New program to empower women-owned enterprises

Women still face formidable challenges in the workplace, particularly in male-dominated fields like tech. And racialized women entrepreneurs face multiple hurdles.

Recent research by non-profit Information and Technology Council (ICTC), has also found that many Black women entrepreneurs launching tech startups feel “not taken seriously” during crucial moments such as pitching or negotiating deals. Statistically, the odds are stacked against women, as 90–98% of venture capital funds are awarded to men.

To address these significant disparities in the Canadian social entrepreneurship ecosystem, ICTC has launched a Government-funded “Changing the Narrative – Unleashing the Full Potential of Women-Owned Enterprise” program to support social enterprises owned by Black women and women from other minority groups, including official language minority communities, to elevate their economic security and prosperity.

Over its 29 months, the program will span five provinces—Ontario, New Brunswick, Manitoba, Quebec, and Alberta—and consist of engaging with 500 women-owned businesses, partnership collaboration with 36 subject-matter experts, up to 10 community organizations and entities focused on supporting Black women and minority groups, and work with 150 mentors.

“Everyday women entrepreneurs are taking risks, bringing new ideas to life, and making contributions to our country,” says Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Youth, Marci Ien, speaking about the importance of the Government’s investment in this program towards creating a more “inclusive social entrepreneurial landscape.”

Partners will support the project by raising awareness within their networks and communities, recruiting mentors, providing expertise, and actively assisting in the implementation of key activities, including mentorship opportunities through a Community Learning & Connectivity Hub, knowledge mobilization sessions, pitch events, and networking.

ICTC will also conduct groundbreaking research focusing on driving long-term systemic change for women-owned social enterprises.

To learn about upcoming events and application opportunities, visit the ICTC website.

– Canadian Immigrant

Bustani Media

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