Meet Dr. Rumeet Billan, Incoming CEO of Women of Influence.

Rumeet Billan

Dr. Rumeet Billan is an award-winning, internationally recognized researcher and expert on workplace culture. As the Founder and Chief Learning Architect of Viewpoint Leadership, she has designed and facilitated programs, courses, and training sessions across industries and sectors — transforming workplaces to enable trust, foster belonging, and build resilience. Rumeet is passionate about creating platforms that encourage women, youth, communities, and organizations to envision what could be possible, and she’s dedicated her time to support causes and lead initiatives that promote human welfare. A serial entrepreneur, Rumeet will be bringing almost two decades of leadership experience to the helm of Women of Influence. She takes over the role of CEO on December 1, 2022. 

 

My first job ever was… on an assembly line, working in a factory, packaging bags of chips. Something you would not see on my LinkedIn or on my resume, but played a significant role in the trajectory of my career.

I decided to be an entrepreneur because… someone believed in me. I accidentally became an entrepreneur at the age of 21, and this stemmed from a conversation that I had with a friend at the time. Funny enough, my High School Guidance Counsellor suggested that I should pursue a career in Human Resources, which I tried, but entrepreneurship is where I landed. Over the last 18 years, we have not only made profit, but more importantly, we’ve been able to make an impact.   

I’m passionate about my industry because… I am driven to help transform workplaces through research, training, and development. I love that I get to share knowledge that can potentially change someone’s experience and/or viewpoint. I also get to make an impact in ways that can help others not only reach their potential, but exceed their own expectations. 

My proudest accomplishment is… still in the making.

A challenge I faced as a (racialized) woman in business isthat I was constantly underestimated early on in my career.

I overcame it by… letting people underestimate me without letting it impact me. I decided that I would let my work speak for itself. 

“I am driven to help transform workplaces through research, training, and development… I get to make an impact in ways that can help others not only reach their potential, but exceed their own expectations.”

My advice for aspiring entrepreneurs is… time is your only real currency. 

The one piece of advice I give that I have trouble following myself is… the importance of intermittent recovery. Taking time to rest and recover throughout the year. I’m working on it!

The thing I love most about what I do is… meeting incredible people and hearing about their experiences. 

If I were to pick one thing that has helped me succeed, it would be… setting clear boundaries and not apologizing for them.

If you googled me, you still wouldn’t know… that I’m an introvert. I need personal time to recharge. I also don’t know how to wink, but wish I did!

Work-life balance is… not my goal. The goal is work-life enrichment.

I stay inspired by… my six-year-old son. His curiosity, determination, negotiation skills, rationalizations, ability to bounce back, and kindness inspire me. I learn so much from him and absolutely love being his mama. 

The future excites me because… of the impact we are going to make together.

My next step is… here.

 

Read the announcement from our Co-CEOs »    |    Read the press release » 

Nominations Are Open for the 30th Annual RBC Canadian Entrepreneur Awards!

RBC and Women of Influence are announcing the call for nominations for the 2022 RBC Canadian Women Entrepreneur Awards. This year’s nomination campaign marks the 30th year of the awards which provides national recognition to Canada’s most accomplished and impactful women entrepreneurs, whose successful businesses contribute significantly to the local, national and global economy.

Over the past year, unprecedented numbers of women entrepreneurs from coast to coast were recognized by their peers, colleagues and communities for outstanding achievements in business and contributions to the Canadian economy. This resulted in a record-breaking number of submissions for the Awards program which celebrates its 30th anniversary in 2022. This year, it’s more important than ever to continue to shine a spotlight on the women entrepreneurs in our communities who invest it all — and a nomination is the first step.

“Across the country, Canada’s exceptional women entrepreneurs are continuing to build and grow their businesses, providing us with hope, solutions, and innovations at a time when we need it most,” says Greg Grice, Executive Vice President, Business Financial Services, RBC. “They are – and always have been – the backbone of our communities, and the RBC Canadian Women Entrepreneur Awards program in partnership with Women of Influence has been dedicated to celebrating their countless contributions over the past 30 years. As we turn the page to a new year, RBC is proud to continue our efforts to discover and share these inspirational stories of entrepreneurship.”

