Startup Canada and Dell Canada partner to connect women entrepreneurs with startup support

Applications now open for the Startup Canada Women Entrepreneurship Fund, powered by Dell

TORONTO, September 14, 2015 Startup Canada and Dell Canada are now accepting applications for a new Women Entrepreneurship Fund which invests in high-impact projects that encourage and support the development of women-led companies in Canada.

The ‘Majority of Female-Owned Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises’ study by Industry Canada indicates just 15.5 per cent of SMEs were majority owned by females in 2011, most with fewer than 20 employees and an approximate six per cent lower rate of growth than other companies.

“We want to change that,” said Startup Canada CEO Victoria Lennox. “To create the next generation of Kelsey Ramsden’s, Marissa McTasney’s, and Arlene Dickinson’s in Canada, we first need to improve access to and quality of programming that empowers women with equal opportunity for success, and champions them as the next great leaders in business. That is exactly what this fund aims to do.”

“The success of entrepreneurs is critical to a healthy Canadian economy and we believe that technology is a necessary part of growing a thriving business as entrepreneurs drive execution from start-up to success,” said Kevin Peesker, president, Dell Canada Inc. “Our goal for this initiative with Startup Canada and our broader Dell for Entrepreneurs program is to be a catalyst for women-led companies to grow, scale and globalize at a rate that might not otherwise be possible, further enabling female entrepreneurs in Canada to reach their full potential.”

Dell has a long history empowering women to do more in business, as demonstrated by the Dell Women’s Entrepreneurship Network, the annual Dell Women’s Summit, Global Women Entrepreneur Leaders Scorecard, and Gender Global Entrepreneurship and Development Index project.

Individuals, businesses, and organizations in Canada with projects aimed at supporting women entrepreneurs are eligible to apply for investment from this fund. Successful applicants must deliver the project within a six-month funding term and those selected will be awarded up to $3,000 per project.

The Women Entrepreneurship Fund is the fourth fund released by Startup Canada in 2015. Earlier this year, five Startup Canada Communities were named the first recipients of the Startup Canada Community Investment Fund. This fund re-opened in early September, alongside the Startup Canada Startup Space Fund, the Retail Startup Fund and the Women Entrepreneurship Fund.

The Women Entrepreneurship Fund is the first joint initiative between Startup Canada and Dell Canada. The two organizations will continue to work together to educate entrepreneurs across Canada through programs and online events including the highly popular #StartupChats.

Applications for the Women Entrepreneurship Fund are due October 7 at startupcan.ca/women-entrepreneurship-fund. The recipients will be announced across Canada this Autumn during Startup Canada’s #EveryEntrepreneur Tour, which will support and celebrate entrepreneurs and community builders through announcements, training bootcamps, launch parties, and pitch contests across the country.

For more information, contact:

Kathryn Forrest

Communications and Marketing Manager, Startup Canada

613-627-0787 x106


About Startup Canada

Startup Canada is a grassroots network of entrepreneurs working together to build an environment for entrepreneurship in Canada. Through online platforms, grassroots Startup Communities and cross-sector initiatives, Startup Canada is advancing entrepreneurial momentum and a culture of entrepreneurship, as the voice of Canadian entrepreneurs. Learn more at startupcan.ca.

About Dell Canada

Dell Canada Inc. www.dell.ca listens to customers and delivers innovative technology and services that give them the power to do more. As the visionary outcome of a true entrepreneur, Dell is committed to help power the success of entrepreneurs by developing technology solutions that help their businesses increase productivity and grow. Through the Dell Women’s Entrepreneur Network, Dell supports and nurtures a community of female entrepreneurs by providing access to knowledge, networks, and capital. Learn more at www.dell.com/women.


Kathryn Forrest
Kathryn Forrest