Entrepreneurial Innovation and Full Moon Illumination | March at Shecosystem

March is born in fullness, a round moon mirroring the sunbeams of springtime. Pregnant with promise, hiding nothing of herself, she illuminates the path to rebirth. It has been a long winter gathering our strength underground, and we are ready to spring into action.

 

Here are a few of the things that are sparking hope in me this March…


International Women’s Day is next week, and we’ll be marking it on March 8 with WombSpace: an afternoon of learning, healing and community.

 

We’ve chosen to host our event during the day, so that you can spend your evening at one of the many panels, screenings, and celebrations happening around town. Join us from 2-6PM for a talking circle, reiki from Daily Magic, readings from Uplifting Tarot, and a talk on menstrual wellness from Amanda Laird – all in support of our neighbour Sistering. Check out our other top picks for IWD here.


There is a greater momentum than ever before around women’s entrepreneurship in Canada.

This week’s federal budget promised an extra $100 million over five years to women’s organizations through the Ministry for the Status of Women (now an official Department of the Government of Canada), plus  $1.4 billion of financing opportunities for women-led ventures through the Business Development Bank of Canada.  It also takes steps to promote equal sharing of parental responsibilities, close the wage gap, support women in the trades, and address gender-based violence.

 

The gender lens was applied to spending decisions, and the government aims to stay accountable through Canada’s Gender Results Framework: a tool to measure how these budget items translate into a more equitable society. With this year’s budget, Canada is making  “a conscious effort to understand how decisions affect different people differently, with a view to allocating government resources more equitably and efficiently.”


In other promising news, a couple of weeks ago a report came out from BMO and Carleton University looking at women entrepreneurs and Canada’s innovation landscape.

 

The narrow definition of innovation is something that has bothered me since I started working with women entrepreneurs. Most of Shecosystem’s members – and a full 90% of women entrepreneurs (TD Economics, 2015) – are running businesses in the service sector. With most resources going toward supporting high growth businesses innovating in science and tech, women are being left out of the innovation agenda.

 

We know this already.  Last June, at the SheEO/City of Toronto Women’s Entrepreneurship Forum (coming up again next Friday!), I listened in one session as one woman after another spoke up about how incubators, funding opportunities, and training programs are not speaking to them or addressing their needs as micro-businesses in the service sector. This report spells out recommendations for governments, financial institutions and women entrepreneurs themselves to address challenges – from access to capital, grants, incubators and networks, to ageism, sexual harassment, and gaps in training and mentoring.

 

There is promise in this report loudly declaring that we need to broaden the way we define innovation to be more inclusive of women’s innovations. The report quotes the OECD’s definition: “[a]n innovation is the implementation of a new or significantly improved product (good or service), or process, a new marketing method, or a new organizational method in business practices, workplace organization or external relations.”  

It also notes that, “because women’s motivation in starting a business is often to better integrate their professional and personal lives, women tend also to innovate in the management of their businesses…they implement more informal, more participative and more horizontal organizations based on teamwork.”

Finally, the report celebrates the fact that women led ventures tend to be “vision-led,” creating social innovation that can benefit their communities.

 

I asked women in our community to own the ways their businesses are innovating. Here are a few of their responses:

“The initiative I’m working on, Disaster Pet Locator is completely directed at social good in three areas: Mental Health, Animal Welfare, Disaster Relief and all using technology and human resources.” (Julia Moreno Perri)

“I developed a framework to help companies understand how to engage their employees and sustain engagement over the long-term. I published a book based on it…I don’t think consultants get much credit for the new ideas and processes we develop for our clients.” (Corina Walsh)

“We are mitigating the risks involved in delegating to offshore virtual assistants while ensuring that we are not using the people on our team, but to the contrary, creates sustainable opportunities that mean wins for everyone.” (Katrina McKay)


In the spirit of promoting women’s innovation, we launched a new blog this week: CREATRIX.


