Award-winning serial entrepreneur Janice McDonald named Startup Canada’s 2017 Ambassador for Women Entrepreneurship

March 8, 2017 | Startup Canada

Startup Canada, the national rallying community and voice for Canada’s entrepreneurs, today named Janice McDonald its 2017 Ambassador for Women Entrepreneurship. McDonald is the president of The Beacon Agency and founder of This Space Works; is a TEDx speaker and was named Canada’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women for four consecutive years by WXN. She is also the co-author of A Force to Reckon With: Women, Entrepreneurship and Risk, a national study that evaluates women entrepreneurs and their approach to risk.

“Janice is a bold leader with a passion to ensure women entrepreneurs reach their full potential,” says Victoria Lennox, CEO of Startup Canada. “We look forward to working in partnership to ensure women have access to the tools, support and resources they need to succeed, and to champion these women business owners as powerful drivers of the Canadian economy.”

According to A Force to Reckon With: Women, Entrepreneurship and Risk, the 2016 report co-authored by McDonald, in partnership with BMO and Carleton University, women-owned businesses contribute billions of dollars to the Canadian economy every year, and a 10 per cent increase in women-owned firms over the next decade would result in a 15 billion dollar net economic gain. Businesses with majority female ownership also report the highest average yearly revenue growth of more than 20 per cent, according to the report.

“I am delighted to take on this important role. As reported in our national study, A Force To Reckon With: Women Entrepreneurs and Their Approach to Risk, women-owned businesses contribute billions of dollars to the Canadian economy annually and by shining a spotlight on women entrepreneurs nationally, we can collaborate with the entire ecosystem to find better solutions and remove barriers to ensure their continued success,” says McDonald.

McDonald assumes the role following Marissa McTasney, Founder of Moxie Trades, who was appointed Startup Canada’s inaugural Ambassador for Women Entrepreneurship in March 2016. McDonald will spend the next 12 months working with Startup Canada to advance dialogue and action to support women entrepreneurs and business leaders in Canada. As the 2017 Startup Canada Ambassador for Women Entrepreneurship, McDonald will inspire entrepreneurs at speaking engagements across Canada, be a voice to government and media on issues related to women entrepreneurs, and will play a leading role as an adjudicator of the  Women Entrepreneur of the Year Category for the Startup Canada Awards.  

For more information and to schedule interviews with Janice McDonald, contact:

Kathryn Forrest

Communications, Marketing and Government Relations Manager

Startup Canada

613-627-0787 ext. 106

About Startup Canada

Startup Canada is the leading national social enterprise supporting and giving a voice to entrepreneurs through online programs, national awards, flagship events, and partnerships with private sector and government to foster a community for startup and small business success across the country. For more information, visit

About Startup Communities

Startup Canada Communities is a national Startup Canada program that empowers and equips entrepreneurs and those driving local entrepreneurial and economic development activities with the framework, tools, resources, promotional support and network to build and accelerate the growth of grassroots entrepreneurial communities. There are currently 25 Startup Canada Communities in the Startup Canada network across 9 provinces and 1 territory.

About Janice McDonald

Janice McDonald is the Founder of the Beacon Agency, a boutique company with trusted advisors offering customized breakthrough ideas in entrepreneurship and business strategy and co-authored the important national study of women entrepreneurs and their approach to risk that was released last year.  She Co-Founded This Space Works and WXN recognized her as one of  Canada’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women for four years in a row and she was inducted into the WXN Hall of Fame in 2016. She has leadership training from Harvard University and is a member of the Women’s Leadership Board at Harvard Kennedy School. Janice is a trusted advisor and strategist, a TEDx speaker and is currently a host of the new show, Startup Canada LIVE which airs every Thursday at noon.

Kathryn Forrest
Kathryn Forrest

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