Business

  • Tessa Bousfield posted an article
    Her request for funding to scale up Victoria-based DeeBee’s Organics was “quashed without question.” see more

    Source: Times Colonist / Canadian Press
    Author: Armina Ligaya

    Women seeking business loans face bigger barriers, study says

    When Victoria’s Dionne Laslo-Baker sought a bank loan to expand her burgeoning organic popsicle and freezies business in 2014, she was shocked by the patronizing feedback she says she received from a male banker.

    “One of them said not only that they couldn’t fund us, but, why am I bothering to do this?” she said. “I have a very successful husband, who makes a very good salary. ... Why are you kind of disrupting the peace?”’

    She felt defeated.

    Her request for funding to scale up Victoria-based DeeBee’s Organics was “quashed without question.” It was one of the first times she realized that women entrepreneurs face bigger barriers than their male counterparts.

    And a lack of access to capital is one of the biggest challenges for women entrepreneurs, a new study suggests.

    The wage gap between men and women has been long-standing — with women on average making 74 cents for every dollar of annual salary made by men, according to the most recent Statistics Canada data — but research by PayPal Canada and consulting firm Barraza and Associates suggests that this dynamic also applies to those who own small and medium-sized businesses as well.

    Businesses owned by women generate an average of $68,000 less revenue than men who run similar businesses, representing a gap of 58 per cent, according to the online survey of 1,000 Canadian small and medium-sized businesses between Jan. 26 and Feb. 28.

    The findings suggest that the median annual revenue for businesses owned by men across six different categories of firms ranging from manufacturing to services was $118,000, but $50,000 for those owned by women. Online surveys cannot be assigned a margin of error because they do not randomly sample the population.

    The gender revenue gap is slightly smaller for businesses operating online, at $55,000 or 44 per cent, compared to offline businesses that had a gap of $71,000 or 64 per cent, according to the survey.

    One barrier to growth for women-owned businesses is access to capital, the survey suggested. Roughly 53 per cent of women-owned businesses with an e-commerce component said it was “easy” for their company to get business credit to grow their business, falling short of the 67 per cent of men who reported getting loans with ease, the survey found.

    Becky Reuber, professor of strategic management at the Rotman Business School at the University of Toronto, cautions it’s difficult to compare businesses based on the gender of the owner, as there is some research that suggests that women tend to start businesses in sectors that have lower-growth rates, such as service-based businesses. For example, there are fewer women engineers and in turn fewer with the background to start high-tech businesses, which often see higher growth, she added.

    Still, when you compare the performance of similar businesses owned by men and women, recent studies have shown that there is no difference, said Reuber.

    That being said, there is a difference when it comes to seeking capital from investors, she said.

    “There is evidence that some stereotypes play up in that. And women may have more difficulty getting high value investment,” she said. That is also what Laslo-Baker found. When she wanted to raise more funds in 2014 for DeeBee’s and met with some food industry players, one of which told her they would consider investing if she got a “man in here who could be the CEO and run this company.”

    “I thought, ‘What? A man in here? I’ve already taken this product to Canada and parts of the United States. Is that nothing?’ ” Laslo-Baker said.

    Despite these challenges, DeeBee’s has continued to expand. Its frozen treats are sold at major grocery chains such as Metro and Sobeys, and in every Canadian province and 20 states in the U.S. including California and New York.

    The company has a commercial loan from Bank of Montreal, backed by Export Development Canada, and at DeeBee’s last capital raise, which closed in June 2018, the company’s valuation was $16 million, she said.

    She believes attitudes are slowly changing, with more people expressing that her background as a mother and female entrepreneur is an asset not a drawback, she said. “As more women succeed, it’s going to pave the way.”

    The federal government has made gender equality and increased workforce participation by women a priority. Among initiatives aimed at this goal in its latest budget, Ottawa has allocated $1.4 billion over three years from the Business Development Bank in new financing for female entrepreneurs and $105 million over five years to help the regional development agencies support women-led businesses.

  • Tessa Bousfield posted an article
    Nominations for B.C.'s outstanding business women in private or public sector companies see more

    2019 Influential Women in Business Awards: Nominations Open

    It’s that time of year again! Business in Vancouver is seeking nominations for B.C.'s outstanding business women in private or public sector companies. 

    Our intention is to give worthy individuals the recognition they deserve as well as to use their example to inspire other Influential Women in Business to achieve similar success. Five winners and one Lifetime Achievement Award winner will be profiled in a February issue of Women in Business Magazine and honoured at a special awards luncheon in early March 2019. Each winner will share their leadership lessons to an audience of Vancouver’s business community.

    Honourees are influential leaders in their industry and the business community at large, committing time and resources to mentor other women in business and contribute their expertise on corporate and not for profit boards. They are chosen based on the criteria of professional accomplishments, influence, and business community involvement. For more information about the awards process, visit www.biv.com/iwib

    DEADLINE: OCTOBER 15, 2018 AT NOON

    SUBMIT A NOMINATION


    NEW THIS YEAR: THE MICHELLE POCKEY LEADERSHIP AWARD

    As a prominent lawyer and community activist, Michelle Pockey dedicated herself to making a positive difference in the world – from energy, mining, environmental and Indigenous issues to increasing the economic success and impact of women. Michelle worked tirelessly for 20 years advancing women in business, law, First Nations and non-traditional sectors. She was an inspiration to others every day of her life until her passing from cancer in June 2016.

