"When you do the math and understand your figures," advised financial expert Jacoline Loewen, "then you will do well in business." Loewen, a partner with Loewen & Partners and author of Money Magnet, was talking to over 120 women business owners who were gathered together to celebrate International Women's Day.
She highlighted several successful women entrepreneurs who had not only done well in their business ventures, but sold them for millions and encouraged the women in the audience to think big, to believe in themselves and pursue growth. (You can see Jacoline Loewen's presentation at the Exempt Market Dealers Association website here. Scroll down.)
And the panel of women entrepreneurs who followed had done just that. There was a common theme in their stories - each had just leapt in and followed her passion, not always knowing what they didn't know, but confident that they would obtain the knowledge they needed to succeed.
Neither Chioma of AMOI magazine nor Marissa McTasney of Moxie Trades were shy about pursuing someone who could help them, and when they had successfully tracked down the right person, and won them over, it was as if the doors opened and nothing could hold them back.
Marilyn Sinclair of WordCheck and iContent, on the other hand, was a serial entrepreneur, with over four businesses to her name, including one she had recently sold. When she reflected back on her finances, she admits that she had difficulty getting a line of credit in the early days, and that one bank had required her to have her father's signature. As she said, had she been married at the time, likely it would have been her husband's consent that was needed.
Times have changed, but we still have a long way to go. The first step, recommends Loewen, is to do your homework and determine the type of investor who would most suit your financial needs. Next is to know your figures; to present yourself in a competent, warm but professional manner, and be able to articulate your unique value proposition. She also suggested that women focus on growth, not on the actual product, as that could change.
The Honourable Brad Duguid, Minister of Economic Development and Innovation (MEDI) gave the opening remarks at Become a Money Magnet which was organized by Company of Women, EMDA, Enterprise Toronto, Microskills and WEConnect Canada, and hosted by Ernst & Young. "We wanted to focus on women and money, because while more and more women are entering the world of entrepreneurship, their rate of growth is lower when compared to their male counterparts." shared Mary Anderson of WEConnect Canada. "And a lack of financial literacy, confidence and knowledge of what is available are all part of the problem."
This International Women's Day event was one of 25 held across the province that was funded by MEDI.
The Exempt Market Dealers Association was a proud organizer of International Women's Day. This is part of the strategy to reach female business owners and link them to financial expertise and sources of private equity.