Vicki Saunders, SheEO
I’m in the Bay Area during this Global Entrepreneurship Week to build connections and capacity for SheEO and the broader ecosystem of support for female entrepreneurs.
We currently have two SheEOs who went through our accelerator program working in the Bay Area. Ami Shah from Peekapak, who is currently in the Imagine K-12 incubator program in Palo Alto and Cathy Han from 42 Technologies who recently finished up YCombinator and is in growth mode with her venture.
The increase in interest around supporting and financing women entrepreneurs, globally, has been astounding. There are funds popping up like Female Founders Fund, crowdfunding platforms devoted to funding women-led ventures like Plum Alley, equity based crowdfunding platforms like Portfolia, all accelerators like the Girl Effect and blackbox.vc working to help women access funds and connections.
The C100 and the Canadian Consul in Northern California are both looking to put a specific focus on women entrepreneurs this year. Having a Canadian presence here in the Valley is a critical component of our strategy to support and grow Canadian companies.
Economies are waking up to the fact that if women were financed to the same degree as men we’d create six million jobs in the next five years in North America alone. Supporting women is good business and Canada has a big opportunity to take the lead through its robust incubator, accelerator and entrepreneurship ecosystem system in Canada and it’s extensive consul and trade commissioner system globally.