According to a 2015 TD Economics special report, Canadian women have been leading the charge into entrepreneurship since the recession and the number of self-employed women continues to rise today. Our businesses may currently be smaller than our male counterparts (although at the rate we’re going, I highly believe this will change), we’re way more innovative and this same study found that female-owned small businesses are more likely to have engaged in innovation (significantly improving or creating a completely new good or service).
It’s not surprising though. As I learned through Futurpreneur Canada’s Work is Changing campaign, 46% of the Canadian workforce is currently at risk of being replaced. That’s a huge percentage. Consequently, people are confused, frustrated and are in search of some job security – a job where they are in control.
Additionally, our lifestyle habits are changing. In general, Canadians are in search of better work/life balance but if you break it down by gender, the TD Economics special report highlights that women prioritize this way more than men.
With November 19th marking Women’s Entrepreneurship Day and I wanted to take the opportunity to highlight some of the entrepreneurs that have each inspired me way more than they know. Whether full-time or part-time, entrepreneurship is not easy and although more of us are turning to it in hopes of creating a more flexible lifestyle, it still has it’s challenges. Regardless, these women continue to work hard, create amazing products and services and remain humble while doing so.
Here are 10 Canadian Female Entrepreneurs You Need to Know:
When I think of female empowerment, Katie immediately comes to mind as she passionately works everyday to empower women and girls. She is the Founder of GIRLTALK Empowerment through which she inspires, empowers and mobilizes girls to become world-changers! She’s also the Founder of This Box is Pink, a monthly subscription box for girls & women with lifestyle products that not only make them look and feel good but also DO good. Oh, and she’s the author of GIRL TALK Book. Earlier this year, I met Katie for the first time as I invited her to speak on The Why Women Panel, a small networking event I hosted for women to discover their why. She openly shared her story with the audience and was just so kind and genuine.
If you’re looking for a DIY guru, Victoria is your girl. I’m convinced that she can pretty much make anything! Victoria is the Founder of Florals and Teacups through which she blogs on everything DIY and she hosts plant-inspired craft workshops all across Toronto. I met Victoria through her volunteer work with the Toronto Chapter of Young Women in Business and since then she’s become someone that I will always go out of my way to support. She also just became the new DIY Content Creator at Diply so she is truly showing no signs of slowing down when it comes to her passion for crafts.
After life actually handed her a lemon, Rachel literally made lemonade by creating Make Lemonade, Toronto’s newest female coworking space. I absolutely love the space and she has done an amazing job filling what was once a large void in our city. Her space offers desks, tables, meeting rooms and a variety of different events. Plus, Rachel is so friendly which makes visiting the space an even greater experience.
Laura, my favourite go-to photographer, is the Founder of Gooseberry Studios, a storytelling studio that specializes in cinematic photography and custom branding services. Throughout my personal journey over the last 2 years, Laura has consistently been someone I can count on whether it’s through partnering on blog content or capturing photos of me in a way only she knows how. She is such a kind soul and also one of the most hardworking women I know.
Julene is the mastermind behind Curated Life, through which she creates empowering lifestyle events and media content for millennial women. She is the Editor-in-Chief of Curated Life Magazine which features business, beauty, travel and health content which was recently named a Finalist in the Canadian Magazine Awards – Mag Grand Prix. She also hosts her signature event series MASTERCLASS. Each event connects attendees to a community of peers and the resources required to start and/or grow a prosperous business. She does an amazing job of bringing women together and providing them with opportunities – I’m honoured to have had the opportunity to contribute some of my favourite books to a past issue.
Karen is the Founder of Makin the Bacon and she helps small businesses learn how to blogging, branding and social media for business success. I first met Karen through Instagram and she’s become one of my favourite business owners to follow for her down-to-earth personality and valuable business tips. She’s an expert on all things blogging and most recently became an instructor for a Writing for Social Media class at Sheridan College.
Huda describes herself as a life influencer and that couldn’t be anymore accurate. She uses her life experiences to inspire, influence and empower others. She’s a serial entrepreneur – she started her first company at 18 and then again at 25, she opened Istaff Management, her own recruitment firm, which was able to succeed just short of a million-dollar company within its first year. Now, she’s been hosting various classes called #WORKSHOPSBYHUDA where she, alongside other experts, teaches on topics like photography, blogging and YouTube. She’s also the Founder of the #IAMMORE movement, a storytelling platform for people to share their stories from all over the world. Oh and she’s also working on launching a tech start up all while continuing to build a strong, inspiring personal brand.
When Jam says that she is the #SlayerofTheMic, she is not lying. She slays the mic every.single.time and I can personally attest to this. She really is the Connector of People, Ideas and Energy as her infectious personality instantly brings people together and you can’t help but focus on what she has to say. She hosts everything from weddings, corporate events and public campaigns. She also recently developed the Slay the Mic program in order to coach people looking to become more confident public speakers. It’s also worth mentioning that she does all of this outside of being a full-time highschool teacher. I don’t know how she does it all but she manages to succeed and always looks good while doing it.
Althea is the Founder of See Girl Work, providing content strategy, blogging, and writing & editing services for creative agencies and small to medium-sized businesses. She also runs a popular blog that has become a valuable content hub for creators, marketers and freelancers. Recently, she was invited to join Paypal Canada’s Small Business Growth Council as an ambassador to inform, educate and inspire other Canadian business owners to embrace the power of e-commerce. Her blog has become one of my personal favourites as she consistently creates quality content to help women succeed.
Cristina is the lovely lady behind ShoeTease, a shoe blog she created to talk about shoe trends, shoe styling, shoe care and more. She’s a Paris trained designer with an obvious passion for all things shoes and accessories. In addition to running her blog, she also launched a pom pom shoe set collection called Pombons (the perfect way to add some personality to your shoes!) and she consults with small businesses on how to leverage search engine optimization (SEO). She creates such gorgeous content and is probably one of my favourite people to follow online.