Since its inception, over 60,000 women have been nominated for the RBC Canadian Women Entrepreneur Awards and over 200 Awards have been presented for outstanding entrepreneurial achievement. Each of these prestigious awards is tailored to recognize women from all sectors of the economy and at all stages of business growth. They include: Ones to Watch Award, Micro-Business Award, Start-Up Award, RBC Momentum Award, Social Change Award: Regional Impact, Social Change Award: National/International Impact, Innovation Award, and Excellence Award.

“For over 30 years, this program has helped shine a spotlight on incredible entrepreneurs, boosting their businesses to new heights,” says Alicia Skalin, Co-CEO, Women of Influence. “As we celebrate this milestone anniversary, we are calling on corporations, organizations, and individuals alike to help us recognize all women entrepreneurs across the country who have persevered in the face of adversity and make this our most impactful year yet.”

If you know a Canadian woman entrepreneur who needs to be recognized nominate her now.

For more information, view the press release.  |  Pour plus d’information, visitez le communiqué de presse.

We are committed to amplifying BIWOC voices + Canadian BIPOC organizations that you can support

Dear WOI Community, 

Where do we begin? 

It is important for us to say that we condemn racism, that we stand in solidarity with the Black and Indigenous Communities in the fight for change, but that is not enough. 

It is important that we invite Black Women, Indigenous Women, and Women of Color to share their different lived experiences on our platform, so we can amplify their stories in their words. But this is not enough. 

What we commit to, and what we are asking those members of our community in a place of privilege to join us in, is to do the work it takes to better understand these stories, to read and listen and learn, to recognize this struggle hasn’t lasted weeks but hundreds of years, and to always ensure our allyship comes with action — donating funds, lending privilege, and showing up how we are asked and needed, not how it suits us best. 

Sometimes, we will get it wrong. But we are learning from our community — and we will continue to learn from our community to make us a stronger voice for all. 

As a first step, we’ve donated to Developing Young Leaders of Tomorrow (DYLOTT), a Black focused leadership incubator program based in Toronto, and founded by Candies Kotchapaw, one of our 2020 Top 25 recipients. We encourage those who can, to join us. We have also compiled a list of other Canadian BIPOC organizations that you can support:

Black Youth Help-line 

A not-for-profit offering Helpline services Canada-wide, and serving as the point of contact for calls to their professional services from youth, families, school districts, and a variety of youth-serving stakeholders. Service in French and other languages available upon request.

Black Lives Matter Toronto

A movement founded by Black Torontonians to resist anti-Black racism, state-sanctioned, institutional violence, and fight for Black Lives.

Black-led Mental Health Support

A fund set up by 3 Black Registered Social Workers (RSWs), Susan Bascillo, Yemi Otukoya, and Melissa Taylor to support low/no-cost virtual mental health care for Black clients in East York, Toronto and across Ontario.

Harriet Tubman Community Organization

A non-profit agency dedicated to building meaningful and developmental relationships with young people between the ages of 8 – 25 years old experiencing socialization, particularly youth of African descent.

Black Women in Motion

A youth-led organization working to empower and support black womxn, and survivors of sexual violence. The organization works within an anti-racist, intersectional feminist, trauma-informed, and survivor centred format with the knowledge to create relevant content, economic opportunities, safe spaces, and educational tools for black womxn. 

Black Health Alliance

A community-led registered charity working to improve the health and wellbeing of Black communities in Canada. By incorporating research, strong partnerships, and people; the organization can build innovative solutions and create lasting changes in the Black community.

Justice For Regis

A fund created by the late Regis Korchinski-Paquet’s family to pay for organizing her funeral service and to raise awareness about the incident.

Toronto Protester Bail Fund

A fund created by Strapped TO, a Black queer party collective in Toronto, to raise funds to assist in paying for private legal counsel and have the potential to create asset collateral for bail hearings. 

Indian Residential School Survivor Society

A provincial organization in BC with a twenty-year history of providing essential, culturally-based services to Residential School Survivors, their families, and those dealing with Intergenerational traumas.

