Add another layer to your #Business literacy. We at Serebral360° would love to know if the Forbes – Entrepreneurs article was helpful, leave a comment, like and share. Let’s dive in and discuss the information and put it to use to grow your business. #BusinessStrategy #ContentMarketing #WebDevelopment #BrandStrategy
Info@serebral360.com 762.333.1807 www.serebral360.com
Grap a copy of our NEW Business Stratgety Books #FFSS VOL1 and #FFSS VOL2
Canada is revving up its economy by focusing on women entrepreneurs. Its Women Entrepreneurship Strategy (WES) comes with a $2 billion investment. “We have the potential of adding up to $150 billion dollars in incremental GDP to the Canadian economy,” said Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business and Export Promotion. “Our government believes that women’s economic empowerment is not just the right thing to do; it’s good for the bottom line. The strategy seeks to double the number of women-owned businesses.” Currently, only 16% of all small-to-medium-sized businesses in Canada are majority women-owned.
These programs take advantage of a growing appetite among Canadian women to become entrepreneurs. Canadian women are starting businesses at a higher rate than their counterparts in all other G20 countries. The G20 is an informal group of 19 countries and the European Union, with representatives of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. “Canada has seen a surge of entrepreneurship in our economy over the last 20 years, and women have been at the forefront, launching businesses at rates that often outpace men,” said Karen Hughes, a professor at the University of Alberta’s Alberta School of Business and Department of Sociology, and author of the 2015/16 Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) Canada Report on Women’s Entrepreneurship.
During the next five years, the WES Ecosystem Fund will spend up to $85 million on training, networking events, mentorship opportunities, accelerators, and incubators as well as supplier-diversity programs that provide business development opportunities to work with government agencies and large corporations. The program will allocate an additional $8.62 million for a Women Entrepreneurship Knowledge Hub, a one-stop source for knowledge, data and best practices.
Evidence finds that women entrepreneurs are less likely to seek debt and equity financing, and are more likely to be rejected or receive less money when they do ask for it. WES has created a $20 million Women Entrepreneurship Fund that will give up to $100,00 in grants to women entrepreneurs pursuing marketing opportunities abroad, and are scaling up or expanding as well as other initiatives that meet the fund’s objectives.
Raising venture capital is difficult for anyone, but it can be especially challenging for women. Only 10% of all Canadian companies that are scaling are women-led. It is well documented that, despite the better performance of women-led companies, VCs with male-only investors are dramatically less likely to invest in women-led companies, and when they do, they invest less. While Canada has double the percentage of women VCs at major firms as the US, the rate — 14% — is still exceeding low.
The BDC Capital Women in Technology (WIT) Fund will invest $200 million over the next five years to help bridge this gap. It will invest in women-led or co-led technology companies at the seed, Series A and Series B stages. Companies in its portfolio include A&K Robotics, a self-driving technology company, Lufa Farms, an urban farm-to-table e-commerce site and Swift Medical, a digital wound care management company.
For women to have equal participation in entrepreneurship, it will take more than training and funding. It also needs public policy changes. “We’ve modernized parental leave,” said Ng. For women, entrepreneurship is perceived as offering greater flexibility to achieve a work-life balance, according to Labor after Labor, a research report by the Kauffman Foundation. Knowing that their husbands, wives and significant others have paid time off to share in the care of a newborn ensures that all women entrepreneurs — not just those with money — have the support they need after childbirth.
“Affordable, high-quality childcare has remarkably positive effects,” said Joya Misra, professor of sociology and public policy at the University of Massachusetts when I interviewed for Forget the Glass Ceiling: Build Your Business Without One. Countries with higher levels of publicly subsidized childcare have significantly higher levels of maternal employment and wages. “Affordable childcare is the great equalizer,” said Misra. “It has tremendously positive effects, supporting the employment and wages of women at every educational level, and limiting the risk of poverty for families with children.”
“Quality childcare remains hard for many families to find,” said Jennifer Owens in Forget the Glass Ceiling. Childcare can be the largest expense after housing. She founded Working Mother Research Institute and served as editorial director of Working Mother Media.“This leads too many families to opt to have one parent leave the workforce — not because they want to, but because they are forced to by the economics of childcare.”
The Canadian government is also making 40,000 affordable childcare spaces available making it easier and more convenient for entrepreneurs to return to their businesses.
Government alone can’t create the environment in which women entrepreneurs thrive. It takes the creativity and passion of women. Toronto-based Elize Shirdel founded Datenight Babysitting, an app that connects families with local caregivers. She has partnered with a Ryerson University-based institute to help provide free childcare to other moms trying to grow their businesses.
What can we do to make our country follow suit?
March 8, 2019 at 07:11AM
Forbes – Entrepreneurs