There's an effort underway in the Capital to help even the balance of power between men and women running their own businesses.
Capital Angel Network, in collaboration with invest Ottawa, announced a new program Tuesday to help women entrepreneurs get the funding and skills they need.
"SheBoot" will be an investment-ready boot camp, lasting about four weeks and will include women mentors.
Up to $100,000 will be available at the end of the boot camp after entrepreneurs make their own pitch.
"We are on a journey," Sonya Shorey with Invest Ottawa says. "We wanted to make Ottawa the best region in the entire world for women founders, from every walk of life, to launch, grow and scale commercially successful, sustainable companies that are anchored here, to help grow our economy.”
Jennifer Francis is the chair of the Capital Angels Network. She says, "Investment decisions are largely made by men, the capital is largely in the hands of men, and it can be difficult for female entrepreneurs who are looking to raise capital."
Francis says, "We want to give women a boost up and we want to translate that into more funding going to female entrepreneurs in our city."
Ellie Ardakani runs her own company that she built from the ground up.
Meta Innovations Technologies provides simulation-based training for the oil and gas sector.
Ardakani says, "The fact that I work in a male dominated industry and I am selling a product to that male dominated industry—I always seemed different than everybody else. I could feel it."
She says breaking down the barriers was tough.
"Getting into the industry and getting my foot in the door wasn't easy."
She says she is excited to see how SheBoot will help women.
The first group of women is expected to start in the fall. More details on the program will be announced shortly.