Women Entrepreneurship Knowledge Hub: Creating An Inclusive And Supportive Environment For Women Entrepreneurs

Small Business Canada

In a report titled “Financing of women-owned small and medium-sized enterprises in Canada,” the statistics show that women entrepreneurs face unique challenges and are under-represented among business owners. However, they are outperformed by male-owned businesses, though women entrepreneurs are the majority owners of small and medium businesses.

A study by Mckinsey Global Institute on The Power Of Parity: Advancing Women’s Equality In Canada shows that increasing women’s equality in Canada may boost the country’s GDP by $150 billion in 2026. Taking note of these statistics, the Government of Canada has launched the first-ever Women Entrepreneurship Strategy (WES), representing more than $6 billion in investments and commitments. It strives to boost the access to capital, talent, networks, and knowledge that women-owned businesses need to launch, grow, and enter new markets.

Women Entrepreneurship Knowledge Hub

As a part of the Women Entrepreneur Strategy, the Women Entrepreneurship Knowledge Hub was launched to increase women entrepreneurs’ access to financing, talent, networks, and expertise. It is made up of 10 regional hubs and operates in both official languages. It includes a network of over 250 organizations, reaching more than 100,000 women entrepreneurs.

They work to strengthen Canada’s women entrepreneurship ecosystem with research, knowledge sharing, resources and networking in English and French. With governmental support, WEKH has a network of 300 partners and 10 regional hubs. They spread from coast to coast, bringing key individuals, organizations, and researchers together to build a more inclusive and supportive environment for women’s entrepreneurship in Canada.

Image Courtesy: https://wekh.ca/

Through the innovation ecosystem, they promote women entrepreneurs from various backgrounds by enabling service providers, academics, the government, and businesses.

10 Regional Hubs And Their Activities

The WEKH has 10 regional hubs across Canada to better respond to the regional needs of women entrepreneurs. These 10 hubs include: 

  • Asper School of Business, University of Manitoba
  • Bissett School of Business, Mount Royal University
  • The Rowe School of Business, Dalhousie University
  • Hill and Levene Schools of Business, University of Regina
  • VentureLabs and Beedie School of Business, Simon Fraser University, Vancouver
  • OCAD University, Toronto
  • Yukon University, Whitehorse
  • BMO Chair for Diversity and Governance Université de Montréal
  • Impact Hub Ottawa
  • PARO Center for Women’s Enterprise, Thunder Bay

Women Entrepreneurship Knowledge Hub activities include: 

  • collecting, analyzing and disseminating information, and advancing research on women’s entrepreneurship;
  • supporting and sharing best practices and knowledge among women business support organizations;
  • reporting on the progress of women entrepreneurs in Canada, including a review of the Canadian entrepreneurship ecosystem’s support for women.

The 10 regional hubs collaborate to organize operations in various locations and provide their particular area of experience and specialization to WEKH. For example, The Diversity Institute at Ryerson University is working with the Ted Rogers School of Management, the Brookfield Institute for Innovation + Entrepreneurship, and other key stakeholders to develop a more inclusive and supportive environment that will foster the growth of women’s entrepreneurship in Canada.

Encouraging Women Entrepreneurs

The goals of WEKH are to meet the requirements of diverse women entrepreneurs across regions and sectors. By connecting them to resources and best practices from around the nation, its cutting-edge technology platform will improve the ability of women entrepreneurs and the organizations that support them.

The Women Entrepreneurship Knowledge Hub (WEKH) is a one-stop source of knowledge, data and best practices for women entrepreneurs. Their “See it. Be it.” is a database with more than a thousand profiles of successful Canadian women business owners from various origins, industries, life experiences, and geographical locations. This database has been shared because women need to see successful women entrepreneurs have the courage to become one. 

Image Courtesy: https://wekh.ca/

The initiatives have a national scope and challenge stereotypes to build awareness of women’s entrepreneurial success. To know more about their initiatives and programs, visit their website at https://wekh.ca/

Women Entrepreneurs can contribute significantly to the GDP when required support and initiatives are provided. To know more about these programs, subscribe to CanadianSME Small Business Magazine https://lnkd.in/dbqmSKN. For the latest updates, visit our Twitter page at @canadian_sme.

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