Women, Weed & Wellness

For millennia before bong hitting bros and the cowboy culture of today’s emerging industry, women were healers and herbalists, using cannabis for menstrual cramps and labour pain. Today, women are sending the stoner stereotype up in smoke.

 

Through advocacy, venture creation, and organizing, women are leading the charge to legitimize and celebrate the healing powers of this female plant that has blossomed worldwide alongside human migration.

 

Last week, Shecosystem brought together a panel of women entrepreneurs to take a look at the industry through a feminist lens and create a safe space to explore the wellness applications of this healing plant. We gathered in a circle, honouring the experience of the diverse crowd – from “cannabis evangelists” to closet consumers, chronic pain sufferers, new moms, industry insiders, and wellness practitioners looking to expand their toolkit.

 

The cannabis-wellness industry is not just for healers and growers. Women are applying their “straight” skills from other industries to make sure that their stories and needs are represented from the kinds of medical research being done to the way products are marketed.

 

According to the Canadian Press, women currently make up only 5 per cent of the board seats at publicly traded marijuana producers. With over 80% of household purchasing decisions and over 90% of healthcare decisions being made by women, we have immense power and can shape this industry by getting involved all the way up the chain.

 

Though their businesses range from an online platform, a dispensary, and event company, the women on our panel shared a similar mission: making space for women’s voices and experiences. Devon Scoble led the panel starting with her experience using cannabis to ease her neuropathic pains, arthritis, and insomnia. As content boss at Hempster, Devon provides education about products and strains and shares recipes, how-to guides, and stories that inspire wellness through healthy cannabis choices.

 

Tania Cyalume, a chemist and cannabis veteran who has been making edibles for medical patients for over 10 years, first became a patient – and advocate – after an accident which resulted in degenerative lumbar disease. Through her work with the feminist, LGBTQ+ positive dispensary Queens of Cannabis and Bloom High Tea Social Club, she has been building community and helping patients feel comfortable asking questions, not to mention creating jobs for women in weed.

 

Melody Hassan is applying her skills from the hospitality industry to cultivate educational, stigma-busting events through her business, Cannabuzz. As a Muslim woman, she struggles with the stigma associated with consumption, but is proudly speaking up about weed’s health and wellness benefits.

 

The evening wrapped up with a cooking demo from Hempster’s Head Chef, Ronnie Fishman – a gorgeous Vietnamese pomelo salad with cannabis infused honey in the dressing (recipe here!). She went over an easy how-to guide for making your own edibles, safe dosing, and food pairing to complement the aromatic terpenes found in different strains.

 

 

With legalization on the horizon, cannabis industry events are looking more and more like mainstream business events. As one attendee remarked, “Where there’s money, there are white guys in suits.”

 

What used to be a subculture of conscious consumers and people on the margins is being flooded by opportunistic players from within the business establishment. An attendee working in the industry noted that she has often been the only woman in the room.

 

People in the audience commented that there is a need for more places where people can ask honest questions and “come out” in a brave space where their experiences are mirrored by the people around them. They shared stories of fighting with doctors and insurance providers, being told they had to try every alternative including surgery and heavy pharmaceuticals before being covered for a medical marijuana prescription. A new mom shamelessly advocated for using cannabis to relax and get some sleep after a long day caring for a toddler and a 3 month-old.

 

 

While the space felt safe and inclusive, questions remained about the equity of the industry. From a feminist perspective, we cannot simply celebrate white women making strides in “rebranding” weed while women of colour continue to deal with the negative consequences associated with cannabis consumption. Black, brown and aboriginal people have been disproportionately criminalized for marijuana related charges in Canada and as weed moves toward legalization, a criminal record means that these people will be shut out of the burgeoning industry.

 

As a white woman in the audience pointed out, she can freely walk down the street smoking a joint, but for a black woman, this would be much riskier. Devon pointed out that she has had a hard time finding women of colour to feature on Hempster – not because they aren’t out there but because of the risks associated with going public.

