W Venture builds capacity for women entrepreneurs and their tech ventures.
Updated March 31, 2023
The rapidly expanding technology sector is creating new opportunities and altering traditional industries in unimagined ways. However, women remain underrepresented in this growing sector. For example, only 10 per cent of Victoria’s tech companies have a female founder, and less than 39 per cent of the tech workforce in the Okanagan is female.
How We Are Solving It
In response, W Venture is designed by women to support female entrepreneurs from a diverse range of backgrounds. The project is led by the Victoria Innovation, Advanced Technology and Entrepreneurship Council (VIATEC) with the support of Accelerate Okanagan, Purpose Five, University of Victoria and Communitech’s Fierce Founders program.
Through boot camps, workshops, mentorship and peer-sharing on leadership skills, this nine-month program provides opportunities for women to gain entrepreneurial skills and insights in a supportive environment.
The pilot project involved one cohort of women entrepreneurs in Kelowna and two in Victoria. About 30 women recently completed the pilot and provided glowing feedback: “I loved every aspect of it”, “it’s completely changed the trajectory of my business”, “I loved it so much and don’t want it to be over”, “it has been life changing”, “it has been incredibly valuable”, and “we have all been rising together and it’s been so inspirational.”
The Women’s Entrepreneurship Program built capacity for women entrepreneurs and their tech ventures. Through boot camps, workshops, mentorship and peer-sharing on leadership skills, this nine-month program provided opportunities for women to gain entrepreneurial skills and insights in a supportive environment. Thirty women from across BC graduated from the program. This project reached 40 women entrepreneurs across two cohorts. The graduates’ companies have had a revenue growth of >$685K, created 49 jobs and attracted 11 follow-on investments.
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