Legacy of Hope Foundation

A Canadian, Indigenous-led charitable organization that works to educate and raise awareness about the history and intergenerational impacts of the Residential School System, Sixties Scoop, and other means cultural oppression against Indigenous (First Nations, Métis, and Inuit) Survivors, their descendants, and their communities.

Sisters in Spirit

A charitable service that provides programs and a safe and welcoming environment for all Aboriginal women (cisgender, transgender, and two-spirited people) and their children in the Greater Toronto Area.

3 things you can be doing to support the WOI Entrepreneur Community

These are challenging times to navigate — but while we socially distance, remember the only way we can get through this is together as a community. Just take a look at your local area and you will see shops, restaurants, bars, service providers and more forced to cut their business back or shut their doors entirely. “Foot traffic” is gone, and rightly so. 

For many small business owners — in the WOI community and beyond — these closures might outlast the global COVID-19 pandemic. If you want to support your favourite small businesses during this time, here are 3 tangible things you can do right from the comfort of your home.

 

 

1) If you can, make a purchase.  

Many of your favourite local businesses will have online stores or offer telesales in addition to their physical locations. If you are in the position to make a purchase, now is a great time. Delivery channels are still up and running (from meal delivery to Canada Post), albeit with some social distancing measures in place to make it safe. Gift cards are a great option, as they help to keep a small business’s cash flow running, even if they can’t offer their product right away. Also, if you have a monthly membership at a local fitness provider like a boutique gym or yoga studio, consider keeping your membership active, and asking for an extension instead.

 

2) Write them a review

Times are tough, and you might not have the money to spare or the need for anything new. You can still support them by leaving online reviews and letting others know just how much their business means to you. You might give someone who is thinking about making a purchase the needed confidence to go ahead with it. 

 

 

 

3)Let them know that you believe in them. 

In a period of isolation and uncertainty, a gesture of support and care can go a long way. Send them an email, or give them a shout-out on your socials. Behind the scenes, you can sign up for their newsletter or start following them on social media. And if you want to give them a vote of confidence, we have started an Instagram highlights series dedicated to supporting small businesses, send us a DM or email with their Instagram handle and we will feature them.

 

 

 

4 things you can be doing to get your business through this

One of the top ten reasons that small businesses fail is due to cash flow — and the pressure is being heightened by the necessary measures put in place to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. We want to help women-owned small and medium businesses in Canada stay afloat — and stay positive — during this difficult time. Here are four things you can be doing to help your business. 

 

1) Focus on e-commerce, telesales, and virtual offerings 

If you have the capacity to complete online orders, let your customers know that they can still get their favourite items from the comfort of their home. If you don’t have e-commerce in place, can you take orders over the phone? Either way, make sure your website and social channels clearly and simply direct customers on what’s available and how to make a purchase.

And now might be a good time to consider expanding digitally, from adding e-commerce to getting creative with your offerings. What products or services can you deliver virtually? 

If your business truly doesn’t lend itself to a virtual offering, use this time to review your strategy and your next steps. How can you come back with a bang when we’re through the worst of the restrictions (as the saying goes, This too shall pass)? Can you consider new opportunities? Can you look into novel ways to grow and promote your business? 

 

2) Make gift cards available 

Gift cards are a great way to keep cash flow positive through the next 1-2 months. Make it easy with a digital purchasing option, that customers can use themselves or gift to their friends and family. It can help your business now and in the future, when it’s finally time to gather collectively again.

While we’re normally used to seeing this for restaurants, spas, and other consumer services, don’t limit yourself to what’s normal. Anything you can offer in future — photography, in-person coaching, stylist sessions — can be made into a gift certificate or voucher. You may want to consider a discount as an incentive for buying these services in advance. 

 

 

3) Focus on your community engagement

Have you wanted to improve your social media presence or start writing a newsletter, but always felt like you didn’t have enough time? Well, now is your chance. You can use these channels to engage with your customers, keep them up to date, or spark some joy. Don’t be afraid to throw out the script and get vulnerable with them, share in their frustrations, and try to bring light to their days.

