OWIT at Women Entrepreneur Knowledge Hub Launch Event

Monday, May 13, 2019 5:29 PM | OWIT-Toronto (Administrator)

OWIT-Toronto participated in a kick-off event in April for the partners and supporters of the Women Entrepreneur Knowledge Hub (WEKH), led by the Diversity Institute, a “think and do” tank, along with the Ted Rogers School of Management and Brookfield Institute at Ryerson University.  The goal of this community of practice which, to date, is coordinated through 9 regional hubs with over 75 partners and 100,000 women entrepreneurs is to provide a platform and portal to collect and share best practices to create an inclusive innovation ecosystem.  WEKH is part of the Government of Canada’s Women Entrepreneurship Strategy which aims to double the number of women entrepreneurs by 2025 and to support export growth and scaling up.

“We want to challenge the classic definitions and stereotypes of entrepreneurship and drive real change, not just have lofty goals,” said Wendy Cukier, Director of WEKH, noting that entrepreneurship is typically measured through a male lens, with a tech focus, whereas most women are in the services sector and tend to have smaller businesses.   “Having 1,000 companies create one job each or one company creating 1,000 jobs are equal in contributing to GDP. ”  

Specifically, WEKH will:

  • Measure and assess the progress of women entrepreneurship in Canada to determine what works and what doesn’t
  • Collect, analyze and disseminate information and advance research
  • Support and share best practices and knowledge.

In breakout sessions, participants provided this feedback:

  • Appreciate the value of good stories in addition to data when measuring entrepreneurship
  • Ensure stories and research are inclusive and represent diversity, and do not just profile the super entrepreneur
  • Help support women’s organizations so they can support women in scaling up their businesses

WEKH’s advanced technology platform to link women entrepreneurs and their organizations to resources and best practices will be powered by Magnet which currently links talent to help grow businesses and also is home to the Magnet Export Portal.

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