Jennifer Flanagan, President & CEO
Social Change Award



About Her Business

Actua ( is Canada’s largest science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education outreach organization engaging 250,000 youth each year in transformational experiences that help them achieve their potential. Actua’s delivery model includes a network of 34 university and college based STEM outreach organizations and its own outreach team, together delivering programming in 500 communities across every province and territory. Actua’s focus at the national level is on engaging Canada’s most underserved youth populations with the most innovative content in order to contribute to the diversity that is needed to drive social and economic innovation in Canada.


What does winning this award mean to you?

“I was so incredibly honored to have been named one of the RBC Women Entrepreneur award winners in 2016 in the category of social change. The level of national recognition that this provided for the work of Actua, my organization, was significant. Being recognized along-side some of the most successful women entrepreneurs in Canada speaks to the importance of social change work and the contribution charities like Actua are making to the social and economic prosperity of the country. This award provides even more credibility and profile to important contributions women are making in all fields of business and for me personally it was incredibly inspiring to be recognized in this way.”


What do you wish you knew at the beginning?

“That things that seemed HUGE are often not that big of a deal after a short period of time. Standing still sometimes when things are unclear is often a fantastic and effective approach. As someone who likes things solved immediately, I have had to learn that time often solves things for you.”


If you were in a room full of entrepreneurs, what is the one piece of advice that you would give to aspiring entrepreneurs?

“Have high expectations of what you can achieve but if you fail or stumble, just get up and move on quickly. Learn from failure by pivoting and trying something else.”


About the Social Change Award

Awarding an exceptional leader of a registered charity or not-for-profit that is dedicated to social change. Applicants have garnered extraordinary support from the community by being champions for philanthropy and volunteerism in Canada.






Other Awards

Micro Business Award: This entrepreneur owns a small business that generates annual revenues under $1 million.

Telus Trailblazer Award: The recipient of this award is a true trendsetter. She has recognized a new market, product, service, technological advancement or opportunity and led the way.

Staples Start-Up Award: This award celebrates the achievements of an entrepreneur who, in a minimum of three years and a maximum of five years, has developed her business into one that’s ready for the next level of growth.

RBC Momentum Award: This entrepreneur has successfully capitalized on opportunities to deliver 10% or more growth, year-over-year for three years or more. 

TEC Canada Award for Excellence in Entrepreneurship: This entrepreneur has launched and built one or more successful companies with a track record of growth and profitability over a period of at least 10 years.

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