skip to main content

We have been advised that fraudulent emails and faxes regarding unclaimed insurance money have been received by members of the public from a source claiming to be Aird & Berlis LLP. These communications are not from Aird & Berlis LLP. Disregard them and do not engage with the sender in any way. Please report the attempted fraud by contacting the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.

Back to all blog posts

Posted in: Startup Programs | Incubators/Accelerators

Aug 21, 2019

Female Founders Drive Strong Growth in Startups

While research indicates that male founders outnumber female founders, many people may find it surprising that when looking at startup companies, “the fastest growing companies at 200%+ growth, are 75% more likely to have a female founder.” This is according to key findings from the 2017 Annual Start-up Report from TINY pulse, an employee research firm. As well, the research found that startup companies with female founders “almost universally outperformed their male-only counterparts” with respect to growth.

Diversity is necessary for innovation notes Katherine W. Phillips in an article posted on Scientific American. “Diversity can improve the bottom line of companies and lead to unfettered discoveries and breakthrough innovations.”

“Entrepreneurial women continue to disrupt industries while proving the business case for equitable female partnerships,” said Fiona Brown, a partner at Aird & Berlis and member of the firm’s Workplace, Technology, and Litigation & Dispute groups. Fiona supports many companies expanding into Canada. “We’re proud to assist and empower startups who support this model. It’s been exciting to share in their growth and success.”

Recognizing the need to support businesses founded, owned and led by women, the Business Development Bank of Canada and the MaRS Investment Accelerator Fund created StandUp Ventures Fund, an initiative to provide financing and advisory services to female-led businesses and startups. Originally launched in 2017, StandUp Ventures has secured $13 million in new follow-on funding commitments, bringing its total fund to $18 million. According to Michelle McBane, Senior Investment Director at MaRS Investment Accelerator Fund and Managing Director at StandUp Ventures, “[t]his follow-on funding from top financial institutions demonstrates that investors are actively beginning to support women entrepreneurs and businesses.”

The Big Push is another great resource for hands-on services, support and resources for women founders. Founded by Sharon Zohar, The Big Push is a nine-month equity-for-service program that identifies the business challenges of startups and puts together an in-depth project roadmap and scheduling of talent to help execute goals. Sharon and Jodi Echakowitz, a Founding Member of The Big Push, also work closely with female members of the Founder Institute, the world’s largest pre-seed accelerator. Founders accepted into the 14-week in-person program attend weekly sessions where they receive expert training and feedback, and then a series of challenging business-building assignments, office hours, group meetings, and partner discounts to help make progress each week. Some of the upcoming sessions include Revenue (August 21), Blockchain – The Global Ecosystem (August 22) and Branding and Design (August 28).

In the spirit of demonstrating diversity in the startup ecosystem, Aird & Berlis will be profiling some leading women entrepreneurs over the next few months to get their take on what their path to success has looked like, as well as challenges and potential victories they see looming ahead.

Areas of Expertise

Related Blogs

Posted in: Funding | News

Insights StartupSource
New Venture Fund Provides Support to Female Entrepreneurs Nov 22, 2017 The Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) and the MaRS Investment Accelerator Fund (IAF) recently announced the first closing of StandUp Ventures Fund I, an initiative to provide financing and advisory services to female-led businesses and startups.

Posted in: News

Insights StartupSource
Incubating Canada's Next Fashion Leaders Feb 07, 2017 From being an active participant in Startup Fashion Week, we have gotten to know many of Ontario's fashion innovators. We are consistently blown away by the breadth of their talent and creativity.The Joe Fresh Centre for Fashion Innovation at Ryerson University's Fashion Zone is now accepting app...

Posted in: Startup Event

Insights StartupSource
Recap of 2016 Startup Fashion Week Oct 11, 2016 From October 3 - 7, 2016, Startup Fashion Week ("SFW") took place in Toronto. SFW featured a variety of events including full-day conferences, runway showcases and workshops, all tailored to entrepreneurs and startups looking to make it in the fashion industry.On October 4th, as part of SFW, Grah...

Posted in: News

Insights StartupSource
New Venture Fund Launches in Canada Nov 25, 2014 Kensington Capital Partners announced the launch of the Kensington Venture Fund with an initial commitment of $160 million and a goal of reaching $300 million. The fund is looking for investments in the energy technologies, cleantech, IT, telecommunications and digital media sectors. Read the ful...