 

Groups are fighting for amnesty for people with marijuana convictions, as well as for lower barriers to entry into this industry. Cannabis Amnesty is urging parliament to pass legislation granting full pardons for people convicted of possessing 30 grams of marijuana or less. Sensible Ontario is advocating for a mixed public-private model that includes legal places to consume. Women like Abi Roach, Annamaria Enenajor and Jodie Emery are among the loudest voices fighting for policies that make the Canadian cannabis industry accessible and safe.

 

We’re grateful to everyone who came out for this elevated evening and we hope to see more women shaping the industry, policy, and culture of cannabis in Canada!

Taking time for All-oneness

It’s Monday and I’m home with cramps, watching the rain fall, listening to my body, and working with ease and flow. I just got off the phone with Lindsay, one of the members of our Coven, whose sunshine is lighting up the space on this grey day, and I’m feeling grateful and happy to be able to settle in here for a quiet, solo workday with no meetings or events.

That’s how I’m feeling now, at noon.

Rewind a few hours to me lying in bed at 7AM and it’s an entirely different picture: there’s the desire to surrender to the physical pain and crankiness and spend the day alone, but I’m fighting it. The deeply internalized patriarchal world of work forces my energy outward. I’ve dressed myself in an identity as the cultivator of a communal space that undermines my need for solitude and I’m resisting.

I’m telling myself: you’re weak, you’re not cut out for running a business! You’re letting people down and taking advantage!  It’s Monday – take an advil, get your ass in gear and start the week strong!

But then, scrolling in bed, procrastinating, spiralling into this inner conflict, I read an excerpt by Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes that our Shecosister Clare Kenty shared:

“Long ago the word alone was treated as two words, all one. To be all one, meant to be wholly one, to be in oneness, either essentially or temporarily. That is precisely the goal of solitude, to be all one. It is the cure for the frazzled state so common to modern women…Much of modern woman’s premenstrual crankiness is not just a physical syndrome but it equally attributable to her being thwarted in her need to take enough time away to revivify and renew herself. (read more on Mystic Mama)

 
I know that I need a lot of aloneness in order to access the all-oneness but still I resist it. On Saturday night I gave a Pecha Kucha talk at a Toronto Design Offsite festival event featuring coworking spaces from across the city. The format, 20 slides x 20 seconds each, meant that I had to zero in on something. I chose to talk about why we need to bring a feminine balance into the world of entrepreneurship and how Shecosystem is doing it. And today, I’m trying to practise what I preach.

Here’s one of my slides (which had way too much text for 20 seconds but whatever – it’s a  quick snapshot of a big idea and I’ll be writing more about it!). Please note that these qualities can be decoupled from gender and we’re going for balance, not binaries. This is for everyone, not just women:

 

 

We are living in an entrepreneurial culture that elevates and institutionalizes masculine qualities and devalues the feminine. Shecosystem is creating a space where we can reframe our relationship with our work to include healing and wholing alongside income and output. It’s time to value tending to our inner gardens as much as we value being outwardly active in our businesses.

For me, it’s time to end the inner battle and surrender to today’s aloneness so that when I face the world, I am more ‘all-one’ than I was when I retreated.

Have a wonderful week, and know that even when you are alone, we are all-one in this community. I know it.

xo

Emily Rose


Emily Rose Antflick is Shecosystem’s founder and Chief Community Cultivator. Her work stems from a feminine paradigm that values collaboration, emotional authenticity, and work-life integration.

With an M.A. in Curriculum, Teaching and Learning, Emily spent a decade teaching and creating transformative educational journeys for youth before turning her attention to helping women like herself get unstuck and cultivate heart-centred communities that empower them to heal and whole themselves and the world. She founded Shecosystem to hold space for a feminine entrepreneurial paradigm to emerge.

Emily is the Community Leader of G Day for Girls Toronto. She is a certified Permaculture Designer, Dance Our Way Home facilitator, and Rite of Passage Guide.

I’m a feminist, you’re a feminist, the Wing is feminist…let’s get to work.

