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Women Entrepreneurs: Making a Difference Through Leadership and Innovation


PUBLISHED March 1, 2023 • 8 min read

Owner Spotlights

Discover the stories behind these inspiring and powerful female entrepreneurs.

Fadwa Mohanna

CEO Fadwa Mohanna shares her company’s innovative vision, her journey as a woman intech and her mission to advance women in the industry.

Jacqui Winter

Jacqui Winter on how the lessons learned from launching a startup in a challenging economy led to her ongoing business success.

Stéphanie Jecrois

Technovation Montréal encourages young girls to develop their capacities in entrepreneurship and technology.

Bobbi Racette

More than a talent marketplace, Virtual Gurus is on a mission to create employment opportunities for underrepresented individuals.

Shauna Curry

Centre for Affordable Water and Sanitation Technology CEO Shauna Curry shares how empowered women can change lives and communities.

Rogayeh Tabrizi

Rogayeh Tabrizi discusses why she founded Theory+Practice and what makes her company stand out.


Owners ask industry experts for guidance on moving their businesses forward

The Honest Talk Podcast

RBC’s Vice President of Investments, Transformation and Client Segments and the head of RBC Healthcare, Flora Do, talks about it all: her career, management style, childhood, and her incredible mother

Chair of the Board at RBC, Katie Taylor talks about women’s underrepresentation on corporate boards and what needs to be done to break the barrier.

RBC’s Vice President of Strategic Initiative and Change Management, Cheryl Tjok-A-Tam discusses transforming the way major corporations embrace change and foster diversity, equity and communication.

RBC trailblazer Jennifer Tory discusses the changes that need to be made to achieve equity in corporate offices and boardrooms

Travel focused

FemmeBnB is creating a safe space and peace of mind for women travellers and hosts

Green Economy focused

Megan Takeda Tully and Julianna Greco are on a mission to provide takeout without the waste

Restaurant focused

Jessie Votary shares her ‘people over profit’ philosophy

Putting Pen to Podcasting

Entrepreneurs are optimists by nature. They find opportunities everywhere and want to do it all. But even the most driven entrepreneurs need to have the discipline to prioritize and focus on what will drive their business forward. Fatima Zaidi has always been one to watch. She was born in Oman, with all the cultural norms and expectations of a Middle Eastern woman. Yet, regardless of circumstance, she took the plunge to build her own career and became the CEO and co-founder of Quill Inc., an imaginative podcast agency that gives people a credible and compelling voice. They even produced this episode of Chatter that Matters Presented by RBC. Fatima has many passions. She is an advocate for women in tech, a champion to bring more diversity into the workplace, a keynote speaker, and thought leader. But, can she do it all? Elizabeth Hughes, a venture and technology specialist at RBC offers her thoughts on capitalization. Entrepreneurial legend, Bruce Croxon, shares some powerful insights on entrepreneurship before shining his insight on Fatima and the potential of Quill. And for the first time in the series, Tony Chapman moves beyond parting thoughts and offers Fatima his own advice.

Sewn in Canada?

If you believe that Canada can’t compete in the design and creation of wonderful garments, then I encourage you to listen to this episode. And if you ever question the value of immigration, then I suggest you listen to it twice. For everyone else, get ready for some goosebumps, and some incredible advice from one of the worlds thought leaders on fashion, Jeanne Beker, as well as David Kincaid, a business and branding strategist who has guided the positioning of some of the world’s top companies and Lori Darlington from RBC.

Kathy Cheng emigrated from Hong Kong to Canada in the 1970s with her parents. To make ends meet, her Dad worked three jobs, sewing in a factory, delivering pizza at night, and waiting on tables, and her Mom wasn’t far behind. There was no money for child care. Kathy was a latch-key kid who grew up watching her parents work. Over time Kathy’s father and two siblings saved enough to start their own sewing shop, and within a decade, they employed 500 Canadians. Fast-forward to today, and Kathy is now the CEO, her Dad is her partner and they still sew everything in Canada.

Is it easy? No, but it’s never been easy for Kathy and her family. Is it possible to defy the odds and keep Canadians employed in designing and manufacturing in the garment trade? Absolutely if Canadians support theirs and others, Canadian Dreams.

Patrice Mousseau, First Nations, single Mom, watching her eight-month-old daughter scratch her arms and legs until they were bloody. The only prescription the Doctor offered to help with her daughter’s eczema was a steroid cream, something Patrice didn’t want to do. So Patrice researched and identified five natural and organic ingredients that could help. Her research proved right and within two days her daughter was cured and as it turns out she wasn’t the only beneficiary.

Word of mouth, then a farmers market and fast forward to today and 800 stores sell Satya Organic Skin Cream. Patrice is just getting started. 20% of children suffer from eczema, and the numbers from adults aren’t far beyond. How big can Patrice’s business get? She is already doing deals in Hong Kong and the USA. Can Patrice manage her growth?

As a mother, Sheri Allain wondered why there wasn’t more focus on STEM for children, especially girls and why her children’s school had nights devoted to drama, music, arts and crafts, but not one on technology.

So Sheri created CODEZILLA to provide hands-on coding classes, camps and parties, and lunch and after school programs for kids ages 4 – 14.

And Sheri’s business takes off as she isn’t the only parent asking the questions.

And then COVID-19 hits and hands-on becomes virtual? Sheri transforms her business only to find parents all over the world knocking at her door!


When business is anything but usual, we’re here to help.

Navigate to a new way of doing business with practical resources, money saving offers, and financial advice.

Services Beyond Banking

From payment processing to getting your business online, you will find services that work for your business. All in one place, at RBC Royal Bank.

News & Events

See what’s happening to support and celebrate women entrepreneurs

RBC is proud to sponsor The Honest Talk, a bi-weekly podcast that provides a platform for women to share their stories, gain insights and inspirations from one another.
From athletes and trade commissioners to authors and media personalities, the conversations tap into unique perspectives, experiences, lifestyles and cultures of working women who are leading and shaping important conversations. Listen here.

Coralus brings together women and nonbinary folks from across the planet to iterate our unique fused capital model by actually using it.

Recent data signal a troubling trajectory

Ahead of International Women’s Day, an RBC Economics report finds that women in Canada are at risk of prolonged unemployment as the pandemic disrupts the job market.

This article is intended as general information only and is not to be relied upon as constituting legal, financial or other professional advice. A professional advisor should be consulted regarding your specific situation. Information presented is believed to be factual and up-to-date but we do not guarantee its accuracy and it should not be regarded as a complete analysis of the subjects discussed. All expressions of opinion reflect the judgment of the authors as of the date of publication and are subject to change. No endorsement of any third parties or their advice, opinions, information, products or services is expressly given or implied by Royal Bank of Canada or any of its affiliates.

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