Two of Canada's top investment platforms unite to support women-led companies

Mar 12 2021, 9:34 pm

Two of Canada’s top investment platforms are teaming up to support women-led businesses across the country.

FrontFundr, Canada’s leading online private markets investment platform, and The51, a Financial Feminist platform that promotes democratized access to capital for women-led businesses, launched their new collaborative pilot today that will have both platforms spotlight promising startups and growth companies.

The two organizations hope that their collaboration will help address the gaps that exist in access to early-stage capital and create a more accessible and inclusive investment ecosystem for both entrepreneurs and investors.

“The overall goal is twofold: On the one hand to provide women-led companies better access to capital, and on the other to provide women investors better access to investment opportunities in early-stage, women-led companies,” said Peter-Paul Van Hoeken, Founder and CEO of FrontFundr.

“As in other areas of our economy, there is a severe lack of gender equality in the early-stage funding and investing ecosystem. Our initiative aims to create awareness around this and make a positive impact toward gender equality, which in turn will benefit everyone.”


From L to R: Alice Reimer (Co-Founder), Shelley Kuipers (Co-Founder, Co-CEO) and Judy Fairburn (Co-Founder, Co-CEO)

Shelley Kuipers, Co-Founder and Co-CEO of The51, added that the statistics around access to capital for women-led businesses is “dismal.”

“In 2020, global venture capital investment decreased to just over two per cent for women-led businesses. Yet, women-owned businesses have been shown to outperform their male counterparts by 63 per cent,” explained Kuipers.

“There is a massive funding gap for women, and we need to change that. Our collaboration with FrontFundr is one more way we can start to address the inequality and provide opportunity for access to capital for women-led businesses.”

FrontFundr and The51 explained that their collaboration was developed with a shared mandate focused on championing women founders and investors to tap into the investment potential of the wider community.

“We see the future of our partnership as further delivering on this shared mission to help build an inclusive and gender equal funding and investment ecosystem in Canada,” said Van Hoeken.


Peter-Paul Van Hoeken, FrontFundr Founder and CEO

“We’re excited to see the positive outcomes of this pilot, most importantly for the founders and their companies, but also for The51 and FrontFundr communities,” added Kuipers.

“We see this pilot as a starting place for future development of more accessible investing opportunities that will drive more capital to early-stage women-led companies. We look forward to iterating on future collaborative opportunities.”

Women-led organizations showcased in this collaborative pilot will have joint access to both The51’s community of over 10,000 and FrontFundr’s investor community of over 20,000 members. The platforms’ users will be able to access and invest in these campaigns online from as little as $250.

The first group of companies to be co-listed on the two platforms includes:

  • Geenees Giving – A social gifting platform for families in need creating impact, connection, trust, and community. The platform facilitates gifts and donations, attracts new types of donors to nonprofit organizations, eliminates unnecessary volunteer hours, and delivers to families directly and anonymously.

  • Paws En Route – A pet transportation company that uses technology and a soft human touch to transport pets in a safe, friendly and fun environment. The company provides a pet air travel service as well as local and long haul ground transportation with pet experienced and pet-loving drivers. Their Mission is transportation for any pet, any time, any place.

  • Joni – Creating sustainable, biodegradable pads made with organic bamboo and delivered directly to customers, while also offering a unique 1-for-1 model that allows customers to donate pads to Canadians in need.

Female entrepreneurs, female-led companies, and investors can visit the51’s site to learn more about the program and the investment criteria for funding by The51. They can also visit the partnership page on FrontFundr’s site to learn more about the companies taking part in the joint program and to make an online investment.

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Daniel ChaiDaniel Chai

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