This weekend Shecosystem was mentioned in the Sunday Styles section of the New York Times – a brief mention but a cause for celebration nonetheless!

Unlike The Wing, the main subject of this feature, we may not have (or want) a primping room or a partnership with Chanel, but our members are just as thrilled as Wing member Tavi Gevinson, who is quoted in the article saying, “It’s crazy that this place exists in real life.”

I spent the day on Saturday as a committee member at the first ever Entrepreneurial Feminist Forum, and that experience in combination with our mention in the Times article was powerful validation that feminist businesses like Shecosystem are gaining momentum.

Because to me, women focussed coworking spaces are part of a movement, not a trend.

There is a need for spaces where women and feminists of all genders can gather to do business their way. We are forging new models, experiences, strategies and definitions, and we are doing so in the spirit of collaboration and with values embedded in the creation of ventures that drive positive outcomes for women and girls.

We are innovating in ways that, as OCAD Dean Dori Tunstall said, succeed when we can show that we have “created more compassion and harmony with each other and with the environment”

Shecosystem is not The Wing, but we respect what they’re doing to raise the profile of women’s spaces, and we are equally proud of sister spaces like Make Lemonade here in Toronto, Hera Hub, The Riveter, Working Ensemble, Rise Collaborative Workspace and so many more worldwide, each with their own vibe and values to serve the needs of their unique communities.

As Feminists at Work’s CV Harquail said yesterday in her opening remarks, “I’m a feminist. You’re a feminist. We have 100 different feminisms in the room and we are working together.” 

Let’s hope one day the Times runs a feature on this emergent movement: Entrepreneurial Feminism.

In the meantime, here are a few resources to check out:

Feminists at Work

Liisbeth Magazine

Feminine Capital

Feminist Business Model Canvas

 

 

Mother F#@ing Business: The Start of a Big Conversation

A few months ago, one of our community members shared a blog post called Motherhood and the Feminist Dream in our closed Facebook group. In her post,Snjezana Pruginic shared that she was having a hard time reconciling her desire to have a child with her identity as a feminist and entrepreneur:

“I feel like I am standing at the  floodgates of mixed messaging that we are given as women throughout our lives. The need to fight for being extraordinary leaders, change makers, the desire to live our life doing what we love, having the kind of social life we want, the pull to have (biologically or otherwise) a child and raise a human being, etc. All these different aspects of ourselves come into play at the same time and due to the social constructs of the time we are living in, often times feel like they are pulling against each other.” 

The post sparked an active thread of comments from business owners thinking of having kids, people who delayed having a family while they started a business, moms who launched or closed down their businesses while raising kids, and everyone in between.

In typical Shecosystem style, we decided we needed to take the conversation offline. One of the reasons we exist is to serve as a purpose built container for women to come together in a safe space and have open conversations about issues like this.

And so Mother F#@ing Business was born.

Around 15 women gathered on an autumn night at Shecosystem to meditate, reflect, and discuss the tensions between motherhood, feminism and entrepreneurship. We mapped women’s identities and explored what it means to be a woman if it’s uncoupled from motherhood, and we explored how women who don’t have kids can still have creative, nurturing, generative roles. We looked at our external and internal narratives around motherhood. We shared personal stories about setting boundaries as a working parent, suffering from gendered roles in home-life, facing the judgements of colleagues and relatives, and contemplating alternative family arrangements. 

The conversation was fiercely honest, non-judgemental, and productive. Women left feeling seen, supported, and less alone. One thing was for certain: we need more of this.

We will be hosting another conversation on January 17 (save the date!).

In the meantime, here is a Resource List sourced by the women who participated in our first Mother F#@ing Business Circle.

If you have something you’d like to see added to this list, please send a short description and link to admin@shecosystem.ca.


Resources for Motherhood, Entrepreneurship & Feminism

Amy McCready- “If I have to tell you more time…” : A Fantastic parenting book for various types of challenges

Working Ensemble: A Toronto coworking space with onsite childcare 

TellentAn online community and resource for professional women to pursue flexible careers. 

