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1128 Women and economic growth

Calgary is home to a thriving ecosystem of talented and driven women - leaders, innovators, and entrepreneurs who initiate startups, drive economic expansion, and advance communities regionally, nationally, and worldwide. 

On November 14, 2019, the first Women's Entrepreneurship Day Summit was celebrated in Alberta at Mount Royal University. The summit was a springboard for the ignition of ideas and empowerment of women to be catalysts of change across Calgary and around the world.

During the summit, the Honorable Leela Aheer, Minister of Culture, Multiculturalism and Status of Women, announced that November 19 will officially be recognized as Women’s Entrepreneurship Day in Alberta. 

According to the Power of Parity report by the McKenzie Global Institute, if full parity were achieved in the workforce, Canada could add $142 billion more to the GDP than the best-in-Canada GDP scenario by 2026. The Government of Canada recognized this potential in advancing women's economic empowerment with the first ever Women Entrepreneurship Strategy, a $2-billion investment that seeks to double the number of women-owned businesses by 2025, by providing women with access to financing, talent, networks, and expertise.

In Alberta, approximately 23,500 more women are employed than were employed one year ago. The 2018 Global Entrepreneurship Monitor Canada report on women entrepreneurs found that 15.5 per cent of women in Alberta were involved in entrepreneurship - higher than the national average of 13.3 per cent. The 2019 Alberta Tech Deal Flow Study uncovered that 30 per cent of Calgary technology companies were being led by a female founder or co-founder. 

In Calgary, women are change makers. They are ambitious and innovative with diverse perspectives. They continue to create solutions in vital areas - from building business ecosystems and advancing education, to impacting policy creation and driving economic expansion in this vibrant city.

The growing engagement of Calgary women in leadership and economic prosperity in recent years has been nothing short of remarkable. According to a recent study by Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, women make up over 35 per cent of leadership positions including elected officials and senior management, 32 per cent of the managerial roles and 37 per cent of all self-employed roles in Calgary. 

At Calgary Economic Development, we know that access to support resources, a culture of innovation, and strong lines of communication complements our business-friendly environment - allowing for unparalleled success and making Calgary, simply, an extraordinary place to be. 

A list of ecosystem resources has been developed by Lori Adams, Technology Development Advisor, Alberta Innovates and My-Linh Walker, Senior Advisor, Alberta Economic Development, Trade and Tourism. This list includes regional, national, and international resources for research, mentoring, networking, capital, training, and operations for women entrepreneurs, entrepreneurs and SMEs and is available in Business Resources on the Calgary Economic Development website. 

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