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:

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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.