Female Entrepreneurship Thrives in Halton

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Minister Ng Perspective Burlington globe and Mail
Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business and Export Promotion
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Haltech receives $307,000 from Federal Government to accelerate female owned business.

A member of Ontario Network of Entrepreneurs (ONE), Haltech is a regional innovation centre that exists to support companies that are starting up and scaling up. They offer education, advisory services and strategic connections that help guide technology entrepreneurs and innovators to profitability.

Co-located in TechPlace, Haltech is on the frontline of the charge to tap into the potential of women to drive innovation and economic growth under a Government of Canada initiative to double the number of female-owned businesses by 2025.

Mary Ng, the Minister of Small Business and Export Promotion, announced a three-year, $307,000 grant to Haltech on August 8 that will support and accelerate programming for female entrepreneurs through targeted mentoring, connections and resources.

The initiative comes out of the federal Women’s Entrepreneurship Strategy,
a $2-billion investment. It’s estimated that Canada could boost its GDP by $150 billion by fully advancing the participation of women in the economy.

Only about 16 per cent of Canadian businesses are started by women and that’s obviously not good enough, said Shann McGrail, executive director
of Haltech. In Halton, that number is about 31 per cent and that needs
to grow too, she said.Women bring unique experiences and perspectives to their businesses which often opens up opportunities in under-served markets or creates new business models.

“There are lots of women with great ideas and great experience and all they need is a jump start to grow and scale their companies. We will help women think big and grow global.”

Oakville company and Haltech client Best Life Rewarded is also being directly funded through the Women’s Entrepreneurship Strategy. The company was founded in 2010 by Susanne Cookson and Cynthia Hastings-James to provide targeted, personalized and incentive-based health and wellness interventions.

Their system combines risk assessments and advanced behavioural modelling to come up with resources and action plans meant to make real health changes and that can be sustained over time.

“We have seen some pretty incredible health behaviour changes,” said Cookson.

Best Life Rewarded customizes and rebrands its platform for commercial clients, which include Green Shield Canada, Alberta Blue Cross and Sun
Life Canada. The company will use its women’s entrepreneurship grant to adapt its platform for mass customization to allow global expansion, said Cookson.

The company now employs 25 people, with rapid growth coming in the last 18 months. It’s no coincidence that is also the period of time it has worked with Haltech, says Cookson.

“Haltech has been such great champions for us and have given us a better profile with people who can help us grow.We tell everyone who is starting a business about what they can do. Haltech has been amazing to us.”

To learn more about Female Entrepreneurship and Haltech please write or visit:

Haltech Regional Innovation Centre
c/o Tech Place Burlington
5500 North Service Rd., Suite 801
Burlington, ON, L7L 6W6

Call – 289-337-5505 ext. 107

Or visit www.haltech.ca