Last month, CEED Concordia and Nuestro Flow hosted a trilingual zoom panel discussion in French, English, and Spanish on women entrepreneurship to mark the end of the Women’s Solidarity Project. The event’s topic was Economic Empowerment & Equality Across borders: Why we need more women in Entrepreneurship and Leadership Roles and How to Achieve it.
The main takeaway from the event is that despite some of the challenges existing in entrepreneurship, greater accessibility for women in the field is essential for women’s wellbeing and society’s as a whole.
Louise Champoux-Paillé, Member de l’Ordre du Canada & Co-Director of the Centre for Women Entrepreneurship and Leadership at JMSB, spoke about how studies show that women entrepreneurs tend to contribute to positive societal change when pursuing business goals.
“When we ask women why they are creating their business, they say ‘I want to change the world.’ When we ask the same question to men, they answer that they are doing it for gainful employment and profit.”
“Entrepreneurship is a tool that gives the power to be able to do more things, to create more income for women, but also to create solutions for social and environmental problems,” said Gomez.
Also, present on the panel was Tatiana Londono, Founder of Londono Realty Group based in Montreal. When speaking on the importance of entrepreneurship, Londono echoed a theme that was present throughout all discussions:
“the importance is to have access to work. Work is what allows women to change their circumstances and maintain or gain independence.”
The Women’s Solidarity Project created by CEED and Nuestro Flow was created to counteract gender inequalities women entrepreneurs face.
On one hand, we trained a total of 23 women entrepreneurs in Québec and Colombia, with the necessary skills to develop their entrepreneurship ventures and counteract the problems related to gendered discrimination and inequality in the current COVID-19 pandemic context.
In addition, six Research Interns from Québec and seven Research Interns from Colombia analyzed the realities of women entrepreneurs from both countries. The training and research findings were turned into a policy brief in French, English, and Spanish.
A documentary film is currently being made by CEED’s interns of the V-DOC project which features some of the Quebec and Colombian Entrepreneurs that participated in the Women Solidarity Project. Take a look at this teaser!
The Quebec and Colombian research teams found that there were a lot of common themes shared among entrepreneurs in both countries. Long work hours, financial risk, and a disproportionate amount of caregiving responsibilities related to gender roles are common issues between both regions.
The research interns proposed some solutions to the issues mentioned above: more government support, more mentorship and networking opportunities, further research analyzing inequalities, and more female community support.