Growing women-owned businesses

Pillar 1

Supporting and growing women-owned businesses

A great opportunity lies before both our countries—one that can unlock significant economic growth. By investing in women entrepreneurs, and helping them get to the next level, we stand poised to generate great gains. We already have a number of factors in our favor. Strong business-oriented economies. Social and political stability. Ready access to advanced education. Combined with entrepreneur-friendly cultures, an educated and engaged female workforce and inspirational examples of women entrepreneurs, the stage is clearly set for significant change.

It is imperative for Canada and the United States’ economic growth to ‘level the playing field’ for women entrepreneurs.

To be sure, there are also challenges before us, some of them significant. Not only are women underrepresented in leadership of at-scale companies, but there are also barriers that act as ceilings to women’s vast business potential. On one hand, we struggle to raise capital as compared to our male counterparts. Likewise, we also typically have smaller networks than men do, which limits our access to business and technical talent. On the other hand, we often run into unique dynamics at home, where expectations on women are greater.

Combine this with cultural bias, which limits our 1:1 interaction with men, and women still have challenges to overcome.

13% greater revenue achieved by companies run by women vs. those run by men

Despite those barriers, we are hopeful. And we firmly believe that four immediate steps—bold moves in both the public and private sectors—can shift current dynamics and drive meaningful progress.

Leverage Public-Sector Procurement

Improve the existing US Women Owned Small Business (WOSB) program, while initiating a similar type of program in Canada.

Expand Private-Sector Procurement

Enhance existing initiatives to connect women entrepreneurs with corporate customers, while challenging these corporations to set stretch targets and leading them to attract women-owned businesses.

Challenge Networks & Accelerators

Call for bold steps to attract and develop women-owned businesses, while implementing improved tracking and transparency and showcasing successful initiatives that have helped others move forward.

Equalize ‘Family Economics’ via Family-Friendly Policies

Encourage both governments to continue to study ways to lower the cost of unpaid care, thereby promoting level economics for starting or scaling a business.

By being so bold—and taking advantage of the opportunities before us—we will not only drive cultural change but we will also move the economies of both nations.

Date Posted: Jan, 2018

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Stuart Allan

January 21, 2018

A great report! Excellent insights and, I think, very topical.

Suemi Steinaker

January 21, 2018

I would love to know more about this organization!

Inci McGreal

January 19, 2018

This is a great initiative, thank you for leading it. It is true that we face the barriers identified above and more every day. As a senior engineer I will be very happy with no hesitation to put all my efforts into meaningful work with social impact, such as clean technologies and renewable energy contributing to the growth of the economy as an entrepreneur. The most important barrier is financial. The lenders will not help unless we put our houses in line at 80% value (which on a principle I will never do). For that reason 13% greater revenue by women-managed companies in comparison is an excellent justification to support women entrepreneurs with a guaranteed income in early stages, preferably combined with some mentorship by more experienced professionals in the industry.

Animesh Dutta

January 17, 2018

Looks cool for my sisters, cousins and female friends !

Ericka Luddy

January 17, 2018

How can I help out? I’m a female entrepreneur in Dallas TX and would love to get involved in this initiative.