NEWS

StrikeUP 2022 Kicks off International Women’s Month in Canada 

More than 3,700 are taking part today in Canada’s largest digital event for women entrepreneurs

COBOURG, Ontario—The second annual edition of the StrikeUP Canada digital conference is welcoming more than 3,700 registrants from all provinces and territories, plus 25 countries globally, uniting women entrepreneurs in a forum dedicated to equity and inclusive economic growth.

StrikeUP 2022 features keynotes, panels, workshops, learning labs, chatrooms, networking and support resources to help launch International Women’s Month in Canada.

“In two short years, women have come together to build a powerful national conversation and community through StrikeUP to unite the entrepreneurial momentum we are seeing all across the country, led by diverse women,” said Wendy Curtis, Executive Director of Northumberland CFDC and Co-Founder of StrikeUP Canada. “We are proud to provide such an inclusive and welcoming virtual platform for everyone to come together, to connect and share their passion for business development as well as personal growth as leaders and innovators that are shaping new industries and new opportunities for all Canadians.”

StrikeUP 2022 is supported by the Government of Canada, through the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario’s (FedDev Ontario) delivery of the Women Entrepreneurship Strategy (WES) Ecosystem Fund.

“The Government of Canada is proud to support women entrepreneurs, Northumberland CFDC and the StrikeUP conference, uniting thousands of women business owners, leaders and experts to break down barriers for women entrepreneurs. Through the WES fund, nearly 17,000 women in southern Ontario have been supported, including more than 500 Indigenous women entrepreneurs. Our government is committed to the success of women entrepreneurs in Canada and by working together with an ecosystem of partners, we will continue to drive inclusive, resilient, and innovative economic growth for Canadians,” said the Honourable Helena Jaczek, Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario.

This year’s theme, Decision Points, brings together featured speakers Joanna Griffiths, Founder and CEO of Knixwear; Jennifer Harper, Founder and CEO of Cheekbone Beauty; Suzie Yorke, Founder and CEO of Love Good Fats; Teara Fraser, Founder and CEO of Iskwew Air; and Amber Mac, President of Amber Mac Media Inc., who are sharing their experiences taking decisive action to grow and expand their businesses.

Key insights from StrikeUP’s flagship panel on Decision Points underscore the importance of:

  • Aligning decisions with the core values as well as the importance of truly long-term thinking, and;
  • Acting decisively and boldly when the time is right (in the market as well as the personal life of the entrepreneur) but also executing with the expectation of the sudden accelerating pace of change that accompanies true business growth.

Another highlight of StrikeUP Canada 2022 is the Indigenous Stream highlighting the contributions of Indigenous entrepreneurs from across Turtle Island and providing dedicated programming including a Learning Lab focussed on “Building an Indigenous Business”.

“We have to lead with the heart,” said Joella Hogan, Founder & CEO of Yukon Soaps Company. And as moderator Sunshine Tenasco (Founder of Pow Wow Pitch) remarked, “2021 was a challenging year for all us. What we are seeing now … is everyone is cheering each other on … we are resilient. We are reclaiming this space in entrepreneurship.”

“We know that the pandemic has disproportionately affected women, on top of the systematic barriers they’ve face long before it. That is why our government is taking unprecedented action to support affordable childcare, paid parental leave, and pay equity,” said the Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of International Trade, Export Promotion, Small Business and Economic Development. “Our $6-billion Women Entrepreneurship Strategy is helping thousands of women in business start up, scale up in Canada and exports to new markets. Investing in women-owned businesses will further advance gender equality and support a more inclusive, resilient and sustainable economic future for all.”

StrikeUP 2022 was proud to welcome partnerships from companies across Canada, including co-presenting partners, The Scotiabank Women Initiative ® and Export Development Canada.

“The Scotiabank Women initiative is proud to support StrikeUP, Canada’s flagship digital conference that celebrates inclusive economic growth for women entrepreneurs,” said Sloane Muldoon, Senior Vice President, Retail Performance, Scotiabank and Co-chair of The Scotiabank Women Initiative. “The Scotiabank Women Initiative and StrikeUP share a commitment to empower women entrepreneurs by providing education, growth and funding opportunities and we are pleased to have seen such strong attendance at this year’s StrikeUP Conference.”

“EDC is pleased to work alongside StrikeUP and industry partners to help advance the interests of women entrepreneurs who still face barriers to trade, with the goal of positively impacting our economy and our communities,” said Mairead Lavery, President and Chief Executive Officer, EDC. “This valued partnership, and events like these, are key to inspiring, educating and enabling women entrepreneurs to expand and succeed globally.”

Access to all panels, resources and case studies from StrikeUP are available until December 2022 for attendees.

About FedDev Ontario

For more than 12 years, the Government of Canada, through FedDev Ontario, has worked to advance and diversify the southern Ontario economy through funding opportunities and business services that support innovation and growth in Canada’s most populous region. The Agency has delivered impressive results, which can be seen in southern Ontario businesses that are creating innovative technologies, improving their productivity, growing their revenues, and in the economic advancement of communities across the region. Learn more about the impacts the Agency is having in southern Ontario by exploring our pivotal projects.

About the Government of Canada’s Women Entrepreneurship Strategy (WES)

The Government of Canada’s WES is a greater than $6-billion investment that aims to increase women-owned businesses’ access to the financing, talent, networks and expertise they need to start up, scale up and access new markets. WES initiatives include the Women Entrepreneurship Loan Fund (WELF), the WES Ecosystem Fund and the Women Entrepreneurship Knowledge Hub (WEKH). Find out more at ised.ca.


Press and Media Inquiries

For interviews and further information contact: 

Devon Girard Devon.Girard@northumberlandcfdc.ca

Direct: 705-957-3641

About StrikeUP

StrikeUP is Canada’s flagship digital conference uniting women entrepreneurs and the women entrepreneurship ecosystem, with a united vision of equity and inclusive economic growth through entrepreneurship. Founded by Northumberland CFDC and presented in partnership with The Scotiabank Women Initiative ® and Export Development Canada, StrikeUP 2022 showcases the diversity and ambition of Canada’s women entrepreneurs through an accessible program focused on growth, funding, networking, digital adoption and global opportunities. Find out more about StrikeUP’s mission, vision, and community at strikeup.ca

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