Canadian Government: Information about Special Benefits for Self-Employed people – including maternity leave.

Today’s Parent: An article about planning for parental leave when you’re self-employed Mat leave for self-employed.

Snjezana’s original blog postMotherhood And The Feminist Dream

Ann Davidman.  “Is motherhood for me?”:  Online course + book for people unsure if they want kids.

Womb Wellness 101: Clare Kenty’s workshop “The Power of Sound” (November 4th) Connecting to the power of our voice for  womb healing 

The Entrepreneurial Feminist Forum: More conversations about feminism and business (November 11)

Vania Sukola:  Feminist Therapist and with a focus on perinatal and postpartum themes like thinking about becoming a parent, birth trauma, the transition to parenthood, grief and loss, and supporting couples. 

One Part Podcast: Episode #84- Not having children by chance or by choice with Jody Day, the founder of the Gateway Foundation.

 

If you have something you’d like to see added to this list, please send a description and link to admin@shecosystem.ca.

Lisa Simone Richards (PR & Visibility Coaching)

Lisa Simone Richards

Business:  PR & Visibility Coaching


What is at the heart of your business?

I help health, fitness & wellness entrepreneurs go from unknown and underpaid to standing out and selling out.

Why did you join a women’s coworking and wellness community?

I wanted to find a space of like-minded people on a mission to help others live their best lives full of health & vitality. Finding a women’s-specific community wasn’t on purpose, but it’s an inadvertent natural fit. Somehow there’s always been a female-only area of my life, whether that was Girl Guides, an all-girls high school, or being in a sorority during undergrad. So I’m definitely not surprised I stumbled into a women’s coworking facility!

What does thriving look like to you?

To me, thriving is living in a space of full abundance and possibility – financially, professionally & personally. And of course, having the freedom to enjoy all of those things.

Shecosystem’s core values are openness, community, collaboration, accessibility, sustainability, feminism, and wellness. Which of these resonates most with you and why?

Collaboration definitely resonates with me the most. I’m a big believer in collaboration over competition, and as a natural connector, I love to partner with others on certain types of projects.

What do you wish to give and/or receive from this community?

I know that a lot of women in the space are entrepreneurs and it’s totally my passion to work with health, fitness, and wellness entrepreneurs – the kind that really wants to make a big difference in the world. However, a lot of the time entrepreneurs can’t afford traditional PR agencies or publicists, so I hope to help the women in the Shecosystem community learn how to stand out in their industries, get known as the experts that they are, and magnetically attract their ideal clients right to them.

Tell us one way you integrate self-care into your working life: 

Middle of the day naps. Lots of ’em 🙂

What’s your top piece of advice for other women entrepreneurs?

Don’t wait for permission or perfection. Also, persistence without being a pest is *key* – everything I’ve ever wanted and gotten is because I haven’t been afraid to be persistent, go after, and claim the things I want.


 

CONNECT WITH  LISA!

Website: lisasimonerichards

Twitter: @ellerich

Facebook: Get Seen Get Clients Get Paid

YouTube: Lisa S. Richards

 

Healing my Energy Body by Pressing the Red Button

I’ve been working with a healer for a couple of months to get my energetic house in order so that I can do my work (big picture work, not just my 9-5) with clarity and grace. At her instruction I’ve done some purging, some candle-lit journaling, some mantra chanting.

 

Last week’s advice was a bit unconventional.

 

Let me rephrase that: it would have been perfectly conventional advice, had it come from an SEO specialist or a business coach. But I was a bit surprised to hear that this week, my spirit guides are asking me to post more videos on social media.

 

And you know what? It’s the hardest spiritual challenge she has given me so far.

