International Women’s Day 2023
Happy International Women’s Day, ladies!
International Women’s Day is held globally on March 8th, but in many countries, the celebration is a month long! The theme set by the UN for 2023 is “DigitALL: Innovation and technology for gender equality”, focusing on the digital age and how technology can be utilized to support the development of women and gender equality globally. In Canada however, the theme is ‘Every Woman Counts’, reminding us that all women, from all ages and walks of life, have a place in every aspect of Canadian society, including in the economic, social and democratic spheres.
To celebrate IWD this year on the LYP blog, I researched a few resources that you can leverage for learning as well as funding opportunities for women entrepreneurs.
Events to Attend
I hope you have attended one or two IWD events this month whether at work, school or in any other circle you belong to. I often find these events useful for adjusting our perspective on the continued issues that women face across the world, the incredible solutions being forged as well as the inspiring women who are breaking glass ceilings in varying fields. If you have not attended any event, there are still a few more you can join before the month ends. I searched on Eventbrite and linked events in different locations around Canada here and here.
Personally, I am looking forward to attending this event at the University of Toronto where Susan Allen, first female partner at PWC and a powerhouse business leader discusses her new book, "Count Me In: A Trailblazer's Triumph in a World Not Built For Her." I expect to walk away inspired to aim high, and to find ways to support other women as a woman working in corporate Canada.
Funding Opportunities for Women
Funding opportunities for women in business are available all year round but I thought it fitting to outline them as we commemorate the IWD. Researching this online, I found that there are quite a number of government-led funding for various categories of women. Please check the Canadian Trade Commissioner site here for a full list of categories they fund and the eligibility criteria here. Other government opportunities at national and provincial levels, including finance and mentorship, can be found on here and here.
If you have a feminist movement or women advocacy organization or initiative and you need funding or grant, did you know you could access grants and partnerships across the world through The Equality Fund? Check out their site here to learn about the work they do and what opportunities are currently available.
Futurepreneur is a national, non-proﬁt organization that provides ﬁnancing, mentoring and support tools to aspiring business owners aged 18-39 years. They have programs for many types of businesses (including a growth program for those of us running a side hustle – which makes all of us!) too which makes it likely that your business idea will be eligible, so check their page out as well here.
The WEOC National Loan Program specifically supports women and non-binary entrepreneurs as they start, scale, grow and maintain their businesses. Their site is full of resources and connections to organizations and training events related to business training, advising, financing, and mentorship for women.
The favorite category of business funding I found caters to only Canadian moms who own businesses! It is called Canada’s Total Mom Pitch and it is currently open till March 20, 2023. Moms can get a chance to win as much as $50K as a business grant so check out the eligibility criteria and requirements here.
Do you have other resources you would like to share to this community of women? Please share in the comments section and help support other women.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Adetola Oladimeji is a medical doctor and a global health leader who is deeply interested in the use of digital health technologies for optimizing population health outcomes. She is committed to lifelong learning, continuous personal development, and intentional community building. Check out her research and other publications here.