Highlighting Scotiabank as the Title Sponsor of the Female Founders Series

The Female Founders Program would not be possible without our Title Sponsor, Scotiabank. We would like to thank them for their continuous support!

To learn a little more about the Scotiabank Women Initiative, and why they’ve chosen to sponsor this program, see the video below.

Tell us about yourself.

My name’s Kendra Burkholder. I’m a Small Business Advisor at Scotiabank. I’ve been with the bank coming up on 10 years in April, predominantly on the retail side, and in the last two years have transitioned over to the small business side.

Tell us more about the Scotia Women’s Initiative.

Scotia Women’s Initiative has been around since 2018 in Scotia. It wasn’t until I started in the small business side at the branch, so we’re talking 2021 here, that I really started to get involved in the Scotia Women’s Initiative, especially as I started to meet with more business owners. The interest on the female side of it, whether it was female business owners or women-led businesses, so women making decisions in the businesses sparked my interest and I started to get more involved with the Scotia Women’s Initiative.

What impact does this initiative have on our community?

The impact Scotia Women’s Initiative is having on our community is breaking down barriers to women who are looking to become entrepreneurs, women who are in existing businesses that maybe are looking to transition into a leadership role, or women that are well placed in the small business market, or larger businesses as well.

We’re breaking down those barriers, we’re providing unbiased access to capital, education, and mentorship.

The mentorship piece, in my opinion, is one of the biggest aspects of Scotia Women’s Initiative. Being able to have access to someone who’s been through the journey that you’ve been through, knows the barriers, the struggles, anything that can really come up in the small business space, especially being a female entrepreneur.

I think it’s a game changer for a lot of women, and I’m super proud to be working for an organization that is providing that to women.

Why did Scotiabank decide to become the Title Sponsor for the Female Founders series?

Scotiabank chose to be the presenting sponsor for the female founding series, because there is so many things that align with what the female founder series is doing in our Scotia Women’s Initiative. Our three major pillars, access to capital, education, mentorship, align with a lot of what’s being presented in the female founder series.

This is a huge initiative, especially in Ontario, but all across Canada for Scotiabank employees that we’re passionate about, our leaders are passionate about it, and we want the community to know that Scotia is here to support women in business, women looking to get into business, existing business owners. It’s just a very, very important initiative, and we want to be at the forefront of it.

Do you see any parallels between the Scotia Women’s Initiative and the Female Founder series?

The parallels that I see between the two are the spotlighting women in businesses. We know without a doubt that there have been barriers placed for women in the past, present, and there will still be barriers continued into the future. Scotia Women’s Initiative is working hard to break those down, make sure that we have unbiased access to capital, and we can see a lot of the same ideas, the same passion, the same action in the female founder series.

Can you elaborate on the three pillars within the Scotia Women’s Initiative?

As mentioned, there’s three pillars within the Scotia Women’s Initiative, access to capital, education, and mentorship.

So, to elaborate on those a little bit more, the access to capital is Scotia looks at a credit application regardless of the business owner, male, female, in an unbiased light. Not only that, but we have dedicated billions of dollars to female-led or female-owned businesses. So, we are here, we are saying that we want the businesses to succeed, we will inject capital into these businesses to help with the success of them, and there will be an unbiased approach to our underwriting process.

The education piece, that is one of our major pillars, also extremely beneficial, but through Scotia Women’s Initiative, anyone that’s enrolled in it has access to anything and everything education-wise that we put out. So there is different sessions that you can sign up for, different videos that you can watch, you get access to different articles, different books, different webinars, all at no cost to the person looking for it, and we’re hoping that through that education, we’re able to support, encourage, lift up anyone in the small business space that needed that extra help or needed access to that information that they may not have had outside of Scotia Women’s Initiative.

And then the mentorship piece, again, I touched on it earlier, but I think this is really the piece that hits home, at least for me. We don’t just look at you’re a woman in business and we’re going to line you up with someone else that’s had a similar journey in the sense that they’re a female-owned or a female-led business. We look at what your business does, what your business is looking to do, and we align you with a mentor who has had a similar journey, the same journey, or can at the very least identify with some of the struggles that you’re going through as well.