CREATRIX highlights the people in our coworking community who are giving life to new ideas and new businesses. Check out our first post featuring Sulafa Silim, founder of Dawa Apothecary. Sulafa roots equity throughout her work, creating safe and accessible wellness spaces where women of colour can  “have conversations about the real challenges they’re experiencing. Talking about anti-black oppression, or shadism within people of colour. Talking about perceptions of each other. We’re having those hard hitting conversations.”

 


 

May tonight’s full moon in Virgo shine a light on where you need to focus your energy this Spring, which seeds to water…as @mysticmamma writes “Virgo is the healer within, reminding us to embody our Spirit so we can bring about forth real change in our lives for the benefit of all. Her medicine is love in service, and her practical magic helps us streamline our directive so we can focus on how best to be in service of our collective healing.”??

Spend some time journalling, meditating, or doing any other practice that helps you tune into your intuition to fuel your innovative force! ???

I hope to see you at our WombSpace gathering on International Women’s Day or at one of our other events this March. Check out our whole calendar here.

Sending you full moon love,

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.

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.

Rubiena Duarte: Reiki Master

Rubiena Duarte

Business:  Reiki Master


What is at the heart of your business?

Energy Healing, Reiki Courses and Sessions

 

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

A collective of women is what makes me thrive!

 

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

Community – it always takes a village!!

 

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

A space to connect, work, do business

 

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

Daily meditations

 

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

Take a risk


 

CONNECT WITH  RUBIENA!

Website: reikibyrubiena.com

Facebook: Reiki By Rubiena

Instagram: @reiki_by_rubiena

 

 

UPCOMING EVENT:

Manifesting Your Life with Reiki by Rubiena

Jessica Vogt: The Green Leadership Coach

Jessica Vogt

Business:  Green Leadership Coach and Founder of Talpa & Co.


What is at the heart of your business?

I work collaboratively with emerging leaders and change makers in the environmental sector offering coaching solutions that fit their needs and goals.

 

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

I was looking for a small and intimate space to work and not feel alone. I also feel strongly aligned with Shecosystem values. To be honest, I was intrigued about a women coworking space. I felt challenged to connect with that part of me that is feminine. I feel drawn to the community because I think it will do me good and challenge me in ways I can not imagine yet. I also love to combination of work and wellness. That is what I want in my own life and work.

 

What does thriving look like to you?

It looks like harmony. Thriving for me feels like I am smiling while I work, I am excited when I complete a project, I feel connected to others on a deep and authentic level. I am in touch with my fears and have a healthy relationship with all my saboteurs.

 

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

Tough one … I’d say Collaboration, Community, and Openness. I have been craving for collaboration. I tend to be more an extravert than an introvert. I talk my ideas out loud, I need visuals, colours, movement, etc. I need someone to debate, ask honest feedback and to reflect with. It seems that Shecosystem encourages collaboration. I have not yet found a place I feel part of a community.

As an immigrant who has been living in Toronto for over 6 years and recently starting my own business, I need a community where I feel I belong, where I feel people are curious, brave, authentic, challenging and pushing ideas and with values I can relate. I feel here, people share lots of similar values. I love the diversity and also the fact that it is a small and intimate space.

 

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

I want to support and receive support from openminded, mindful, fun and respectful people. Exchanging ideas, resources, advice, food, and laughs.

 

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

I choose to make time every morning to stretch and do some long breathing exercises. I have integrated some vocal exercises to the breathing too. It’s fun.

 

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

If you feel alone, come out and find a place where you can feel part a group/community. You do not have to be alone and brave storms and challenges all by yourself.

 

Anything else we should know about you?
I speak French Sign Languages because I have the privilege to have awesome deaf parents.

 

CONNECT WITH JESSICA!

Website: talpaco

Twitter: Talpa and co

Facebook: Jessica Vogt Coaching

LinkedIn: J Vogt

 

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

 

Finding my Tribe

This morning as we gathered in our Opening Circle, I pulled a card that landed upside-down – facing out into the circle. The card had an image of a redhead with a rose in her hair surrounded by laughing, dancing women, and it read:

“Find your Tribe.” 
Finding your tribe goes way deeper than just having like-minded people around. Your tribe are the people who step in to uplift and defend you, to help you build and grow.