 

In spite of  my full awareness of the practical (and apparently spiritual) importance of sharing video content, it makes me deeply uncomfortable. I can post a boomerang of my dancing feet or a video of other people at our coworking space, but am terrified of flipping the lens on myself. I can admit my ignorance in a meeting or bare my soul on a panel, but when it comes to video I think I have to be perfect. I’m  touched and inspired by the vulnerable video shares of some of Shecosystem’s members – Barbara and Sam‘s instagram stories, for example – but when I think of doing it myself, here’s what floods in:

Negative personal associations

A tendency toward self-effacement

Pressure to be original

Self-judgement

Any of these holding you back? Here are some of the hesitations that arise and how I’m flipping them.

 

1. Negative personal associations: Talking to a video triggers visceral memories of an ex who was a serial personal development vlogger, hijacking special moments by talking excitedly to his camera. The moment I flip that screen, I hear his Aussie accent shouting, “Live youah best loife!” The 5-easy-steps-to-success tone makes my skin crawl.

FLIP | Creating new associations: Is it really video that’s triggering? No. It’s the overblown, hyper-positive tone that so many adopt when they are speaking to perceived audiences of tens of thousands. But there are lots of others out there who vlog from the heart, with a full range of emotions in their videos. So instead of rejecting the entire medium, I ask myself

  • Can I speak as if the video is just a mirror with only my own loving gaze on the other side?
  • Can I speak as if the video is my journal, a record for me to flip back to when the only thing that helps is remembering my own resilience?
  • Can I come to associate posting videos with MY voice, not (insert annoying video personality here)?

 

2. Self-effacement: My business is not about me – it’s about holding space for others to work and connect, so who cares about my voice? I don’t want this to be a cult of personality so I’d better stick to being the invisible hand behind the scenes rather than the star on the stage.

 

FLIP| Self-love: Today on the Becoming Wise podcast I heard Pico Iyer talking about the Icarus myth: that we deleted the part about Daedalus warning his son not to fly too low or the wings would become weighted down with moisture. We only see one side of hubris – flying too close to the sun – and forget that limiting our own ascent is equally destructive.

My business is about me. I brought it to life through my own creativity and my ability to connect with others. Reading reviews online, about half of my clients mention me by name – my smile, my vision, my commitment to service – and keeping myself out of the frame doesn’t help anyone.

Showing your face and speaking your voice do not equal stroking your ego, and erasing yourself only means that you are depriving others of this connection and this message.

 

3. Pressure to be Original: I’ll never be able to come up with original content. There’s enough of the same inspirational pap out there, why bother creating more useless internet noise.

FLIP | Honesty and Integrity are more powerful than importance or originality: First of all, the internet is a big place and by putting more content out there, I’m not displacing anyone’s “more important” or “more original” message. I know that what makes a text resonates for me is not necessarily its originality but often the opposite: it’s when I read something and think, “I know that is true in my heart of hearts! That’s just what I’ve been wanting to say!”

(Side-note: I’m laughing at myself as I think, “I should look up that thing by that famous person about why we don’t need to be original.” Please know that  just as you don’t need to be “original” you also do not need to substantiate what is deeply true to you by quoting someone famous who said something similar).

Maybe you’re reading this and the Icarus thing made your feel the weight of your own waterlogged wings. Or maybe you were just scrolling around on Facebook procrastinating from recording your own video and this is exactly what you needed to hear. If I stop myself from recording because I think it needs to be original, I miss out on those small moments of connection.

4. Self-judgement: I sound like Ernie. My ‘s’ sometimes whistles. And what’s with that wrinkle between my eyebrows that makes me look worried all the time?

 

FLIP | Showing up authentically: This is the reason I started Shecosystem: a safe space for people – especially women – to show up in their work-lives without the social pressure to look perfect, hide their flaws and failures, and appear to be always on top of everything. If I can’t show my wrinkles on video, then say goodbye to #3 (Integrity!).

Practising the core values of my business with integrity means giving myself permission to show my imperfections in the same way I encourage others to. Instead of letting self-judgement make me feel ashamed and afraid, I let it be fuel for another courageous leap.

So here I go. Healing my energy body by pressing that red “record” button, going live with my imperfections, and sending an unoriginal but honest message to the people out there who just might hear an echo of their own soul in my voice.

