The Women Founders Fund – What Does It Mean to You?
The Evolocity offices have been buzzing since we launched the 2018 edition of the Women Founders Fund. There’s no questioning the impact the fund has had on its recipients, but seeing how meaningful it is to our employees is just as gratifying.
We spent some time chatting with members of the team to get their take on what the Women Founders Fund means to them. This is what they had to say:
David Souaid, President & Co-Founder
The majority of the applications we were receiving were from male-led businesses and very traditional in nature. At the same time, we started to receive applications from the startup community. Since we don’t fund startups, we wanted to have an opportunity to support the community, particularly female entrepreneurs. As a father of 3 daughters, it was very important to me to support female entrepreneurs and the innovative and creative ideas they have been developing.
Natalie Bowmer, Director of Human Resources
I love that we are investing in female talent, future leaders and their ideas. As Director of HR, having an inclusive working environment is extremely important to me, the fund helps foster that throughout the company. The fund revolves around a strong, passionate and impactful community, one that I feel mimics what our employees evoke.
Tanja Nachtigall, Relationship Manager
I am proud to work for a company who recognizes the implicit and explicit barriers facing female entrepreneurs and whose goals include an active pursuit of gender equity. With the continued support of female-driven initiatives, paired with a commitment to saving space for diverse voices, particularly in the areas of STEM, we are well positioned to offset gender bias in traditional lending practices while also improving access for Canadian entrepreneurs to compete in the global market.
Stefan Capombassis, Vice President of Sales
My wife is an entrepreneur, she opened her clothing store 15 years ago in Westmount. I remember how challenging it was for her to raise enough money to launch her business. She then faced the issue of not having enough working capital to sustain and grow it. Evolocity is a great financing option for her now, but was not at the beginning. Partnering with Startup Canada allows us to help more smart, ambitious women follow their dreams - just like my wife did.
Stacey Gartner, Director of Project Management
I am proud that Evolocity is able and willing to contribute to supporting female entrepreneurship in Canada via the Women’s Founders Fund. Although Evolocity services Canadian small and medium-sized businesses, this sponsorship fills a real need in the market. As a wife of an entrepreneur, I have seen the struggles first hand facing new business owners. As a woman in business, I continue to experience my own challenges in the workplace. I am happy knowing that a fund such as this exists and that Evolocity is helping to grow the market for future female business leaders.
Stephanie White, Sales Supervisor
The Women Founders Fund is exactly what the corporate world needs. It means so much to me not only because I am a woman, but because these initiatives will ultimately give all people more opportunities. Not only do women-run businesses provide a more diverse work environment but they also tend to be more gender balanced. Inclusion for everyone, on every level, is one of the missing ingredients. I am honored to say I am a proud employee of Evolocity Financial Group, a company whose actions speak louder than words - not only with the fund, but right here in our own office by not only hiring women but placing them high ranking roles.
Melanie Bufo, Director of Marketing & Communications
I'm incredibly proud to work for an employer that doesn't just pay lip service to the notion of gender equality but is actively trying to level the playing field. The Women Founders Fund is important for so many reasons but I believe it’s critical that we not only give women the space and the support to bring their business ideas to life, but also to tell their incredible stories and to challenge Canadian’s view on what a successful entrepreneur looks like – they don’t all look like Mark Zuckerberg.
Mellisa Neveu, Director of Operations
As a woman, I’m proud to be part of a company who partnered with Startup Canada to launch the Women Founders Fund. Women work hard, are smart, innovative and as successful as men. The fact that they are recognized and helped through these grants is amazing!
Jessica Taylor, Collection Administrator
As an employee of Evolocity, I am proud to see our company participating in the expansion of the STEM industries. By encouraging and supporting women, we are able to help them establish themselves as business owners and leaders. Many potential new merchants contact us looking for guidance and financial aid, and a large portion of these are women who have great business ideas but need help getting started. This initiative is very welcome and I look forward to referring female merchants who don’t yet qualify for our products to the Women Founders Fund!
Laura Stewart, Account Executive
I’m so proud to work for a company that not only supports and encourages the growth of women within our workplace, but also within the community with the Women Founders Fund!
Pavina Trichanh, Senior Account Manager
For me, the Women Founders Fund means finally addressing gender inequality - I am proud to work for a company who is supporting the cause. Normally, stereotypes limit the possibilities for women in general. I find investors are missing out on an entire segment of businesses that have the potential to introduce valuable, disruptive technologies and services.
Lara Altounian, Coordinator of Human Resources
Growing up, I always looked up to investor Lori Greiner, a strong advocate for gender equality. As a female entrepreneur who sold her first invention in 1996 and has since launched over 400 products and holds 111 patents, her words of wisdom still stick with me to this day. She believes you should never set out thinking that you are different than anybody in the room and to never question how people will react to gender differences.
Women have continuously proven that they can be successful and build strong businesses. I am proud to be a part of an organization and an environment that supports women to thrive economically.
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