This March 8 marks International Women’s Day in Canada and across the world.
Alberta is home to a number of female business leaders and entrepreneurs who are making waves with their achievements.
In celebration of this International Women’s Day, we’ve put together a list of some local women who are taking their leadership, businesses, and brands to new heights — many of whom having created women-forward companies that strive to see females shine.
Lynn Dargis, Founder of Farmbucks
Who she is: Dargis won $25,000 through the FWE Pitch for the Purse contest for her agriculture-based app, Farmbucks, which helps farmers collect and share information about the agricultural industry.
Kylie Woods, Founder of The Chic Geek
Who she is: Woods founded Calgary’s own Chic Geek, a non-profit organization working to encourage women in their technological and entrepreneurial pursuits.
Arlene Dickinson, Founder of District Venture Capital and celebrity investor on Dragons’ Den
Who she is: One of Calgary’s most well-known entrepreneurs, Dickinson can be seen on the TV show Dragons’ Den as well as leading the venture capital fund District Ventures Capital.
Natasha Spokes, CEO and founder of FarCloser Travel
Who she is: Spokes created the travel platform FarCloser Travel after being dissatisfied with the traditional travel agency industry, and was most recently a coach during the most recent Startup Weekend.
Mandy Balak, CEO and Founder of The Ace Class
Who she is: Balak created The Ace Class as a way for women to connect with other women and empower them to make a bigger impact on the world. She was recently nominated in the 2020 Alberta Women Entrepreneurs Awards.
Bobbie Racette, Founder and CEO of Virtual Gurus
Who she is: Racette had been working in Calgary’s oil and gas industry in 2015 when she realized that she was close to being laid off. Virtual Gurus was born in 2016 with $300 out of Racette’s own pocket, and it has been running off of self-generated revenue ever since its first month saw 90 clients sign on.
Aymie Rondeau, Founder of The Curvy Shop
Who she is: Rondeau created The Curvy Shop in 2018 after being frustrated at the lack of options for high-quality plus-sized clothing in Calgary and across the country. She was recently nominated for the 2020 AWE Awards.
Emily Slaneff, Founder of Crush Camp
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Who she is: Another AWE Award nominee, Slaneff founded Crush Camp and has since seen two boutique studio open in Calgary since. Slaneff’s story can be found here.
Mallory Becker and Jillian Palmer, Founders of Pine Integrated Health Centre
Who they are: Becker, a registered psychologist, and Palmer, a physiotherapist, joined forces at the head of an all-female team to offer health services for males, females, children, and adults, though they take the most pride in their specialty of supporting women perinatally.
Facebook: Pine Integrated Health Centre
Shauna Madsen, Founder and CEO of Madsen Avenue, CEO of Encore:CEO Academy
Who she is: Madsen created Madsen Avenue to help small businesses find a place in the market by providing planning tools to set them apart. She is also CEO of Encore:CEO Academy, an online program that walks small business owners through a revamp of their marketing and business strategies.
Nicole Rice, Founder of Sweet Jolie Inc
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Who she is: Rice created the community-conscious clothing boutique Sweet Jolie in Edmonton in 2011 and has grown it into not just a place for clothing, but for empowering women through a series of ongoing campaigns. Funds have previously been raised for the Canadian Alopecia Foundation, the YWCA GirlSpace program and the Edmonton Dream Centre, Make-A-Wish Northern Alberta, Lois Hole Hospital for Women, Basically Babies, and the Nina Haggerty Centre for the Arts.
Michelle Andrishak, Founder of WOW! International Women in Business and Leadership Inc
Who she is: Andrishak is a certified management consultant and certified business coach and entrepreneurial trainer who created WOW! to allow women in business and leadership to join a like-minded community.
Facebook: WOW Women in Business