The Time Is Now: Scotiabank Launches The Scotiabank Women Initiative

Small Business Canada

– A comprehensive program empowering women to take their businesses to the next level –

TORONTO, Dec. 5, 2018,/CNW/ – Scotiabank today launched The Scotiabank Women Initiative™, a comprehensive program that will advance women-led businesses in Canada through access to capital, education and mentorship. Academic research and Scotiabank’s own exploration has shown that women business leaders face significant challenges in achieving growth. Scotiabank is confronting this issue by offering meaningful support to female entrepreneurs in order to help them take their businesses to the next level.

women entrepreneurs
The Scotiabank Women Initiative (CNW Group/Scotiabank)

The Scotiabank Women Initiative has three core pillars, including:

Access to Capital: Scotiabank has deployed financing to support the growth of women-led small and mid-market businesses. In addition, Scotiabank will ensure equal access to its full suite of financing solutions. Female business owners/leaders can leverage a financial partner to help support their growth.

Mentorship: An advisory board, made up of men and women with deep experience in financial services, has been created to help women grow their business through facilitated small group membership sessions. These sessions will cover pre-identified topics and complex business problems. Clients will have the opportunity to interact with senior leaders as well as other like-minded women in business.

Education: Through Un-Mentorship Boot Camps™, Scotiabank will provide access to a series of sessions that “un-teach” traditionally-held ideas about how to succeed; explore business-focused issues like governance, adopting the technology, and recruiting and retaining employees with Scotiabank executives and other experts; and hear from  other successful women and advisory board members.

“To help shape this program, Scotiabank consulted with customers, researchers and industry leaders to understand more fully the challenges women business leaders face,” said Gillian Riley, Executive Vice-President, Scotiabank. “Specifically, we learned about unconscious bias and its effects on women business owners and their ability to access financing. For example, the ratio of requested versus approved debt for women is significantly lower than for men. Through The Scotiabank Women Initiative, we will better understand and serve women business leaders, and be a valued partner in their success.”

To celebrate the launch of The Scotiabank Women Initiative, Scotiabank hosted a panel discussion this morning at the Scotiabank Centre. The event featured a panel of female business executives who discussed their challenges in owning and leading businesses. Keynote speakers at the event included Gillian Riley and Sarah Kaplan, Professor and Director of the Institute for Gender and the Economy at the University of Toronto.

“The Scotiabank Women Initiative is being piloted in Canada with Commercial Banking clients, with an eye to future expansion,” added Riley. “However, we don’t see this just as a business opportunity, but also as our way of helping address an important social challenge.”

Women business leaders can visit to learn more about the initiative, including details on each of the three pillars.

About Scotiabank

Scotiabank is Canada’s international bank and a leading financial services provider in the Americas. We are dedicated to helping our more than 25 million customers become better off through a broad range of advice, products and services, including personal and commercial banking, wealth management and private banking, corporate and investment banking, and capital markets. With a team of more than 97,000 employees and assets of $998 billion (as at October 31, 2018), Scotiabank trades on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX: BNS) and New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: BNS). For more information, please visit and follow us on Twitter @ScotiabankViews.

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