Women-Led Ventures

Canadian Women Entrepreneurs Face More Challenges Than Men

Key Takeaways to Help Close the Gender Divide

How Funders Can Help

Advice for Inspiring Entrepreneurs

Key Findings

Longer Routes From Start-Up to Scale-Up

Women run businesses in technology have longer routes from start-up to scale-up. For example, compared with the men in our study, women reported doing more funding pitches than men and taking longer to raise their Series A financing.

Business Pitches

When pitching their business to venture capitalists, women emphasized their business’ financial sustainability, while men emphasized their business’ growth potential.

Growing a Business

While growing a business from an idea to a multi-million-dollar enterprise is an arduous challenge for both women and men, Canadian women entrepreneurs identified a number of unique challenges and explicitly articulated the need for entrepreneurs to demonstrate grit and resilience.

Leadership Style

Female entrepreneurs’ leadership style is highly people-focused with a strong emphasis on integrating organizational values into the fabric of their organizations and creating inclusive environments.

Tops of skyscrapers


Lauren Florko

Senior Research Associate

While growing a business from an idea to a multi-million-dollar enterprise is difficult for anyone, after speaking with men and women for our new research we found that women faced unique challenges.

Recent Releases

Parallel Paths, Unique Challenges

March 30, 2022

Entrepreneurship has long been seen as one of the main wellsprings of economic growth and national prosperity. Yet new business ventures today are still much more likely to be led by men than by women. Understanding why differences in participation persist in this area is critical to devising better policies. A stronger understanding is also an important means of educating financial professionals on the approaches taken by men and women so that access to capital is not skewed by misperceptions or bias.

Impact paper  •  27-min read

How Funders Can Help Close the Gender Divide While Growing Their Bottom Line

March 30, 2022

Our research found that women entrepreneurs face greater challenges when moving their business from start-up to scale up. Venture capital firms can take a number of steps to position their organizations as attractive partners for women entrepreneurs and potentially enhance their ability to generate better returns.

Online experience  •  8-min read

Advice From Current Entrepreneurs to Aspiring Entrepreneurs

March 30, 2022

We met with 30 founders of scale-up business ventures and asked them for their advice for aspiring entrepreneurs. Some tips include recognizing that it’s not easy, but it’s getting better; build networks with people you can trust; be comfortable having a strong point of view while remaining open to failure and learning from it; and don’t shy away from focusing on being an people-centric leader focusing on building sustainable, inclusive, and a values-driven culture.

Online experience  •  8-min read


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