I feel the power of this tribe every single day that I witness – and experience – the many ways in which this community connects.  Shecosystem has grown to over 50 members who work and play together.  There’s a palpable feeling of belonging, support, and trust in this expanding circle of folks who get it.

This month, the tribe is springing into action – and it couldn’t come at a better time.

After seven months of forcing myself to wear too many hats, I’m tired. It’s not the kind of tired that I can fix with a screen-free weekend or a long nap after work. It’s the kind of sustained weariness that can ONLY be remedied by asking for help.

 

So with the help of my Shecosister Mathura, I’m piloting a Summer Energy Exchange program. The means that rather than one overstretched and exhausted woman at the helm, Shecosystem now has a team (we’re calling it a Coven because we’re magickal like that) of seven committed women. We are truly becoming a Shecosystem – interconnected, resilient, diverse, governed by patterns and processes that naturally tend toward abundance!

At the first meeting of our Coven, I sat in awe as each woman described the kinds of work that bring her joy. The greatest part: their zones of genius are all so different from mine.  I’ve always said that diversity makes a Shecosystem thrive, and we are now putting that into play by harnessing different skills, perspectives, and personalities.

The women in the coven will be here to woman the space all day every day (so I’m free to leave and work on the business), each bringing a different vibe and new ideas. They won’t just be sitting around doing data entry and welcoming guests; they’ll each be leading an exciting project that makes the most of their unique talents and lets them do the kind of work they enjoy.  This means that the stalled projects that I’ve found too challenging or draining to pursue will get done, joyfully and willingly by competent experts. And it means that I can reconnect with what I do best, and fall in love with my work again.

The coven includes:

  • MATHURA our coven’s head witch who brings order to my vision and keeps us all flowing
  • JOY helping our members and our space shine online
  • ERIN our smooth operator making our events and scheduling accessible and efficient
  • PAT our get shit done gal levelling up our tools and systems
  • LINDSAY a people person extraordinaire who will make everyone feel at home
  • MELANIE a networker who will spread the social love far and wide
  • KATE a green goddess making sure we’re making a positive social and environmental impact

You’ll be hearing more about these wonderful women over the next few months. And without a doubt, you’ll be reaping the benefits of their work.

 


 

Emily Rose Antflick is Shecosystem’s founder and Chief Community Cultivator. Get in touch with her at emily@shecosystem.ca

Imesia Ewan believes in Progression over Perfection

Name: Imesia Ewan
Business:  Creator, Management Consultant at Imesia Ewan

 


What is at the heart of your business?

Making work FUN. Bringing the whole body into work.

 

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

I really appreciate and value the concept of sisterhood. I believe that there is power in women who come together to dream, create, collaborate and execute.

 

What does thriving look like to you?

Progression over perfection.

 

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

Community. When we unite we are the strongest.

 

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

I hope to share from what I know from my career in human resources, learning & development and my passion for bringing wellness into the workplace.

 

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

Breathwork. Even if I have ‘one of those days’ where life is getting overwhelming and I tell myself ‘I have no time’! Something I always make time for is a breathing meditation or simply taking time to notice my breathing, the quality of my breath, the pace and in that moment I can find some simple peace.

 

 

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

Value your progress everyday. Take time for breath. Refuel yourself to continue on.

 

Anything else we should know about you?

I like to dance!


Connect with Imesia!

Facebook: movewithimesia
Instagram: @movewithimesia
Linkedin: @imesiaewan

Sheena Ewan Spreads the Healing + Shares the Love

Name: Sheena Ewan
Business:  Creator, Astrology Guide and Reiki Master/Teacher at Raw Redemption and Co-Founder of Roots Movement Retreats

 


 

What is at the heart of your business?

 

Spiritual and emotional wellness techniques and beliefs that help individuals to heal, evolve and transform their own lives by holding space while providing support, self care strategies and honouring ancestral teachings.

