Women Entrepreneurship Knowledge Hub

From: Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada

Women Entrepreneurship Knowledge Hub

Women Entrepreneurship Knowledge Hub

Announced in Budget 2018, the Women Entrepreneurship Strategy will help women to grow their businesses with access to financing, talent, networks and expertise. As part of this strategy, the Government of Canada will invest in the creation of a Women Entrepreneurship Knowledge Hub.

The Women Entrepreneurship Knowledge Hub will serve as a one-stop source of knowledge, data and best practices for women entrepreneurs. Through a competitive process, the Government of Canada will provide a consortium of eligible organizations up to $8.62 million over three years to establish this Hub.

As part of this role, the Women Entrepreneurship Knowledge Hub will deliver a number of activities intended to support the advancement of women entrepreneurs from diverse backgrounds throughout the innovation ecosystem. These activities include:

  • A report on the progress of women entrepreneurs in Canada, including a measure or review of the entrepreneurship ecosystem supports for women in Canada
  • Collecting, analyzing, and disseminating information, and/or advancing research on women's entrepreneurship
  • Supporting and sharing best practices and knowledge among women business support organizations

Knowledge Hub Consortium

Ryerson University, a leader in innovative, career-focused education and entrepreneurship, has been selected to spearhead the establishment of the Women Entrepreneurship Knowledge Hub.

Located in Toronto Ontario, Ryerson will host this new research network in collaboration with researchers and experts from eight regional hubs, including:

  • VentureLabs (Vancouver, BC);
  • Mount Royal University (Calgary, AB);
  • University of Manitoba (Winnipeg, MB);
  • PARO Centre for Women's Enterprise (Thunder Bay, ON);
  • Carleton University (Ottawa, ON);
  • Université de Montréal (Montréal, QC);
  • OCAD University (Toronto, ON); and
  • Dalhousie University (Halifax, NS)

The Knowledge Hub consortium also includes ten partner organizations and thirty-seven supporting organizations. Over the course of this three-year project, the Knowledge Hub will advance research, gather statistics and share best practices on women entrepreneurship. The overarching goal is to create a one-stop shop of information to which women entrepreneurs, women support organizations, governments, and the private sector can turn on all issues related to women entrepreneurship.

The consortium will draw on the expertise of all participants to help address the diversity of women entrepreneurs across Canada.

Additional Hub Activity Details:

The 8 regional hubs will bring different areas of expertise and specialization to this project. For example:

  • The hub in Northern Ontario (PARO Centre) will be responsible for coordinating engagement with Indigenous, remote and rural communities through its pre-existing networks and relationships in 109 communities across the region. It will collaborate with the University of Manitoba to ensure a particular focus on indigenous women.
  • The hub in Quebec (Université de Montréal) will ensure a focus on francophone women across and beyond Quebec. Dalhousie University, Ryerson University and others will bring particular expertise to ensure diverse and immigrant women are considered.
  • OCAD University will provide particular focus on artistic and creative women entrepreneurs while others, such as the Alberta hub (Mount Royal), will lead the Ashoka Changemaker campuses and other key stakeholders to ensure women leading social enterprises are included.
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