Three women small business owners in a group
Running a business

Find your community: A resource guide for women entrepreneurs and business owners in Canada

Women-owned businesses now account for approximately 16% of Small Medium Enterprises and 37% of self-employed entrepreneurs. Every day, Canadian women are taking that big, intimidating, exciting leap into entrepreneurship all while juggling family responsibilities, social obligations, and (oftentimes) a second job. These women employ millions of workers across the country and drive economic growth in their communities. And yet, women still face harmful gender bias and barriers in business. 

Women-owned businesses tend to struggle more with financial health and revenue (a recent QuickBooks survey found that 26% of women-owned businesses report the current financial health of their businesses is worse than it was a year ago compared to only 18% of men), are more likely to struggle with work-life balance, and many find it difficult to build an adequate support network. According to LinkedIn data, women in the US are 28% less likely than men to have a strong network. 

But a strong network is just what women need to find success and growth in business. A network gives any business owner the tools and support they need to face business challenges with confidence, a space to give and get real-time feedback or advice on tough business decisions, and a community to share successes and empathize with mistakes.

In the face of inequity, communities built by women, for women, offer a safe space to share knowledge and experiences unique to women entrepreneurs. No matter how you prefer to connect — virtually or in-person, frequently or sparingly, for mentorship or for camaraderie - there’s a community of like-minded women ready to offer support. We’ve curated a few to help you get started. Select a category below to browse communities chosen just for you.

Aspiring entrepreneurs

Welcome, dreamers. You’re an aspiring entrepreneur - which means you probably have a really great idea up your sleeve and you’re ready to take that big, intimidating leap into business ownership. You might not know exactly what you’re doing, but you’re not alone! Lots of entrepreneurs don’t know everything about starting or running a business. But, where there’s a will, there’s a way - and you will learn. At this stage in your business journey, you need mentorship and coaching (preferably from inspiring women who have been there, done that), and you need a network (filled with motivated women who are trying to figure this whole business ownership thing out, just like you).

Aspiring entrepreneurs.

Find your community

Ladies Get Paid

This global platform offers best-in-class education, a supportive community, and trusted resources for any woman who wants to start a business.

Join in
Women Who Start Up

A learning community to help women entrepreneurs and innovators support each other “along the climb.”

Join in
Rising Women Network

Join one of the largest communities for women entrepreneurs. This network is all about helping you build the business of your dreams.

Join in
Centre for Women & Enterprise

This community helps aspiring women entrepreneurs launch their businesses by meeting them where they are.

Join in

Freelance and self-employed

As a freelancer or self-employed worker, you’re your own boss. You decide when and where you work, and what you work on. You set your own rates (exciting!) and pay your own taxes (less exciting!). You probably don’t have a dedicated team or full-time employees - you’re a bit of a lone wolf that way, but you get to work with new clients and take on exciting new projects all the time. You go where the wind takes you. Self-employed workers are self-motivated, self-guided, and…maybe a little lonely. But you’re not alone! At least, you don’t have to be. If you crave connection with like-minded self-employed women, check out the resources below to build your network, find safe and inclusive co-working spaces, and gain access to educational materials for your business.

Find your community

Canadian Small Business Women

Learn everything you need to know about starting and running your business. Canadian Small Business Women offers courses on everything from funding to marketing.

Join in

Weconomie is a business community where female business owners come together to connect, learn, and share their stories. They offer events, webinars, and funding opportunities.

Join in

This community project supports the mental health of freelancers and the self-employed. Invest in the most important part of your business: You!

Join in

WeBC (formally Women's Enterprise Centre) is all about supporting your journey from ideation to scaling. They offer financing, mentoring, skill development, and advisory services.

Join in
LOUD Business

Loud Business is an excellent resource for LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs that offers a sense of community that will allow you to find new opportunities for your business. There are also networking events and LOUD scholarships available for future entrepreneurs.

Join in
Working Momkind

An online community for expectant, new, and veteran moms launching their own businesses. Moms empower moms to pursue their dreams and crush their goals.

Join in
Small business owner.

Small business owners

You did it! You’re a business owner. You sell a product or service and people totally buy it. You might have an employee or two (or more!) to keep your business running smoothly, and you might even have a storefront or office building that you work from. Give yourself a pat on the back. Now that you’re here, you definitely have all the scary things figured out, right? Things like supply chain management and payroll and accounting? Trick question. No one has all of those things totally figured out. Lots of business owners don’t feel 100% confident managing their own bookkeeping or overseeing things like product development. But being a business owner means taking risks, wearing a lot of hats, and adopting an always-learning mindset. The communities below are filled with women business owners interested in sharing experiences and learning from one another.

Find your community

Lean In Circles

These circles are small groups of women that meet on a regular basis for peer mentorship, skill building, and inspiration.

Join in
Create & Cultivate

A digital membership for women that offers exclusive tools for your business, tips to attract investors, and advice for self-care while you conquer the world.

Join in
Female Founder Collective

Access curated content and resources for future-focused women. Grow and scale your business, share and learn together.

Join in

Redefine networking. Ellevate prioritizes real, authentic relationships by making it easy to find your people.

Join in

Formerly SheEO, Coralus is a collective community to gather wisdom and experience from women around the planet. Choose when and how you engage.

Join in
eWomen Network

This network is on a mission to help one million women entrepreneurs achieve one million dollars in annual revenue.

Join in

Changing the face of business, one woman at a time. C200 hopes to inspire and advance future women business leaders.

Join in
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Illustrations by Vivian Shih

Vivian Shih is a Cali-raised, Brooklyn-based, Asian American artist and tattoo artist. Her illustrations spotlight the experiences of women and people of colour. Her personal work focuses on themes of self-discovery, day dreams, and internal reflection.

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