September 18, 2020
Canadian women entrepreneurs are key to our economic success as a country, and are critical to key sectors like technology. However, women today still face unique and systemic barriers to starting and growing a business – and these challenges have been amplified by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Today, the Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion, and International Trade and MP for Markham-Thornhill, announced an additional investment of $370,000 into ventureLAB for Tech Undivided, an initiative that bridges diversity gaps and creates a more inclusive tech sector by supporting women tech entrepreneurs and leaders.
An initial investment of $1.7M in August 2019 from the Government of Canada’s Women Entrepreneurship Strategy fuelled the program from its early stages. Now welcoming its second cohort, Tech Undivided reduces unconscious bias and challenges women-led tech companies to scale their businesses and compete globally. With access to capital, talent, technology, and customers, women entrepreneurs are supported by an ecosystem of resources and networking opportunities.
“We are excited to expand our support for women entrepreneurs. Our vision for Tech Undivided is to reduce unconscious bias and create an inclusive tech ecosystem that increases representation and access to capital. Scaling tech firms, particularly those led by women, have been heavily impacted by COVID-19 — we hope that this additional investment from the Government of Canada will help women-led tech firms re-establish growth trajectories and future-proof their businesses.”
– Melissa Chee, President and CEO, ventureLAB
The additional investment will support women entrepreneurs by putting them on the most sustainable path to growth through customer revenue and investment capital. With this funding, ventureLAB will continue to support female entrepreneurs in their ability to rebuild after the business impacts of COVID-19 and help them obtain the knowledge and skills needed to commercialize their technologies. Specifically, ventureLAB’s support will focus on:
During a virtual discussion with women entrepreneurs in the Tech Undivided program, Minister Ng heard first-hand about how the program has helped them scale their tech companies, increase the number of women entrepreneurs in tech, and strengthen Canada’s global competitiveness.