Edmonton, AB – We are proud to announce women’s early-stage entrepreneurship rate has surpassed that of men’s in our province, as noted in the 2015 Global Entrepreneurship Monitor Alberta Report. This is unique in the developing world, giving Alberta something to be truly proud of in making strides towards equality in gender diversification in entrepreneurship.
Alberta Women Entrepreneurs (AWE) believes our communities are strongest when women are full participants in entrepreneurship. This equality in participation is an outstanding milestone we are happy to finally see reached. However, women still lag behind male entrepreneurs in terms of outcomes and overall performance.
“It is exciting that women are not only closing, but surpassing the gender gap in entrepreneurship in Alberta,” says Marcela Mandeville, COO of Alberta Women Entrepreneurs. She also adds, “Creating programs that support women entrepreneurs through the entire life-cycle of starting, building, and growing a business is the mandate of Alberta Women Entrepreneurs. We know that our organization has made a difference in closing the entrepreneurial gender gap.”
A major recommendation outlined in the report is that women entrepreneurs continue to need mentoring programs to overcome perceived limits and to recognize opportunity beyond consumer oriented services, so that they can realize a full range of possibilities in diverse sectors.
AWE’s PeerSpark™ Program aims to help women realize these possibilities as a peer-to-peer mentoring program and has already had a great impact in the province of Alberta. Participants are seeing an average growth in revenue of 30% year-over-year, as well as an average of 20% growth in job creation year-over-year. 35% of participants are technology and innovation sector businesses with high growth and export potential. More than 30% of these high growth potential firms have engaged in new trade and export activities after being a part of the program.
We are excited to see this trend increase as the PeerSpark™ Program launches across British Columbia, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba this fall, giving women entrepreneurs across Canada even greater access to the resources they need to build successful businesses.