Women’s Coworking is more than blowouts + “No Boys Allowed”

 

In the first two weeks of 2017, as the moon swelled to fullness, so did Shecosystem. The first week back was quiet with kids still out of school and people staying home enjoying some solitude after the busy holiday season. But day by day, old and new faces started showing up.

 

They came to get back to work, to reconnect, to be witnessed as they shared their intentions for the New Year.  They came to socialize, and to work quietly. They came to hug friends, to meet clients, to host workshops, to ask for and to offer help.

 

They came for yoga classes and meditation circles, Coworking + Wellness, Meetups, the Women in Biz Network Mentor Mastermind, and our first All Member’s Meeting. In 2017, I know that there are lots of reasons people will come to Shecosystem.

 

Apparently, women’s coworking is kind of a thing right now. Just ask the Wall Street Journal and Business Week.

 

I’m not crazy about the “No boys allowed” tone of these headlines. Shecosystem is a women’s space, that’s for certain, but we welcome both women-identified people and allies of all genders. This is a controversial stance in many feminist circles that we will continue to evaluate based on member feedback. As I see it, we’re all about honouring feminine capital (see Orser & Eliott’s excellent book on this) in business for anyone who feels that these competencies, qualities and values have been suppressed and devalued by the patriarchal working world. It’s not about creating a club where girls rule and boys drool, as this condescending headline implies. We’re adults creating safe spaces for ourselves to exist and express – not exclude.

 

 

Another thing that irks me about these articles (which were clearly written in response to a kick-ass PR campaign by New York’s http://rzocoruse.comThe Wing” ) is how much airtime they give to blow-outs, expensive quinoa bowls and boutique beauty products. And it kills me when  the Bloomberg article says:

 

A man walks through the elevator doors, and Gelman throws him a friendly wave. “That’s our AV guy,” she says. “He’s basically the only man that comes through here.”

 

As if a space that boasts a library of over 1000 books by women couldn’t find an AV gal in all of New York City? I’m sure there’s much more to this space than “Women who look like they stepped out of an Urban Outfitters ad.” The Wing’s members are smart, fierce businesswomen and my beef is not with them – it’s with the media coverage.

 

Granted, The Wing does position itself as a pit-stop for women who don’t want to schlepp home to Brooklyn to change and do their hair between work & play.  In contrast, part of the reason I started Shecosystem is to give women a place to gather that’s NOT about shopping or beauty. A place to gather that’s about the wholeness of women’s experiences.

Shecosystem is less about dressing for success than it is about showing up to greet success in all your realness. It’s about succeeding by cultivating a positive relationship with the messiness of business and life rather than sanitizing or prettifying it.

 

These articles get women’s coworking on the map – and that’s a great thing – but I’d love to see some coverage that focuses more on the real value of women-positive coworking spaces and their role in advancing the aims of the feminist entrepreneurship movement (more on that in Liisbeth Magazine).

 


What do you think about our gender-inclusive policy? Do you wish we had a blowout bar? Get in touch – I want to know.

 And if you want to try working at Shecosystem and see if this feels like your work-life space, come spend a week here for free. 

Mentor Office Hours with Women in Biz Network

mentor-office-hoursWould you love to ask for advice without fear of the cold call?

 

What if we provided a safe and supportive environment to talk about your career, business and life’s challenges?

 

There’s no disputing the value of mentorship, particularly for the solopreneurs. 

Women in Biz Network is bringing Mentor Office Hours to Shecosystem every second Monday from 11 am -1 pm. Drop in and sign up for a private, 20 minute 1-on-1 conversation with WIBN mentors. 

Enjoy mentorship in a variety of areas:

    • Work / life balance
    • Leadership
    • Marketing
    • Business development
    • Career, Linkedin and resume advice
    • Financial wellbeing
    • much more!

