When I co-founded Avana in 2014, I was fortunate to lean on my extensive background in finance. It has been a competitive advantage that has helped me to grow Avana into a company aiming to hit $1 billion in assets under management in the next decade. But as a new founder, I definitely felt that there were gaps in the resources and opportunities out there and I saw first-hand how disproportionate this is for women entrepreneurs.
Here are eleven resources to help you as you navigate your entrepreneurial journey.
One of my favourite organizations of all time, StartUp Canada is a national organization that offers a wealth of guides, advisory opportunities, and events for entrepreneurs. Active in 30+ communities around the country, you can participate locally or catch up with their extensive podcast programming. You can catch me on an upcoming StartUp Canada podcast later this fall!
What started out as a job board for women looking for flexible work, tellent has evolved into leading the new ways we need to work in today’s economy. Here you’ll find an awesome community and extensive resources for mothers returning to work (full or part-time), help for transitioning into flexible work, and extensive Maser Mind programming from leading coaches and experts. A must for anyone tackling a transition in the way they work.
Another awesome national organization, WOI posts regular features of inspiring women leaders and entrepreneurs across their channels. Whether you’re in the early stages of your career or at the top of the corporate ladder, you’ll find resources and a community of fierce women.
I could not do a roundup post about top resources for women entrepreneurs without a major shout out to WESK. From business advising, funding, training, to networking, WESK helps women in Saskatchewan to rise and succeed with their awesome resources.
Women in Leadership Foundation
With over 52,000 participants in their programs, WIL has been a major influence in helping women advance their leadership skills and pathways. They offer lots of online content and also feature a job board with access to some great companies posting juicy roles.
Women’s Enterprise Organizations of Canada
Curated specifically for women entrepreneurs, this ecosystem offers lots of content – videos, research, founder stories – that support their members.
Another Canadian membership-based organization, The Forum offers a range of programs and opportunities including mentorship and Pitch for the Purse (a $50,000 investment and mentorship prize).
The name speaks for itself. If you’re looking for a major dose of inspiration, you’ll spend hours on this site reading the profiles and content written by women for women. If you’re interested in the VC world, Forbes Women offers a great look behind the curtain, so to speak, from a woman founder perspective.
As a global non-profit, Catalyst is a leader in building workplaces that…work…for women. Their case studies and workshops shine a light on just how much work remains in cultivating more equitable work environments and leadership opportunities for women. It’s for reasons like this that we developed our Avana Pledge—more on that soon!
For small businesses, makers, and solopreneurs, this community offers a digital membership to help connect and inspire women (as well as a coworking space located in downtown Toronto). If you want the opportunity to share working sessions and network with others going through what you’re facing, this is a community that will cheer you on passionately.
Ideal for independents, this is another community that offers connection and collaboration to freelancers who run their businesses more like founders. Membership is heavily skewed to the US, but the community offers seasoned mentors and connectors that help fresh and emerging talent with sage advice and wisdom. Check out their published rates guide for the skinny on pricing your services.
Check these out and let me know if they help on your founder’s journey!