TEC Canada’s “Leading Ladies” Share Insight on Female Leadership in Today’s Business Landscape

Business grants for women

Mentor Works’ President and Founder, Bernadeen McLeod, knows that being a woman in business is no easy endeavour. The Canadian government has stepped in to support some of the most challenging aspects of being a women in a leadership position, particularly surrounding small business financing and finding a strong female mentor that can provide inspiration when it comes to overcoming hardships in the world of business. Even now that there are several resources available for women in business, being aware of females who are active, successful leaders provides motivation for others to do the same.

In a recent blog published by TEC (The Executive Committee), three “Leading Ladies” were brought into the spotlight to provide their perspective on Canadian business and being a female leader in the modern business landscape. Some of the points which resonated with the Mentor Works team are included below.

What do you enjoy most about being a business leader/entrepreneur?

“I would encourage any young person to be an entrepreneur – it’s the only way to be in charge of your life and your career. You can make things happen and write your own ticket.”
– Ruth Douglas, President and CEO of Fifth Story (News Canada Inc.)

“…it’s always been very important for me to control my own destiny and positively impact the world through my business.”
– Rachel Mielke, Founder and CEO of Hillberg & Berk

Have you seen changes in terms of what it’s like to be a woman leader?

“I have seen incredible change but the old boys’ clubs die hard. For example, we may still lose some contracts because I’m not a man. There has been a positive influence through the new generation of business school graduates being evenly distributed between men and women.”
– Liz Scott, Owner of Organizational Solutions

Do you think women and men have different leadership styles?

“…everyone has a very different style, male or female. The three women in my group all have different styles. I do feel that women are better listeners, though I think young entrepreneurial guys have become good listeners as well.”
– Ruth Douglas, President and CEO of Fifth Story (News Canada Inc.)

“I wouldn’t paint all women with the same brush but I know for myself I approach leadership and management decisions from a holistic perspective.”
– Rachel Mielke, Founder and CEO of Hillberg & Berk

Canadian Small Business Funding Resources for Women

Several business grants for women are available to support female leaders and entrepreneurs throughout Canada. As previously reported in the Mentor Works blog, Ember is an excellent incubator for small businesses in Southern Ontario. Located in Toronto, the Ember Business Exchange is Ontario’s entrepreneurial hub for women and has an established community of peers and mentors for women in business to connect with. With business development and training services, the Ember Business Exchange provides the space for women to launch and grow their businesses with confidence.

Alternately, the N100 is an annual competition where entrepreneurs can compete for $100,000 in funding to accelerate their high potential growth startup. The winner for 2015’s competition will be announced in July, however entrepreneurs are encouraged to apply again in January 2016 for the next round. Past winners include 2014’s Linkitz, who was led by entrepreneur and MIT PhD in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Lyssa Neel.

Mentor Works’ Business Expansion and Cash Flow Planning Services

Mentor Works provides consultation services for female small business owners looking to grow their business. Whether you’re looking to hire or train employees, expand into exporting, or begin research and development programs to gain competitive advantage, Mentor Works is here to assist you and provide all of the knowledge you need to make an informed decision about government funding for small business. Contact us today to discover the opportunities available or register for one of our upcoming small business funding webinars. Follow us on Twitter and connect with us on LinkedIn for daily updates on current Canadian government funding news.

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