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Funding to support tech businesses led by women (update)

Fed-Dev Ontario has announced $264,000 for Communitech's Fierce Founders Accelerator Program
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Tech announcement Nov 16 2018
Kitchener-Centre MP Raj Saini at Friday's announcement. Aastha Shetty/KitchenerToday

The federal government has increased funding for Communitech's Fierce Founders Accelerator Program, which helps female entrepreneurs get a boost in business.

The program will be receiving $264,000 to help create new jobs and provide support for women entrepreneurs.

COO and Co-Founder of Meya.AI, Amanie Ismail, says the program helped her company land their biggest contract.

"We worked with them very closely while we were negotiating a deal, trying to figure out who the stakeholders were. All this enterprise-type sales that we had no experience with, they helped us with that."

She says a boost like this one helps level the playing field for many female entrepreneurs like herself.

"You tend to automatically get a little bit dismissed because they are thinking well, 'are you going to have a baby, do you have kids, do you have family obligations that are going to prevent you from running the company?' They tend to bucket you, so having this government boost is very helpful."

Kitchener-Centre MP Raj Saini was also there for the announcement at Communitech's office in Kitchener.

He says empowering female entrepreneurs is good for the economy.

"We know that this is the right thing to do, but we also know that economically, women need more empowerment in the sense that they need some resources to help them deal with some of the hardships that they might find."

Each participating company will receive $30,000 in seed financing, which will be matched by the business.

They will also receive $10,000 worth of training, mentoring and business services, as well as a rent-free workspace at Communitech for six months.

This additional contribution brings FedDev Ontario's investment in Communitech's Fierce Founders Accelerator program to $1.14 million.

The new funding will help create at least ten new, full-time jobs.

The program received $880,000 in federal funding last year.

Since then, the program has supported 19 female-led start-ups.

The Fierce Founder Accelerator program is among the first in Ontariio to focus exclusively on women in the technology sector.




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