Supporting Indigenous women to start thriving businesses with the support of a collaborative community
Today, Pow Wow Pitch, North America’s premier pitch competition and non-profit organization supporting emerging Indigenous entrepreneurs, announced a partnership with the Women Entrepreneurship Knowledge Hub (WEKH), led by Ryerson’s Diversity Institute, for its 2022 Pow Wow Pitch Program.
Set to support more than 2,500 Indigenous entrepreneurs in 2022 with mentorship, funding, training, marketing and a safe and trusted community of support, this new partnership will support Pow Wow Pitch to scale its virtual programs, re-enter communities with on-the-ground support across Canada and scale its programming to support Indigenous entrepreneurs.
This year, WEKH will support Pow Wow Pitch as a Seed-Level supporter. It will share opportunities for Indigenous women through the broader ecosystem and directly support the program by providing mentors to those participating in the program.
WEKH’s National Indigenous Hub (WEKH Indigenous) is located on Treaty 1 Territory and works with organizations from coast to coast, influencing and advancing Indigenous women’s entrepreneurship.
Since 2020, WEKH Indigenous has reached over 4,000 participants at engagement events, workshops and meetings across the country and works regularly with a network of national Indigenous programs and organizations to advance knowledge about the barriers and the potential of Indigenous women entrepreneurs.
Historically, there has been a lack of data about Indigenous women entrepreneurs. WEKH and its network of Indigenous partners have produced several reports, including Mikwam Makwa Ikwe (Ice Bear Woman): A National Needs Analysis on Indigenous Women’s Entrepreneurship.
“We are proud to be launching a new partnership with the Women Entrepreneurs Knowlege Hub as we look to surround our Pow Wow Pitch entrepreneurs with an ecosystem of support as they start and grow their businesses,” said Sunshine Tenasco, Founder of Pow Wow Pitch. “Through this partnership, we hope to celebrate the intersectionality of identity, highlight the unique challenges Indigenous women confront along the entrepreneurial journey and work with the WEKH and its ecosystem partners to create a better environment and support for Indigenous women entrepreneurs.”
“WEKH is proud to partner with the Pow Wow Pitch, a one-of-a-kind opportunity for Indigenous entrepreneurs,” said Ashley Richard, Associate Director, Indigenous – Women Entrepreneurship Knowledge Hub. “Through this partnership, we will advance Indigenous women’s entrepreneurship and co-create new opportunities for Indigenous communities. Together, we are working towards building more inclusive innovation.”