There is a lot of noise right now, so we think the best approach is authentic and supportive. Ask yourself, how can I help?  At WOI, we’re doing just that: we have launched an Instagram highlights series dedicated to supporting small businesses. Send us a DM or email with your Instagram handle and we will feature you.

 

4) Learn from other entrepreneurs.

Not sure how to handle this new normal? Connect with other entrepreneurs in your network, or reach out to make new connections in your industry or area of business. Someone may have a bright idea that you can also apply to your own company. 

If you don’t have these connections (and even if you do), check out our new hub for entrepreneurs adapting to a new normal. Through virtual events and articles, we’re asking leading entrepreneurs from across the country the same question: What now? You’ll get candid and actionable advice on finances, connectivity, brand messaging, pivoting, and more.

 

 

‘Name Her, Nominate Her’ Campaign Has Officially Launched

 The ‘Name Her, Nominate Her’ Campaign has officially launched as the 27th Annual RBC Canadian Women Entrepreneur Awards Call for Nominations Officially Open. If you know a Canadian female entrepreneur that deserves some recognition — find out how to nominate her below.

 


 

RBC and Women of Influence are announcing the call for nominations for the 2019 RBC Canadian Women Entrepreneur Awards. This year’s Name Her, Nominate Her campaign marks the 27th year of the awards which provide national recognition to Canada’s most accomplished and impactful women entrepreneurs, whose successful businesses and influence contribute significantly to the local, national and global economy.

Canada is home to over 1.4 million women entrepreneurs and 47% of small and medium-sized businesses are now owned by women, generating over $117 billion per annum of economic activity in Canada. Moreover, 63% are likely to turn a profit with adequate funding in just two years.

Since its inception, over 32,000 women have been nominated for the RBC Canadian Women Entrepreneur Awards and over 170 Awards have been presented for outstanding entrepreneurial achievement. We are calling on all corporations, organizations, and individuals to champion this cause and help us recognize and give a voice to the outstanding work of female entrepreneurs across the entire country and in all industries.

“We have some incredibly talented women across the country who are trailblazing, inspiring and leading future generations to drive innovation, economic growth and social progress,” says Greg Grice, Executive Vice President, Business Financial Services, RBC. “It is important that we recognize and celebrate the significant impact that their passion, dedication and contributions have had in the business community. RBC is proud to work with Women of Influence again this year to launch the 2019 RBC Canadian Women Entrepreneur Awards to recognize the next generation of exceptional women in business.”

Each of these prestigious awards is tailored to recognize women from all sectors of the economy and at all stages of business growth. They include: the Ones to Watch Award, Micro-Business Award, Staples Start-Up Award, RBC Momentum Award, Social Change Award, TELUS Trailblazer Award, and Excellence in Entrepreneurship Award.

“Successful entrepreneurship requires more than a great idea – it demands tenacity and tireless dedication,” says Alicia Skalin, Co-CEO, Head of Events and Programming, Women of Influence. “Through the RBC Canadian Women Entrepreneur Awards, we recognize a diverse group of Canadian business leaders who have successfully navigated the challenges of entrepreneurship to become powerful innovators in their industries.”

If you know a Canadian female entrepreneur who needs to be recognized nominate her now.

Introducing the Top 25 Women of Influence 2018

 

 

Meet Canada’s most accomplished women role models.

 

Women across our country are accomplishing incredible feats each and every year. From launching meaningful initiatives that are making a difference in women’s lives, to winning gold on the world stage, their achievements are worth our recognition, and our celebration. They are academics and executives, athletes and activists, and, by any benchmark, individuals of immeasurable influence. Meet the Top 25 Women of Influence 2018.

These women represent a variety of sectors, career stages, and contributions to women’s advancement.  Their unique accomplishments are impossible to compare against each other, which is why the Top 25 is designed as a celebration rather than a ranking. Community is more important than competition. 

What do they have in common? They are all women of influence, who have left their mark over the past year. Some have reached impressive heights in their career, breaking through barriers to become visible examples of what women are capable of. Others are focused on supporting women and girls through their initiatives, both at a community level, and on the world stage. Many are giving a voice to the challenges women face in their life and careers, helping to initiate important conversations that can lead to lasting change.

