Canada’s first Women’s Entrepreneurship Day summit is coming to Calgary this week to support, inspire and connect female entrepreneurs and students across Alberta.
The summit takes place on Thursday at Mount Royal University. It will feature prominent speakers, business leaders, politicians and change makers.
“Alberta is increasingly being recognized as a leader in women’s entrepreneurship, with the number of women engaged in business ownership well above the national average,” said Calgary business leader and newly-appointed Canada Ambassador of Women’s Day Organization, Milena Radakovic.
“As such, it is fitting that we are holding Canada’s first WED summit in Alberta and I am honoured to be part of this movement that recognizes the impact women are having on our economy, supports women in business, and ignites a powerful network of women leaders. Women are making an impact on our local and global economy, and we need to celebrate this.”
The summit partners with Women’s Entrepreneurship Day Organization (WEDO), the world’s largest grassroots movement dedicated to celebrating, supporting and empowering women in business worldwide.
Women’s Entrepreneurship Day Summit-Alberta will feature renowned speakers and business leaders including Rachel Mielke, founder and CEO of Hillberg & Berk; Lara Murphy, founder of Ryan Murphy Construction Inc.; Jennifer Koury, director of Global Innovation Coalition for Change, UN Women, and co-chair of She Innovates Alberta; and Leela Aheer, Alberta’s minister of Culture, Multiculturalism and Status of Women.
“Women entrepreneurs play a vital role in the economy and are essential to Alberta’s competitiveness,” said Shannon Pestun, ATB Financial director of women’s entrepreneurship. “Having the first Canadian WED summit take place in our province creates greater opportunities to collaborate on the advancement of gender equality, women’s entrepreneurship and economic empowerment not just in Alberta, but in Canada and around the world.”
Organizers say women in business continue to face different challenges than men. This includes gender biases, difficulty accessing financing and obstacles to growing their business in external markets. Women-led businesses remain underfunded.
In Canada, studies have found that advancing women’s participation in the economy could add up to $150 billion in gross domestic product, yet the number of women-led companies remains proportionately low, add organizers.
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