 

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

My sister and I won a free month as we’ve both been looking to expand our community base and clientele.

 

What does thriving look like to you?

Thriving for me looks like offering opportunity and space for others to heal and transform and in turn, have my inner wealth fully reflected in my outer world.

 

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

Wellness is likely the most resonant for me because if I’m feeling less than my best or ideal self, it affects the other values. At the same time, if I’m able to be open* enough in times that I’m not at or close to 100%.. my community*, the sense of collaboration* and feminism* help to maintain my wellbeing too.

 

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

 

I wish to, as my company’s tagline says, “Spread the healing. (And) Share the love” with my gifts and products.

 

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


I use crystals in my workspace, in my creams, water and anywhere else I can to get infuse a little crystal magic. I.e., I have a smokeless sage spray under my Raw Redemption line that uses crystal essences and each has a crystal inside as well so every time I spray it, it’s not only sage and palo santo but also crystal infused.

When I’m feeling stressed or overwhelmed, I take a minute to use reiki to balance my energy.

 

Anything else we should know about you?

I am a mental health advocate and I am an artist and often incorporate art into my events and workshops.


Connect with Sheena!

Jessica Rowen supports people during their career journey

Name: Jessica Rowen
Business:Marketing & Community ManagergdR | Grossman Dorland Recruiting


What is at the heart of your business?
Supporting people during their entire career journey.

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

I had looked into many coworking spaces as an alternative to my office – somewhere to gain focus and inspiration – but none stood out like Shecosystem! The space and Emily Rose just spoke to my soul.

 

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


I hope that I can be someone that holds space for other members – a shoulder to lean on or an ear to listen. I would also be very happy to provide advice or feedback on anything marketing or recruitment related. And for me, it’s about surrounding myself with inspiring women that push me to be my best self.

What does thriving Look like for you?

I hope that I can be someone that holds space for other members – a shoulder to lean on or an ear to listen. I would also be very happy to provide advice or feedback on anything marketing or recruitment related. And for me, it’s about surrounding myself with inspiring women that push me to be my best self.

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

Feminism. Because I believe the other core values are a result of truly embracing feminism.

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

If I’m being honest, I don’t do a good job of this. I try to take walks, but it’s usually just to grab a coffee so that I can work more. This is definitely an area I would like to improve and feel that working at Shecosystem will help me do just that.

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

“Nevertheless, she persisted.” — There will always be barriers, but if we help elevate each other, we all win.

Anything else we should know about you?

I am a co-director and mentor for the Parkdale Mentorship Program (PMP), I LOVE hip hop and I’m only discovering the greatness of Harry Potter now.

 

Meet Leyla: Helping Products with Purpose make a Profit!

Name: Leyla Razeghi
Business: Product Strategist, Leyla Razeghi


What is at the heart of your business?


I work with purpose-driven product-makers and store owners so they make more money, grow a sustainable business, leave a legacy and build the lifestyle of their dreams.

I help my clients build strategic plans for growth that align with their purpose, values and target market + I share retail industry secrets that I learned in the top Fortune 500 retail and consumer products company.

 

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

I love the energy and activities! Coming to Sheco is an amazing experience of productivity, networking and self-care.

 

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


Give: Business advice for products + emotional support for ups and downs in business and life.
Get: Connections, spiritual sisterhood, self-improvement, potential clients.

 

What does thriving Look like for you?

Having freedom to work the hours that I want in things that I love. Being able to invest in things that make me happy.

 

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

Sustainability is key in both life and business.

 

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

My morning ritual of affirmations and journaling.

 

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

Focus on your foundations first (the back-end of your business) before you start investing in marketing or what I call “the pretty things”

 

Anything else we should know about you?

Reach out if you want to know more about latin food and culture 😉


If you want business tips for product-makers, I want to invite you to my free group: www.leylarazeghi.com/worksmarter


Join Leyla for a workshop on Perfect Pricing | April 11 at Shecosystem. Register now!

leyla pricing workshop