It was a challenge narrowing down the list to just 25, and there are certainly many deserving women that we were not able to include. To our Top 25 Women of Influence, and the unofficial women of influence having an impact across country, we thank you.

 

Who are we honouring? See the full Women of Influence Top 25 2018 list.

 

 

 

Press Release – Women of Influence Launches the Call for Nominations for the 26th Annual RBC Canadian Women Entrepreneur Awards with the ‘Name Her, Nominate Her’ Campaign

 

 

TORONTO – JANUARY 22nd – RBC and Women of Influence are announcing the call for nominations for the 2018 RBC Canadian Women Entrepreneur Awards. This year’s Name Her, Nominate Her campaign marks the 26th year of the awards which provide national recognition to Canada’s most accomplished and impactful women entrepreneurs, whose successful businesses and influence contribute significantly to the local, national and global economy.

There are over 950,000 self-employed women in Canada accounting for 36% of all self-employed persons.

Majority women-owned small and medium-sized enterprises represent over $117 billion per annum of economic activity in Canada.

Since its inception, over 25,000 women have been nominated for the RBC Canadian Women Entrepreneur Awards and over 150 Awards have been presented for outstanding entrepreneurial achievement. We are calling on all corporations, organizations, and individuals to champion this cause and help us recognize and give a voice to the outstanding work of female entrepreneurs across the entire country and in all industries.

“RBC is proud to work with Women of Influence again to launch this year’s RBC Canadian Women Entrepreneur Awards to recognize the passion, dedication and contributions of Canada’s exceptional business women,” said Greg Grice, executive vice-president, Business Financial Services, RBC. “We remain dedicated to helping create opportunities for women entrepreneurs to start and grow their businesses and committed to ensuring that women have the resources they need to play an active role in their future.”

Each of these prestigious awards is tailored to recognize women from all sectors of the economy and at all stages of business growth. They include: Micro-Business Award, Start-Up Award, RBC Momentum Award, Social Change Award, TELUS Trailblazer Award, and the TEC Canada Award for Excellence in Entrepreneurship.

This year, Women of Influence is excited to introduce a new award category, the Ones to Watch Award which recognizes female business owners who, although in the early stages of their business, show incredible potential through innovative ideas, strong business sense and solid plans for future profitable growth.

“Starting a business requires more than a great idea — it takes bravery, passion, and dedication,” said Alicia Skalin,

Co-CEO, Head of Events and Programming, Women of Influence, “With the RBC Canadian Women Entrepreneur Awards this year, we’re celebrating not only those who have established their businesses, but also the women who have taken the leap into entrepreneurship and shown they have what it takes to persevere and succeed.”

To nominate, please go to http://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 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 24th 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 www.womenofinfluence.com

 

For interview requests or further information please contact:

Amanda Kruzich, Women of Influence, 416 456 8633, akruzich@womenofinfluence.ca

Rob Merk, Corporate Communications, RBC, 416-955-6665, rob.merk@rbc.com

 

 

 

Femmes d’influence procède à l’appel de candidatures pour la 26e édition annuelle des Prix canadiens de l’entrepreneuriat féminin RBC, qui se déroulera sous la bannière de la campagne Des candidatures au féminin

 

 

 

TORONTO, le 22 janvier 2018 – RBC et Femmes d’influence annoncent l’appel de candidatures pour les Prix canadiens de l’entrepreneuriat féminin RBC 2018. L’événement se déroulera cette année sous le thème Des candidatures au féminin. Les prix, qui en sont à leur 26e année d’existence, soulignent les réalisations remarquables d’entrepreneures canadiennes qui, par leurs entreprises et leur influence, apportent une importante contribution à l’économie locale, nationale et mondiale.

Les travailleuses autonomes canadiennes, dont le nombre dépasse 950 000, comptent pour 36 % de l’ensemble des travailleurs indépendants à l’échelle nationale.

Quant aux petites et moyennes entreprises appartenant majoritairement à des femmes, elles contribuent pour plus de 117 milliards de dollars par année à l’activité économique du pays.

