organizations of Canada (WEOC) supports a diverse membership of organizations that directly impact the growth and success of women entrepreneurs. Representing an array of populations and regions, WEOC members support women entrepreneurs through a variety of initiatives, including business training, advising, financing, and mentorship.