    To help support Michelle’s legacy and advance other women along their leadership journeys, Business in Vancouver and Minerva BC have partnered to recognize this exceptional female leader through the creation of the Michelle Pockey Leadership Award. This Award will give first priority to an Indigenous woman and single parents, and second priority to women pursuing law, justice, Indigenous or environmental studies. The Award is intended to support the successful nominee's tuition, housing or childcare in the pursuit of post-secondary education or entrepreneurship. 

    The Award and a donation cheque will be presented at Business in Vancouver's Influential Women in Business Awards in March 2019. For more information about the awards process, visit www.biv.com/leadership-award.  
     
    DEADLINE: OCTOBER 15, 2018 AT NOON

    SUBMIT AN APPLICATION
     

  • Tessa Bousfield posted an article
    Between $1,000 and $5,000 grants to help women entrepreneurs start and grow their businesses see more

    Source: BetaKit.com
    Author: Amira Zubairi

    Startup Canada and Evolocity Offering up to $5,000 Grants to Women-Led Businesses

    Startup Canada, in partnership with Evolocity Financial Group, announced that it is offering micro-grants to women entrepreneurs and women-led companies in Canada through the Startup Canada Women Founders Fund.

    The fund, which launched in August 2016, will provide between $1,000 and $5,000 grants to help women entrepreneurs start and grow their businesses. Women receiving the grants will also be featured on StartupNews.ca, receive a guest-spot on THRIVE Podcast for Women Entrepreneurs, and get a VIP Pass to Startup Canada Day on the Hill taking place in Ottawa on October 18.

    To be eligible for a grant, applicants must be women entrepreneurs or women-led businesses. They must also be working in the STEM field and be based in Canada. Startup Canada said the applicants will be judged based on a number of criteria, including the applicant’s impact statement on the use of funds, a proven business model, and confirmation that the opportunity would be missed without the investment. The applicants must also agree to leverage the hashtag #StartupWomen and recognize sponsors throughout marketing efforts.

    “Entrepreneurship is a catalyst for economic growth in many countries. Equally as important is the critical role that women play in the growth of an economy,” Startup Canada wrote in a post. “Startup Canada has partnered with Evolocity Financial Group to invest in women-led companies in STEM…providing micro-grants to women entrepreneurs and women-led companies in Canada to help them start and grow their businesses while accelerating gender parity and further unleash the economic potential of women.”

    Past recipients of the fund include Eve Medical, which received funding through Ontario’s Health Technologies Fund in January 2018; and Awake Labs, which is using AI to care for brain and mental health disorders.

    Those interested in the Startup Canada Women Founders Fund have until August 31 to apply.

  • Tessa Bousfield posted an article
    UVic provides FREE legal information to anyone with a business-related issue. see more

    University of Victoria’s Business Law Clinic:

    Free Legal Information for Your Business Needs

    The University of Victoria’s Business Law Clinic provides FREE legal information to anyone with a business-related issue. This includes entrepreneurs, innovators, and members of the technology sector in the Greater Victoria Area.

    Since 1998, the students that staff the Business Law Clinic have worked to meet the legal demands of the community, notably helping those who lack the resources to retain a lawyer. Every year, the Clinic services approximately 100 clients, each with their own unique business-legal needs. Law students of the Business Law Clinic work closely with clients to assess the inquiry, and provide legal information catered to the needs of the client. Previous topics have included:

    • Incorporation (eg. sole proprietorships, partnerships, corporations, etc)

    • Financing (eg. the different ways to obtain capital)

    • Charitable Registration (eg. the next steps for a society)

    • Intellectual Property Protection (eg. copyrights or trademarks)

    • Business Liability (eg. your exposure and risks)

    • Partnership Agreements (eg. necessity and expansion)

    • Employment Law (eg. the rights of an employer or employee)

    The Business Law Clinic offers important educational opportunities for students entering the legal profession. Students of the Clinic benefit from developing their practical skills on client-file management, conducting effective interviews, and examining the diverse legal issues affecting their community. The students will find guidance in Michael Litchfield, an experienced business lawyer and director of the Clinic, as well as from the lawyers across British Columbia that have volunteered to mentor their future colleagues.

    Students at the Business Law Clinic are not lawyers, and therefore cannot provide legal advice, legal opinion, nor assist in active litigation. Students may only provide legal information related to business. If you require business law information and are interested in our services, please contact the Business Law Clinic today!

    The Clinic operates year-round, except for the months of April, August and December. For more information, visit the Clinic’s website at www.uvic.ca/law/jd/lawclinics/businessclinic. To book an appointment, contact the Clinic at 250-472-4522 or blc@uvic.ca