OWIT-Toronto is partnering with the recently launched EntrepreneursPoint to advance a community of innovative women entrepreneurs. OWIT-Toronto women-led businesses, start-ups and those looking to grow will receive a 10% discount on entrepreneurial working spaces. The business incubator program offered by EntrepreneursPoint provides the necessary resources to take businesses from the planning stages to reality, with the aim to assist women entrepreneurs to grow existing businesses, and enable them to level up and advance to a state where they can pursue opportunities in domestic, regional and global markets.
EntrepreneursPoint in downtown Toronto is an ideal place to run a business in the vibrant city. Specially planned to support women entrepreneur start-ups, especially those with family obligations, the workplace hosts facilities and resources such as a child play area. This helps women juggling with work and child care to better manage their work-life balance. The facilities are also designed to spark creativity, create networks while honing your craft and innovation, providing a variety of products including private offices, meeting rooms, business lounge, hot desk, virtual offices, networking events, pitch contest acting as a sounding board for business ideas, Entrepreneur Exchange forum, mentorship advisory and the EntrepreneursPoint Academy.
Along with the 10% discount on the incubator development program, OWIT-Toronto members receive an additional 20% discount on event space booking and free access to the EntrepreneursPoint Academy classes. The Academy focuses on empowering start-ups, entrepreneurs and professionals to manage financing, marketing, branding, credit, risk and tax, as well as building relationships with potential partners, in particular banking institutions.
Women entrepreneurs face challenges including limited access to financing and less access to networks, mentors and expertise. Incubator development programs like EntrepreneursPoint address these issues and provide integrated business support programs that also focus on personal development and facilitate interactions between entrepreneurs to leverage peer learning. This helps to ensure a higher success rate for women entrepreneurs launching their businesses who receivesupport from the early start-up stage, and for those looking to accelerate and scale their businesses.
EntrepreneursPoint is one of the strategic investments undertaken by InVcap Corporation, a large real estate firm with investments in both Africa and Canada. Founding partner Olutoyin Oyelade is enthusiastic about EntrepreneursPoint’s potential and passionate about finding solutions on how start- ups in diverse communities can grow and how businesses can be connected. She referenced the successful business networks facilitated by Casa Foundation’s Friends of Africa Summit, also under the InVcap Corporation umbrella, which has linked different companies across North America and Africa, resulting in many business and investment enterprises.
She further elaborated on the role of EntrepreneursPoint to bring people around the table to discuss constraints and corrective measures in advancing businesses. “In the journey of life there are those who wish things could happen, those who watch things happen, and those who make things happen. The journey of entrepreneurship is for those who make things happen. Entrepreneurspoint Incubator makes that journey happen,” she noted.
Evaluation evidence by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) shows that business incubator and accelerator programs can help stimulate growth intentions among women entrepreneurs, and help more women entrepreneurs achieve their business’ growth potential. OECD further notes that these dedicated programs have a greater impact than general programs because of greater take-up among women, provision of more tailored support, and more suitable networking opportunities are offered. This evidence was reaffirmed in an OECD Policy report which reflects a proven track record of business incubators and business accelerators to be effective supports for new and growing businesses. The report further notes that businesses that receive support in incubators tend to have higher survival rates, create more jobs, and generate more revenue. These businesses are also far more successful at raising investment capital and more likely to generate more sales.
Helen Hemmingsen, President of OWIT-Toronto Chapter, took note of the fact that women-owned businesses are making tremendous strides in sectors as diverse as health, creative industries, digital technology, agriculture, manufacturing, transportation and clean energy. She emphasized the need to support high potential female entrepreneurs in these sectors. “Incubators help start-ups save on operating costs, with the sole purpose of helping entrepreneurs grow their business. OWIT-Toronto is very pleased to partner with EntrepreneursPoint to help women build skills and knowledge they need to create and grow their businesses, while creating more opportunities for women to be involved in the entrepreneurship sector, level up and pursue domestic, regional and global trade.”
Entrepreneurship is moving to the forefront of the global development agenda. By investing in dedicated, innovative entrepreneurs through business incubator programs, the global community can work towards the Sustainable Development Goals embracing more sustainable inclusive social enterprises. OWIT-Toronto is partnering with EntrepreneursPoint to support women entrepreneurs to step up and take their businesses to the next level and to further encourage the efforts of women entrepreneurs to create jobs, trade global and to help reach the global goals.