Lana Larder, Halifax Finance Inc.
“Credit where credit is due. Almost half of the women who own businesses in Nova Scotia said they had trouble getting a loan or credit to startup a business,” says Barbara Parker.
“Not…surprised that the ‘get a husband’ attitude is still around,”says Willa Magee. “My business partner and I faced that early ‘80s in Halifax.” The business they started is now 30 years young. “Back then …we tried them all — we provided two homes (both mortgage free) and everything else of value as collateral for a $15,000 line of credit at a financial institution.”Financing is, without a doubt, the biggest problem women entrepreneurs face.”
How did we get there or here? In the early 1800′s, Atlantic Canada held the bragging rights as the powerhouse of Canada or the most industrialized and prosperous in Canada.
Let’s look at history. Mary Jane Katzmann was born in Preston, Nova Scotia in 1828 and was described as “an able businesswoman in a circle dominated by male initiative” and “certainly the first one to make an enduring impression.” In a backyard in Nova Scotia, in 1860, Susannah Oland brewed her brown October ale. In 1870, she was a single parent with 6 children. Back then, she renamed her small brewing business to S. Oland and Sons to hide the fact that a woman was in charge. She built the Oland brewery in the Maritimes and Oland’s beer can be found globally.
Recently, Lisa Murphy Draper of Turbine made the national headlines receiving national recognition and increased sales. The world’s best socially relevant perfume, founder, Barb Stegeman, CEO of the 7 Virtues. Also, one of the best pitches in Dragons Den with sales exploding. Tanya Shaw of Unique Solutions developed her business into a mall-based retail body scanner. “We are changing the ways clothes are sold – with a focus on fit, flatter, comfort, and performance.” There’s Amy MacNaughton, a leader for women, with plans to open The Meadow Transformational Center for Women in Dartmouth. MacNaughton leads and coaches women in her Dartmouth office. Lynn MacMichael, Bconnected owner, female leader teaching networking while you have fun and meet new people. She also has produced cd’s and is writing a book. There are many other innovative startups just itching to get funded in Nova Scotia.
I’ve been involved in the startup community long before the birth of Halifax Finance Inc. in 2008. I started Halifax Finance to help women startups access funding to open or grow a business. After being turned down for a loan in 2002, and told “to get a husband,”in Nova Scotia, I was on a mission and identified and recognized these challenges by studying, researching and partnering up with unique funders and financing companies for clients. We now partner and work with local and international financing and investment companies and individuals. We are proud to offer to our valued clients global financing solutions in Canada. We are dedicated to be part of the solutions for startups in Canada with the development of the First Angel Fund for women startups in Canada in 2012.
Recently, Canada’s Venture Capital industry wondered if we’ll have enough fund raising to support the demand for investments. There are solutions. In order to get more investment, startups need to be funded. More startups, more innovation, more purchase attractive businesses, and more global investment interest.
Canada has a historic opportunity to become an innovation leader. Overcoming the challenges is an easy solution. We must supply startups. The chairman of India Infoline group (IIFL), Nirmal Jain says the market always runs on anticipation and I agree with him. He says, “Many times people look at liquidity vis-a-vis fundamentals but if liquidity improves fundamentals can improve because most of the companies can raise equity, reduce the balance sheet and if the money market condition becomes easier than money can be raised from overseas or locally at lower cost and this also improves fundamentals.