Starting a business can be a challenging and isolating endeavour, especially when part of a minority group with minimal resources, tools, and mentors available to lean on.
Facing obstacles those in more privileged positions might not, self-identified women entrepreneurs deserve the support needed to make their dreams a reality.
The economic turmoil caused by COVID-19 has disproportionately impacted women entrepreneurs. According to the BDC, many women are now struggling to keep their businesses afloat because they tend to run smaller businesses, receive less funding, and are generally concentrated in service sectors that have been hardest hit by the pandemic.
Women’s Entrepreneurship Day, which happens on November 19, aims to recognize and remedy these challenges.
To mark the occasion, Uber Canada and The Forum — a Canadian-based charity that mentors and supports self-identified women entrepreneurs — are partnering up for a series of programming that will assist women in making their business dreams come to fruition.
Divided into two different streams, The Forum Growth Series program aims to equip self-identified women entrepreneurs with the tools and resources needed to thrive. Through this partnership, they hope to support women who drive, deliver, or operate restaurants using the Uber platform.
The first stream — called The Forum Growth Series: Shift — is designed for all business owners focusing on how women can transition into entrepreneurship with ease and turn their business idea into a successful, fully-operating company.
This program will demonstrate how entrepreneurs can grow their business, transitioning it from a side hustle or part-time job into something that can support them full-time. In addition to hearing from guest speakers who have themselves taken the leap to start their own business, participants will be able to receive curated advice on financial, operational, and marketing strategies.
The second stream of the programming — The Forum Growth Series: Resto — will be targeted at restaurant owners who are looking to grow their business and continue to thrive in the food service industry (an industry that can be quite challenging). This stream will help entrepreneurs develop actionable ideas, community partnerships, and resources to either start their own business or take their existing one to the next level.
The Forum will also offer additional access to 12 months of one-on-one mentorship, access to weekly calls with other women entrepreneurs, and access to a sharing platform where entrepreneurs across Canada can connect, ask questions, and share knowledge.
Uber Canada knows a lot of people who use their platform view it as temporary while they work towards their dream careers. This partnership demonstrates Uber Canada’s commitment to help make any and all entrepreneurial goals happen — through education, community-building, and other actionable resources.
“For many drivers and delivery people, Uber provides the flexibility they need to support and pursue their entrepreneurial passions,” said Laura Miller, head of public policy & communications at Uber Canada. “We want to do our best to support and help them to achieve their dreams. We’re thrilled to be working with The Forum to support and uplevel women-identified drivers, delivery people, restaurateurs, and their family members.”
The Forum, which has supported over 10,000 women entrepreneurs since 2002, is an apt fit for this partnership, bringing their educational tools and mentorship programming to the context of women who use the Uber platform.
“For 20 years, The Forum has been focused on creating maximum impact with Canadian women entrepreneurs. Our partnership with Uber Canada will help more entrepreneurs access the resources, mentorship, and community they need to be successful,” Paulina Cameron, CEO of The Forum, says of the new programming and partnership.
Applications for both programs are now open, with live sessions commencing in February. The programs will operate in both English and French, with 500 spots available. This programming is open to all self-identified women entrepreneurs, including drivers, delivery people, and restauranteurs who use the Uber platform, or their family members.
If you’re a self-identified woman who uses Uber who would like the opportunity to grow — or start — your business, sign up here.