Startup Prince George a recipient of the Startup Canada Women Entrepreneurship Fund supported by Dell to connect and inspire local women in business
Vancouver, Nov. 5, 2015 | Startup Prince George been awarded with one of the first-ever investments from the Startup Canada Women Entrepreneurship Fund. The fund launched in September 2015 and invests in high-impact projects that encourage and support the development of women-led companies in Canada.
With the funding, Startup Prince George will run a one-day women’s entrepreneurship conference in 2016. The conference will feature a panel of women entrepreneurs and small group discussions that focus on five key themes including women entrepreneur partnerships, building an online community, retail entrepreneurship with social cause, risk-taking & thinking out-of-box when balancing business and family.
“We have a lot of women in leadership in our community both in non-profit organizations and in government,” said Shauna Harper, co-founder of Startup Prince George. “However, there is still a gap in the visibility of women-owned businesses. It definitely exists, but it is sharing those stories that is important to inspire the next generation of women entrepreneurs. We are excited to host our event in February 2016 called Be the Change.”
According to the ‘Majority of Female-Owned Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises’ study by Industry Canada, just 15.5 per cent of small-medium businesses were majority owned by women in 2011, most with fewer than 20 employees and an approximate six per cent lower rate of growth than other companies. The Startup Canada Women Entrepreneurship Fund aims to change that.
“To reduce the gender gap, entrepreneurs, support organizations and community leaders need to work together 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,” said Startup Canada CEO Victoria Lennox. “The community in Prince George is coming together to catalyze this growth, and Startup Canada is proud to lend a helping hand.”
“Dell is committed to enabling women-led companies in Canada to thrive and reach their full potential domestically and globally,” said Kevin Peesker, president, Dell Canada Inc. “We are delighted the community in Prince George is receiving an investment through the Catalyst fund made available through Startup Canada and Dell, which will help them deliver innovative and high-impact projects.”
The announcement was made at Startup Canada’s #EveryEntrepreneur Tour stop in Vancouver. The national, non-profit organization is travelling the country to provide new opportunities to thousands of Canadian entrepreneurs as they start and grow their companies and to provide a platform for entrepreneurs to voice needs and calls-to-action to better the environment for entrepreneur-run businesses.
The Startup Canada Women Entrepreneurship Fund is one of four initiatives launched this year by Startup Canada through its Investment Funds Program. As Startup Canada travels the country with its #EveryEntrepreneur Tour, the organization will also announce regional recipients of the Startup Canada Startup Space Fund, Startup Canada Retail Startup Fund and the Startup Canada Community Investment Fund.
The fund is support by Dell Canada, which 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.
Startup Canada and Dell also work together to connect entrepreneurs across Canada to support resources and mentorship through the highly popular #StartupChats.
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.