(Pixabay.com)

(Pixabay.com)

Women entrepreneurs are finding new, creative pathways to success, despite barriers

The number of women-owned enterprises in Canada grew from 233,000 to 309,000 from 2005 to 2013

With women comprising of 28 per cent of all entrepreneurs in Canada, only a small percentage of their companies will make it successfully, according to a new study.

Brookfield Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship partnered with Women Entrepreneur Knowledge Hub (WEKH) to create an in-depth survey providing insight into how governments, financial institutions, business support organizations and other stakeholders involved in entrepreneurship can better equip women in finding career success.

Researchers conducted interviews with 30 entrepreneurs from B.C. to Nova Scotia, including the Northern Territories.

Surveying found that despite insufficient support from government, funders and business support organizations, women entrepreneurs have been able to find new and creative pathways that lead to success.

Main findings include that systemic barriers still persist, connected to race, social and gender factors.

Women entrepreneurs who were a part of the survey say they chose to ensure that their business or company’s growth was for their own well-being and that of others.

Another key finding is that business owners are facing difficulties in accessing financial accommodations.

Many of the women interviewed reported seeing a gap between how they convey their confidence, and being faced with the expectation that entrepreneurs are brash and arrogant.

Women said they are basing decisions about how and when to grow their companies around family planning and that doing so should make them no less successful or ambitious as others.

According to their website, WEKH is a national network and accessible digital platform for sharing research, resources, and leading strategies. With ten regional hubs and a network of more than 250 organizations, WEKH is designed to address the needs of diverse women entrepreneurs across regions and across sectors.

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