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TORONTO – Women of Influence today announced the finalists of the 2017 RBC Canadian Women Entrepreneur Awards program.  A record breaking 6,400 women entrepreneurs from coast to coast were nominated for this year’s awards, and 18 finalists have now been selected. These exceptional women were chosen for their accomplishments in industries as diverse as finance, technology, construction, hospitality and health services.

The winners will be announced and celebrated at the 25th Annual Awards Gala, hosted by Diane Francis, editor-at-large for the Financial Post on Wednesday, November 22, 2017 at the Fairmont Royal York in Toronto.

The RBC Canadian Women Entrepreneur Awards recognizes female business owners from across Canada who make impressive and substantial contributions to the local, Canadian or global economy. Candidates share a strong entrepreneurial vision and a relentless passion in pursing their dreams. These awards recognize business women from three major regions across Canada: East, Central and West.

The scope of the RBC Canadian Women Entrepreneur Awards is vast. Over the 25 years of the program, RBC and Women of Influence have seen an impressive 75,000 women nominated, 450 finalists selected and have awarded 75 exceptional women entrepreneurs with this prestigious honour.

“RBC is proud to profile the achievements of these extraordinary entrepreneurs” said Greg Grice, Executive Vice President, Business Financial Services, RBC. “With their incredible passion, leadership and dedication to business excellence, each plays an important role in inspiring and empowering others looking to turn business ambition into reality.”

All nominees are required to submit through applications, which are reviewed and judged by a panel of prominent business leaders and subject to a due diligence performed by Deloitte Private Client Services.


The 2017 RBC Canadian Women Entrepreneur Award Finalists are:


Micro Business Award

West:  Angel Guerra and Angela Dione, Market Collective

Central: Kalpana Kundra, Unstick by Daughkun

East: Geneviève Lévesque, Arteria Gallery


Staples Start-Up Award

West: Marlo Brausse, Barre Body Studio

Central: Rula Sharkawi, My Little Chickpea

East: Trina Bailey, Bailey Veterinary Surgical Specialty Ltd.


RBC Momentum Award

West: Rachel Mielke, Hillberg & Berk

Central: Mandy Rennehan, Freshco

East: Kara Angus, Go Go Group Inc.


Social Change Award

West: Glori Meldrum, Little Warriors

Central: Melissa Sariffodeen, Ladies Learning Code

East: Cathy Deagle-Gammon, Dartmouth Adult Services Centre DASC


TELUS Trailblazer Award

West: Claudia Sjoberg, The Pedalheads Group

Central: Sharifa Khan, Balmoral Marketing Inc.

East: Natalie Voland, Gestion Immobilière Quo Vadis/Complexe Dompark


TEC Award for Excellence in Entrepreneurship

West: Allison Grafton, Rockwood Custom Homes

Central: Janet Zuccarini, Gusto 54 Restaurant Group

East: Christiane Germain, Groupe Germain Hôtels


The 2017 RBC Canadian Women Entrepreneur Awards are presented by RBC. Award sponsors include Staples, RBC, TELUS, TEC Canada and our official Due Diligence partner, Deloitte.

“Women of Influence is thrilled to be celebrating 25 years of these prestigious awards. As a community, Canadian female entrepreneurs represent a powerful economic force is that is truly impressive and their impact is growing,” said Alicia Skalin, Co-CEO, Women of Influence Worldwide Inc. “Over the history of the program, we have been honoured to contribute to their future success by recognizing the achievements of this remarkable group, not only offering increased exposure and a new source of credibility, but the opportunity to become an inspiring role model for future leaders.”


About the RBC Canadian Women Entrepreneur Awards

The RBC Canadian Women Entrepreneur Awards are the pre-eminent national business awards recognizing the country’s leading female entrepreneurs. The awards are an initiative of Women of Influence, an award-winning organization dedicated to advancing women globally.


About Women of Influence Worldwide Inc.

Women of Influence, now in its 23rd year, is one of North America’s leading organization offering solutions to further women’s career advancement. With courses in executive leadership, global events, and print and digital content, Women of Influence annually reaches over 200,000 professional women and men across Canada and internationally. Signature events include the Women of Influence Luncheon Series and the RBC Canadian Women Entrepreneur Awards. For more information, please visit


For interview requests or further information please contact:

Amanda Kruzich, Women of Influence, 416 456 8633,

Rob Merk, Corporate Communications, RBC, 416-955-6665,