Accelerator for Women in Entrepreneurship (AWE)
Innovation Factory (iF) is a not-for-profit Regional Innovation Centre funded by the ONE, established in 2011. Located in Hamilton, Ontario, in the heart of McMaster Innovation Park, iF is a key part of Hamilton’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. The organization serves 350-450 clients annually, from across Hamilton, Brantford and Waterdown.
The Accelerator for Women in Entrepreneurship (AWE) delivers targeted workshops and events to enable women to grow their businesses, with a particular focus on increasing the level of future representation in advanced manufacturing.
The Childcare Support Pilot for Women Entrepreneurs
HELM, formerly known as Datenight Babysitting, is an award-winning, women-run technology company that connects parents with experienced, local babysitters. Launched in 2014 with the goal of helping parents more quickly and easily access quality child care, HELM has facilitated over 2,000 matches of parents and caregivers and processed over 20,000 hours of childcare. The service currently operates across the GTA – in Toronto, Mississauga, Burlington, Oakville, Scarborough, Hamilton, as well as Ottawa, and has plans to expand into other major centres across Ontario.
The Childcare Support Pilot for Women Entrepreneurs provides reliable, flexible and accessible childcare so that women entrepreneurs can participate in important business activities like networking meetings, trade shows, sales meetings, accelerators and last-minute grant application opportunities. This pilot project is providing valuable insight into the role that access to childcare plays in the creation and longevity of women-led businesses.
The Ontario Inclusive Innovation (I2) Action Strategy
The Ontario Inclusive Innovation (I2) Action Strategy is a joint initiative between Telfer Centre for Executive Leadership at the University of Ottawa, and the Diversity Institute at Ryerson University. I2 Action Strategy seeks to create the most inclusive entrepreneurial ecosystem in the world. It is developing a gender-based certification program and workshops for intermediaries within the entrepreneurship ecosystem. The strategy also includes an industry white paper on the state of women’s enterprise support in Ontario, and a one-day conference to showcase evidence-based practices for empowering women entrepreneurs.