March 20, 2019, Ottawa – Startup Canada, Canada’s entrepreneurship organization, today named Nicole Verkindt as the 2019 Ambassador for Women’s Entrepreneurship. She is the CEO and Founder of theOMX.com, sits on the Board of Directors of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, Canadian Commercial Corporation, and is a member of the Business Council of Canada, Co-Chairing their Task Force for Canada’s Economic Future. She is passionate about start ups, and served as both an investor on Gimlet media’s “The Pitch” as well as a Dragon on CBC’s Next Gen Den, She is a tenacious solutions-oriented person and a true paragon of her generation.
Although there are nearly 1 million women entrepreneurs in Canada, only 16 percent of small and medium-sized enterprises are majority women-owned, and women own only 10 percent of high growth firms. Less then 3% of Venture Capital funding goes to women owned or led businesses.
Women constitute 47 percent of Startup Canada’s membership of 200,000 entrepreneurs, making it the most extensive network of women entrepreneurs in Canada. A survey conducted by Startup Canada in January found that women entrepreneurs continue to face real and perceived barriers of access to support, resources, training, finance, customers, talent and global markets and that women entrepreneurs are more than 20 percent less confident about their future success.
“Nicole is leading the way for women entrepreneurs in Canada. As an expert in procurement diversification and economic impact, Nicole is a beacon of support and inspiration for women entrepreneurs looking to grow thriving businesses in Canada and abroad,” says Victoria Lennox, President and Co-founder of Startup Canada. “I look forward to working together to ensure women have access to the tools, support, and resources to succeed, and to continue to level the playing field for women entrepreneurs.”
“I am thrilled to be the new Startup Canada Ambassador for Women’s Entrepreneurship because I am confident that we have incredible talent across the country that can be unleashed to have tremendous impact on our economy and society,” says Nicole Verkindt, Founder of the OMX.com. “I am going to be focusing specifically on how procurement can be leveraged to have the biggest impact, which is something I am passionate about and do every day leading theOMX.com. What I don’t want, is to just spend the next year talking. We need to effect change. I want the data and I want there to be real, positive outcomes within the year, no more political speeches, we need to roll up our sleeves.”
Verkindt assumes the role following Janice McDonald, the president of The Beacon Agency and the author of A Force to Reckon With: Women, Entrepreneurship and Risk, a national study that evaluates women entrepreneurs and their approach to risk. Verkindt will spend the next 12 months working with Startup Canada to advance dialogue and action to promote women entrepreneurs and business leaders in Canada. As the 2019 Startup Canada Ambassador for Women’s Entrepreneurship, Verkindt will inspire entrepreneurs at speaking engagements across Canada and will be a voice to government and media on issues related to women entrepreneurs. Verkindt’s first role as Ambassador will be to adjudicate the Women Entrepreneur of the Year Category for the 6th annual Startup Canada Awards.
To learn more about and to get involved with Startup Canada’s women’s initiatives, visit www.startupcan.ca/womensday today.