Women entrepreneurs are at the forefront of change. To address these changes and help foster a supportive, engaging environment for women in business, StrikeUp 2021 was created. Northumberland CFDC, in collaboration with its Southern Ontario Women Entrepreneur Strategy (WES) Ecosystem partners, developed a virtual conference dedicated to supporting women entrepreneurs and providing a forum for growth, mentorship and financing.

A key takeaway from the StrikeUp 2021 conference points to women supporting women. This is welcome news during a year when we have all felt isolated and unconnected. Women embrace the conviction that when one of us succeeds, we all succeed. Support is also crucial for building business, expanding ideas and ensuring our mental wellness.

“Success looks different this year. Today, women entrepreneurs come in all different shapes and sizes and ages,” said Amber Mac, internationally recognized innovation and technology leader, during her StrikeUp keynote. “We no longer celebrate only the young entrepreneur. More experienced women bring a wealth of knowledge to the entrepreneurial space.”

And technology is helping women entrepreneurs balance all these workloads. Amber Mac speaks to the advances in technology not only at work but in our homes, to assist with caregiving, and to make our lives healthier.

Other takeaways

Other key takeaways from the StrikeUp Conference included the value of learning, making mistakes, asking for advice and to bring more wellness and self-care into our daily lives.

Sarah Stockdale, founder and CEO of Grow Class spoke about the importance of accepting failure as a means to grow, to better ourselves and to become the success we envision. “We’re taught to avoid failure at all costs. Then if you’re anything like me and you join the tech and start-up culture, you learn that failure is great.”

Dr. Shimi Kang, award-winning Harvard-trained physician and bestselling author, speaks to the need to celebrate the little moments, not just the big successes, as well as the importance of lifestyle and being able to unplug.

“Embrace play mindset, not perfectionism,” Kang said. “Play mindset is linked to adaptability, diversity, success. Dealing with stress will open up your ability to be adaptable.”

StrikeUp Canada was instrumental in utilizing strategies and successes from a number of entrepreneurs who leverage the WES ecosystem to support and grow their businesses.

Rachel Bartholomew, founder and CEO of HyIvy Health spoke to the importance of surrounding yourself with solid support systems. Building your corporate culture becomes a critical factor to your overall success. “I look to my team as experts; I cherish and value their viewpoints. And so I like to build a culture around my business that really focuses on everybody bringing something to the table.”

And finally, Mallory Graham, owner and founder of Tribal Trade Company sums up why we all need to dream and to just go for it. “You need to practice self-love and chase our dreams no matter what age we are.”

Thanks to StrikeUp Canada’s Virtual Conference, women entrepreneurs are not just starting up and scaling up, they are displaying creative thinking, determination and resilience to survive and thrive during this difficult time.

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Stephanie Campbell
Stephanie has a varied background in public relations, government relations and business writing, but much prefers working one-on-one with inspirational entrepreneurs and eccentric creative types. She is currently the Managing Editor at Watershed Magazine, an upscale lifestyle publication in eastern Ontario, and manages Bickle Hill Public Relations, her own PR company that works with local SMEs.