Innovation Saskatchewan is providing $50,000 to help women entrepreneurs flourish in the province’s technology sector. This funding is consistent with the final report and recommendations (https://wesk.ca/press-releases/saskatchewan-advisory-committee-releases-final-report) of the Women Entrepreneurs of Saskatchewan’s Advisory Committee on the Gender Entrepreneurship Gap.

The funding will support a mentorship program called Founders Table which brings together female tech entrepreneurs to gain new knowledge, business skills and industry connections. Innovation Saskatchewan partnered with Women Entrepreneurs of Saskatchewan and Economic Development Regina in 2019 to launch the initiative.

“Founders Table addresses the historic gap in the number of female tech entrepreneurs in our province by providing support, mentorship and networking opportunities,” Minister Responsible for Innovation Saskatchewan Tina Beaudry-Mellor said. “Feedback provided by participants of this program is pivotal in both supporting our women entrepreneurs and advancing Saskatchewan as a tech sector hub in North America.”

While Saskatchewan is home to more than 34,000 women entrepreneurs, national statistics indicate only six per cent of Canada’s tech companies are founded by women. A 2018 study found women in the tech sector face discrimination, organizational bias and educational barriers.

Founders Table provides in-depth learning sessions presented by entrepreneurial leaders in Saskatchewan’s tech community on topics including creating and pitching your product, connecting with customers and building company culture. Women involved in the 2019-20 program report positive developments in both their leadership and business growth, including better-focused products, stronger marketing and a surge in hiring additional employees.

“The current pandemic serves as a catalyst to pivot one’s business,” Women Entrepreneurs of Saskatchewan Chief Executive Officer Prabha Mitchell said. “Founder’s Table provides the opportunity and platform for women entrepreneurs to adopt and adapt technology for business growth and scale.”

Applicants are being considered in August; 10 to 15 successful candidates will begin meeting in September. Founders Table members can come from anywhere in Saskatchewan but must have less than five years in business and gross revenues under $250,000.

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