Depuis la création des Prix canadiens de l’entrepreneuriat féminin RBC, au-delà de 25 000 candidatures ont été reçues et plus de 150 prix ont été remis afin de souligner des succès commerciaux hors pair. Nous invitons les entreprises, les organisations et les particuliers à se joindre à nous pour souligner le travail admirable d’entrepreneures œuvrant aux quatre coins du pays, dans tous les secteurs.

« RBC est fière de collaborer encore une fois avec Femmes d’influence afin de lancer les Prix canadiens de l’entrepreneuriat féminin RBC 2018, qui soulignent la passion, le dévouement et la contribution des femmes d’affaires exceptionnelles du Canada, a déclaré Greg Grice, vice-président directeur, Services financiers à l’entreprise, RBC. Nous demeurons déterminés à contribuer à créer des occasions de démarrage et de croissance d’entreprise pour les entrepreneures, et nous voulons faire en sorte que les femmes aient accès aux ressources nécessaires pour jouer un rôle actif dans l’avenir du pays. »

Les prestigieux prix sont destinés à des femmes appartenant à tous les secteurs de l’économie, dont les entreprises en sont à différentes étapes de croissance. Les prix suivants sont remis : prix Micro-entreprise, prix Nouvelle entreprise , prix Dynamisme RBC, prix Évolution sociale, prix Pionnière TELUS et prix TEC Canada pour l’excellence entrepreneuriale.

L’organisme Femmes d’influence est ravi de présenter cette année une nouvelle catégorie de prix Entrepreneure prometteuse, qui s’adresse aux femmes propriétaires d’entreprise qui, malgré le stade précoce de leurs activités, affichent un incroyable potentiel en raison de leurs idées novatrices, de leur sens aigu des affaires et de leurs projets porteurs d’une croissance rentable.

« Pour démarrer une entreprise, il faut plus qu’une bonne idée : il faut du courage, de la passion et de la détermination, affirme Alicia Skalin, co-PDG et responsable des activités et de la programmation, Femmes d’influence. Cette année, les Prix canadiens de l’entrepreneuriat féminin RBC récompenseront à la fois les femmes qui ont fondé une entreprise et celles qui se sont lancées en affaires et qui ont prouvé qu’elles avaient les qualités nécessaires pour persévérer et réussir. »

Pour présenter une candidature, allez au www.womenofinfluence.ca/rbc-cwea-fr.

 

Les Prix canadiens de l’entrepreneuriat féminin RBC

Les Prix canadiens de l’entrepreneuriat féminin RBC, les prix les plus prestigieux à l’échelle nationale, rendent hommage aux entrepreneures canadiennes d’exception. Ils sont décernés par Femmes d’influence, organisme primé voué à l’avancement des femmes à l’échelle mondiale.

 

Women of Influence Worldwide Inc. (Femmes d’influence)

Femmes d’influence, qui en est à sa 24e année d’existence, est l’un des plus importants organismes nord-américains à offrir des solutions visant l’avancement professionnel des femmes. Grâce à ses cours de leadership pour cadres, ses événements mondiaux et son contenu imprimé et numérique, Femmes d’influence rejoint chaque année plus de 200 000 professionnels, femmes et hommes, au Canada et ailleurs dans le monde. Les déjeuners-causeries « Femmes d’influence » et les Prix canadiens de l’entrepreneuriat féminin RBC comptent parmi ses événements-vedettes. Pour en savoir plus, consultez le site www.womenofinfluence.com.

 

Pour demander une entrevue ou obtenir de plus amples renseignements, veuillez communiquer avec :

Amanda Kruzich, Women of Influence, 416 456 8633, akruzich@womenofinfluence.ca

Rob Merk, Communications, RBC, 416 955-6665, rob.merk@rbc.com


 

Press Release — 2017 RBC CANADIAN WOMEN ENTREPRENEUR AWARD FINALISTS ANNOUNCED TODAY

 

 

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 www.womenofinfluence.com

 

For interview requests or further information please contact:

Amanda Kruzich, Women of Influence, 416 456 8633, akruzich@womenofinfluence.ca

Rob Merk, Corporate Communications, RBC, 416-955-6665, rob.merk@rbc.com