• Entrepreneurship

Empowering women entrepreneurs in Canada: Futurpreneur’s inclusive leadership makes a difference

Futurpreneur | March 7, 2024

In Canada, women entrepreneurs can face significant challenges in navigating the entrepreneurial landscape. According to The State of Women’s Entrepreneurship in Canada 2023 report produced by The Women Entrepreneurship Knowledge Hub (WEKH), only 18 per cent of businesses in Canada are majority-owned by women. This has wide-ranging implications on Canadian women, whether they are entrepreneurs or not, because small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) account for almost 90 per cent of private sector employment in Canada. 

The WEKH report told a story of challenges and opportunities when it comes to the state of women’s entrepreneurship in this country. It stated that women-owned businesses are a growing proportion of Canadian businesses in spite of the devastating impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, a majority of women-owned SMEs in Canada have lower rates of survival compared to majority men-owned SMEs.

Meanwhile, the report highlighted how women-owned small businesses also tend to focus on inclusivity by providing opportunities for equity-deserving groups such as women, Indigenous Peoples, Black and racialized people, and 2SLGBTQIA+ communities.

Another insight coming out of the report? Canadian women entrepreneurs tend to be concentrated in some sectors and under-represented in others. For example, the majority of women-owned SMEs operate in the service sector.   

Despite the real challenges and systemic barriers faced by Canadian women entrepreneurs, Futurpreneur recognizes the immense potential for growth and success among women startup founders across the country, and how they meaningfully contribute to Canada’s inclusive prosperity. 

Through our work empowering young women entrepreneurs in every part of Canada, we witness firsthand the determination, creativity and resilience that define women in Canadian business. By providing support, mentorship and resources, we aim to unlock the full potential of women entrepreneurs and create a more equitable and inclusive entrepreneurial landscape where all aspiring business owners can thrive. Futurpreneur is committed to providing the support they need to succeed. 

Futurpreneur sees the power of women entrepreneurs in Canada 

We believe there are many reasons to feel optimistic about the potential of women entrepreneurs in Canada, because we see them thriving when the right supports are in place. 

Empowering more women entrepreneurs across the country 

At Futurpreneur, 44 per cent of the businesses we support are women-owned, which is 2.4 times the Canadian average. This statistic underscores the impact of our financing, mentorship and business resources in enabling women entrepreneurs to thrive despite challenging entrepreneurial conditions. 

Commitment to inclusive leadership 

Two-thirds of Futurpreneur’s senior leadership team is made up of women, and across the organization, including our program teams and business development staff, women also represent two-thirds of Futurpreneur as a whole. We believe this lived experience matters, and when women support other women entrepreneurs, the results can be transformative, leading to more women succeeding across the Canadian entrepreneurial ecosystem. 

Inspiring success stories 

Futurpreneur-supported women entrepreneurs exemplify the outsized impact Canadian founders can have on a global stage.  

Trailblazing founders like Joanna Griffiths, CEO of Knix, Noura Sakkijha, CEO of Mejuri, Shelby Taylor, CEO of Chickapea and Tara Bosch, CEO of SmartSweets, are testaments to this. Each received funding from Futurpreneur in the early stages of their businesses and have since made significant contributions to their industries. Their success stories inspire others and demonstrate the potential for women entrepreneurs to thrive in Canada. They represent just a fraction of the more than 7,000 women entrepreneurs supported by Futurpreneur since our founding in 1996, and also highlight what’s possible when women entrepreneurs receive the right early-stage financing, support and mentorship. 

Futurpreneur remains committed to empowering Canadian women entrepreneurs through our comprehensive programs, including supporting women in equity-deserving communities through our Black Entrepreneur and Indigenous Entrepreneur Startup Programs. Notably, over half of Futurpreneur-supported businesses with Black or Indigenous founders are women-led. This is well above the average in those communities.  

By providing financial support, mentorship and opportunities for growth, we aim to create a more inclusive and equitable entrepreneurial landscape where women entrepreneurs can thrive, even through challenging economic conditions. 

Together, and alongside our partners, we can drive positive change and build a brighter future for women entrepreneurs in Canada.  

Contact us today to see how our team can help you on your entrepreneurial journey.