2023 RBC CANADIAN WOMEN ENTREPRENEUR AWARD WINNERS ANNOUNCED
After a record-setting year, seven exceptional women entrepreneurs have been honoured for their remarkable achievements
TORONTO, NOVEMBER 23rd, 2023 – The 31st annual RBC Canadian Women Entrepreneur Awards, presented by Women of Influence+, announces seven winners of the 2023 awards. These award recipients join the five honourees of the Ones to Watch award category, announced in September of this year.
The winners in each of the award categories are inspiring and resilient leaders who have demonstrated what it takes to be successful in today’s rapidly changing economy. This year’s cohort of recipients spans sectors that include food security, AI, child advocacy, natural supplements and beyond.
“RBC is honoured to celebrate the achievements and outstanding contributions of Canadian women entrepreneurs who have redefined industry standards and challenged the persisting barriers women face in business with their leadership, innovation, and resilience,” said Sean Amato-Gauci, Executive Vice President & Head, Business Financial Services, RBC. “We are proud to partner with Women of Influence+ to put a spotlight on this year’s winners and finalists — their leadership, ingenuity, and unwavering commitment to success continue to make a transformative impact on the Canadian business landscape and serve as an inspiration for the next generation of entrepreneurs.”
Now in its 31st year, the RBC Canadian Women Entrepreneur Awards program recognizes the country’s leading women entrepreneurs and organizational leaders who have made impressive and substantial contributions to the local, Canadian, and/or global economy. The judging panel of the awards program is comprised of 15 judges who are notably some of Canada’s top business leaders, including Christine Scott, Founder, The Accomplice Project; Françoise Lyon, President and Managing Partner, DGC Capital; Julie Cole, Co-Founder & Senior Director Public Relations, Mabel’s Labels Inc.; Surranna Sandy, CEO, Skills for Change; and Sylvia Morin, Corporate Director / Executive Committee Member Institute of Corporate Directors – Québec.
The official announcement of the 2023 award recipients was made at the 31st Annual RBC Canadian Women Entrepreneur Awards gala, which was held at the Ritz-Carlton in Toronto on November 22nd and hosted by Marcia MacMillan, Anchor, CTV News Channel.
This year, over 11,000 nominations were received recognizing women entrepreneurs from across the country.
The 2023 award winners are:
- Jolene Johnson, Wabanaki Maple, Tobique First Nation, NB, Micro-Business Award
- Laura Suen, Fire and Steel Inc., Mississauga, ON, Start-Up Award
- Jennie Coleman, Equifruit Inc., Montreal, QC, RBC Momentum Award
- Ginny Becker, Child Advocacy Centre of Kelowna, Kelowna, BC, Social Change Award: Regional Impact
- Onome Ako, Action Against Hunger Canada, Toronto, ON, Social Change Award: National Impact
- Shamira Jaffer, Signifi Solutions, Mississauga, ON, Innovation Award
- Aisha Yang, Herbaland Naturals Inc., Richmond, BC, Excellence Award
The Gala also honoured the recipients of the Ones to Watch Award: Sang Le and Arielle Lok, Peko, Vancouver, BC; Linell Grudnitzki, GC Group of Companies, Regina, SK; Laurie M. Clark, Onyen Corporation, Toronto, ON; Shania and Anya Bhopa, The Canadian Courage Project, Toronto, ON; and Golnasim Riahi, Pharmacie Golnasim Riahi, Saint-Laurent, QC.
“As we celebrate our 31st year, we’re particularly inspired by this year’s winners who’ve made a significant impact,” said Rumeet Billan, Ph.D., CEO and Owner, Women of Influence+. “This year’s award recipients represent what influential leadership looks like in business and in the community, and we’re proud to spotlight and celebrate their achievements.”
The 2023 RBC Canadian Women Entrepreneur Awards are presented by Women of Influence+. Award presenters include RBC, TELUS Business, Brescia at Western University, and Bell Media. The official Due Diligence partner for the program is Deloitte, and the official gift sponsor is Bulova.
For more information on this year’s award winners, visit www.womenofinfluence.ca/rbc-cwea.
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 women entrepreneurs. The awards are an initiative of Women of Influence+, an award-winning global organization dedicated to advancing women in the workplace.
Royal Bank of Canada is a global financial institution with a purpose-driven, principles-led approach to delivering leading performance. Our success comes from the 97,000+ employees who leverage their imaginations and insights to bring our vision, values and strategy to life so we can help our clients thrive and communities prosper. As Canada’s biggest bank and one of the largest in the world, based on market capitalization, we have a diversified business model with a focus on innovation and providing exceptional experiences to our more than 17 million clients in Canada, the U.S., and 27 other countries. Learn more at rbc.com.
We are proud to support a broad range of community initiatives through donations, community investments, and employee volunteer activities. See how at rbc.com/community-social-impact.
About Women of Influence Worldwide Inc.
For almost 30 years, Women of Influence+ (WOI+) has been the community where ambitious women with wide-ranging expertise and innovative ideas go to create a new future for themselves and for the world of work at large. A future where women-led leadership thrives. At WOI+, our ethos is rooted in making meaningful and impactful change. We do this by placing ourselves and our community in positions of influence and power — places where we can drive transformation.
We measure influence by impact — the ripples that are made, the doors that are opened, the number of seats that are added to the proverbial decision-making table. Influence is about how decisions, innovations, and systems create a more inclusive and equitable world for everyone. At WOI+, we are unafraid to shake the status quo to transform society’s expectations of our capabilities.
We are dedicated to sharing and elevating the unfiltered success stories of a diverse group of role models. We know that when done right — from the podium or the page — these stories not only inspire, educate, and connect — they start to redefine our perceptions of gender roles and abilities. We are changing the narrative. The result? Our community is equipped with the connections, support, training, and tools to carve new pathways and excel within their careers on their own terms.
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