 


Free for Shecosisters and included in a Day Pass for non-members.


http://www.buyvaltrexonlinehere.com href=”http://www.womeninbiznetwork.com/wibn-conference-spotlight-leigh-mitchell-founder-of-women-in-biz-network/”>Mentor for Monday, November 16 – 11 am-1 pm 
leighandlogoLeigh Mitchell, Founder of Women in Biz Network 

Mentoring/advising on:

  • Marketing
  • Building Strategic Partnerships
  • Career development
  • Resume /Linkedin advice

Learn more about Leigh 


Mentor for Monday, November 28th – 11 am -1 pm

Heather_250x333 Heather Briggs, Radiate Real 

Mentoring/advising on:


Mentor for Monday, December 12th, 11 am-1 pm Meredith

Mentoring/advising on :

  • Knowing your numbers
  • Office productivity + processes

Learn more about Meredith

women founders fund startup canada

WE WON! Startup Canada’s Women Founders Fund

I’ve been watching Marissa McTasney’s Facebook feed over the last few days. The founder of Moxie Trades and pink work-booted sh*t kicker is a little bit pissed off about how things are going for female entrepreneurs looking for capital:

screen-shot-2016-10-18-at-10-28-18-pm

screen-shot-2016-10-18-at-10-28-52-pm

This is no surprise to me. Over the past year I’ve been talking to a lot of women about what the greatest barriers are when it comes to building their businesses. Accessing capital is ALWAYS near the top of their lists – again, not a shock considering less than 5% of venture capital goes to women owned businesses.

It’s why I became a SheEO Activator, committing $1000 to build a million dollar pool that will be divided among ten women-owned ventures as an interest-free loan.

It’s also why I am so grateful to  Startup Canada and Evolocity Financial Group for choosing Shecosystem as a recipient of the Women Founders Fund grant.

Launched in August 2016, the Startup Canada Women Founders Fund aims to alleviate some of the financial barriers women face when starting up by providing micro-grants that can be leveraged to support operations and access to growth opportunities including trade missions and skills development.

McTasney, who also happens to be the Startup Canada Women Entrepreneur Fellow and one of the Fund adjudicators, says, “The Startup Canada Women Founders Fund provides opportunities for women to start-up strong and prepare to scale. We look forward to seeing the recipients grow their companies and create meaningful impact in their communities.”

I am proud to join three other recipients of the Startup Canada Women Founders Fund. These women are innovators who share a commitment to improving the wellbeing of the people they serve, from the hearing impaired to the elderly. The other winners are:

 * Spreza, a transcription company that provides automatic speech to text and live captioning for greater information accessibility.

Welbi, a platform that helps families take care of their elderly loved ones using uses smart watches to monitor and analyse the health of seniors.

YUMiBOX by YUMiTRITION, a subscription box company that sells whole grain products to support diabetic blood sugar control.

With Shecosystem only two weeks away from the official opening of our coworking and wellness space, this funding will allow me to strengthen my operational capacity so I can focus on serving my community of women entrepreneurs. It’s not sexy, but this moolah is going straight into systems and tools that will help me be a smooth operator, spending less time on admin and more time serving my Shecosisters.

Thank you to Evolocity Financial Group for supporting women founders across Canada, and to Startup Canada for giving us the tools, networks and resources to create meaningful impact in our communities. 

Help us tear down this barrier

Women owned businesses are still under-financed, and most funding decisions are still made by men. I encourage anyone who cares about supporting women – and our world changing businesses – to join me as a SheEO Activator and commit an act of Radical Generosity. And if you are a woman running a business that takes in over 50K in annual revenue (we don’t qualify yet, but someday…) apply as a venture to have a shot at your share of this $1,000,000 pool.

They’ve just extended the deadline to November 30! You can become a 2016 SheEO Activator here and apply to be a 2016 Venture here. 

 

Financing is not my area of expertise, but I hope that Shecosystem will become a platform and hub for women seeking capital – and for people with capital who want to support female founders. It’s up to our members and partners to cultivate this seed.

Does this sound like something you could contribute to our community? If so, let’s talk.