Financing women entrepreneurs’ is a necessary step to creating an equitable entrepreneurial ecosystem, but research shows that women entrepreneurs face barriers to financing at the societal, organizational, and individual level. This session will look at Canada’s funding ecosystem and highlight some of the innovative models that are changing the way capital gets into the hands of women entrepreneurs.

The session begins by looking at an overview of the current financing landscape for women entrepreneurs. Dr. Ellen Farrell of Saint Mary’s University and Zohreh Hassannezhad Chavoushi PhD, Ryerson University will present recent findings. The session then moves into a panel discussion that brings together thought leaders in the areas of debt and equity financing, crowdfunding, prizes/grants and Radical Generosity. Panelists will share their views on how innovative financing opportunities are building a more cohesive and collaborative financing system.


  • Ejibola Adetokunbo-Taiwo, Founder, de Sedulous Women Leaders
  • Cathy Bennett, Founding and Co-Managing Partner, Sandpiper Ventures
  • Anita Cheng, Director Member and Stakeholder Engagement, Vancity
  • Ellen Farrell, CIBC Professor in Entrepreneurship and Venture, Saint Mary’s University
  • Zohreh Hassannezhad, Postdoctoral Fellow, Diversity Institute
  • Shannon Pestun, Senior Advisor, Banking & Finance, WEKH
  • Vicki Saunders, Founder, SheEO
  • Amanda Williams, Assistant Professor, Mount Royal University


March 11, 2021