Startup Canada Launches Free Startup Women Programming

“When you empower women, you empower a Nation.”

Ottawa, ON – March 1st, 2021 | Today Startup Canada officially kicked-off their Startup Women Program, a series of free mentorship, networking, and education initiatives running throughout the month of March in celebration of International Women’s Day. The program will bring Startup Communities, leading women entrepreneurs, government and industry partners together to celebrate the contributions and achievements of women entrepreneurs to the Canadian economy and startup ecosystem.  

Covering a wide range of topics and issues, the initiative encourages all of Canada’s 3.5 million entrepreneurs to choose to challenge the status quo in order to build a more gender-balanced world. The Startup Canada #StartupWomen Program is presented by Sovereign Insurance, and BDC as well as UPS, Scotiabank, Inniskillin, PayPal, EDC, NACCA and Salesforce


The journey to success for women entrepreneurs can be a long and daunting road to travel, but with readily available mentorship opportunities we can help each other get to our desired destinations faster.

Throughout the month of March, Startup Canada will be engaging 500 women through one-on-one mentorship sessions via Mentorly, a Startup Canada Award winning mentorship platform. Interested entrepreneurs can choose from over 120 expert mentors from various industries and backgrounds to seek guidance and help building their business.

Additionally, Startup Canada will be coordinating one hour group mentorship circles focused on a specific industry or sector once weekly. The mentorship circles, hosted by a subject matter expert, will allow 10-15 entrepreneurs to gather and discuss their work in a small group setting. Topics include:

  • Women Entrepreneurs in Agritech – March 2nd, 2-3pm EST. Register
  • Women Entrepreneurs in Tech – March 9th, 2-3pm EST. Register
  • Women Entrepreneurs in Health – March 16th, 2-3pm EST. Register
  • Women Entrepreneurs in Retail – March 23rd, 2-3pm EST. Register
  • Women Entrepreneurs in Food – March 30th, 2-3pm EST. Register

Education & Advocacy

Education and advocacy are also vital pieces of the puzzle when striving to accelerate gender parity and empower women founders across the country. 

Startup Canada will be hosting two webinars focused on supporting Canadian women entrepreneurs: Building Your E-Commerce Business on March 18th and Funding for Women Entrepreneurs on March 25th. These webinars will bring together subject experts from organizations like Google, and BDC, and entrepreneurs to provide unique insights into key challenges. Attendees will leave with practical takeaways to implement into their business immediately. 

Two VIP Roundtables will also be hosted during the month of March that will focus on celebrating women’s achievements and increasing visibility, while bringing awareness to inequalities that continue to exist. These roundtable discussions will consist of approximately 15 invited guests including women entrepreneurs, and private and public sector leaders.

An important part of any entrepreneur’s toolkit is a clear understanding of the resources within their network. To help get you started, Startup Canada has put together a resource guide to connect women entrepreneurs with mentors, funding, training, events, and other programming available to support them locally, regionally, and nationally.

The Startup Canada Podcast Network will also be involved in the celebration, with both the Startup Canada Podcast and the THRIVE Podcast taking a deep-dive into the topic of women in entrepreneurship. Each week, hosts Rick Spence and Kayla Isabelle will connect you with leading experts, entrepreneurs, and organizations that provide capital, mentorship, training, tools and other support to help women founders make their vision a reality, faster. 


Across Canada, Startup Communities will host Startup Women digital events with a local focus during the month of March. These events will showcase women founders and discuss unique challenges facing women entrepreneurs within specific communities. Events will take place in partnership with:

Startup Guelph-Wellington

Startup Peel CanadianWomen in Food

StartUP Sault Ste. Marie

Startup Sarnia

Haltech Regional Innovation Centre

Startup Lloydminister

Startup Vancouver

Startup Collingwood Foundry

Buildupwomen Series

Young Women in Business & Startup Calgary

Amplify Women’s Pitch, Volition & Startup Vancouver

Startup Comox Valley Rural on Purpose

Startup Surrey & Surrey Board of Trade

“Amidst a very challenging year for small businesses, the women-led Startup Canada team is thrilled to be able to provide our country’s resilient women entrepreneurs with free, accessible, and actionable resources and support,” said Kayla Isabelle, CEO of Startup Canada. “When women support each other, incredible things can happen.” 

“Women entrepreneurs challenge the status quo everyday across Canada, empowering other founders and their communities in the process,” said Natasha Morano, Startup Canada’s Corporate & Government Affairs Director. “We are on a mission to support these women-led businesses that are significantly contributing to the growth of the Canadian economy.”

Join Startup Canada this month and choose to challenge the status quo to build a more gender-balanced world and to unleash the full potential of women. Stay up to date on StartupWomen programming by joining the mailing list now!


For more information, and to schedule interviews, please contact:

Lauren Hicks

Media Relations, Startup Canada

(905) 531-1670


About Startup Canada

Startup Canada is Canada’s entrepreneurship organization. Startup Canada promotes and supports the success and growth of Canada’s 3.5 million entrepreneurs, with a mandate to foster economic growth, competitiveness, and prosperity through entrepreneurship. Since launching, Startup Canada’s programming has directly supported more than 250,000 entrepreneurs and 50 grassroots Startup Community organizations. Working with over 750 ecosystem partners, including accelerators, incubators, research parks, educational institutions, economic development agencies, associations, and government programs, Startup Canada serves entrepreneurs from all backgrounds, industries, and stages of development, with a network reflective of Canada’s diverse population. Learn more at