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Our Movement. Our Time.

EMPOWERING WOMEN TO RISE IN ENTREPRENEURSHIP

Women entrepreneurs account for only 16% of business owners in Canada.

It’s time to invest in change

WHAT IS ELLA?

ELLA is a COMMUNITY and an ACCELERATOR for women, by women.
Our mission is to reduce the gap of gender inequality in entrepreneurship.

ELLA is led by York University, in partnership with Small Business Enterprise Centres across York Region and is made possible through funding from
the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario.
We believe every woman entrepreneur should have access to the community, information and resources they need to scale their business.

Here’s how we’re doing it:

  • Tailored training and support programs for women entrepreneurs. 100% free of cost.

    ELLA ASCEND

    A 5-month program for women-led ventures that have paying customers and sales of over $50,000. Entrepreneurs will have the opportunity to connect with a network of experts and entrepreneurs, and learn the skills needed to take their business to the next level.

    Program Duration:
    March – July

    ELLA ALTITUDE

    A 4-month program for women-led ventures that have sales of over $250,000 and are moving towards national and international expansion. With one-on-one advice and support, entrepreneurs are able to create a step-by-step plan to bring their business to the world stage.

    Program Duration:
    October – February

  • ELLA
    COMMUNITY

    A vast ecosystem of entrepreneurs and partners who believe in our mission and want to help us elevate women founders.

    Join Us

WHY ELLA?

TOGETHER
WE ARE
STRONGER

ELLA Women forge their own path, but they are not alone. We give them the support, tools and guidance to not only navigate the entrepreneurial world, but thrive. This is your story.

Let’s make it amazing, together

$150B
OPPORTUNITY

Having a world in balance is healthy in many ways. Bringing parity in entrepreneurship, i.e. bridging the gap between having 16% of women founders compared to 50%, leads to $150B in opportunity for the Canadian economy.

Studies show that businesses with women founders raise more money and build better results*. Yet, women often dismiss entrepreneurship as an option due to its impact on their family lives and its high risk. ELLA shows women possible paths to success, proven by women founders who have already embarked on them, and gives them the support of an outstanding community.

FOR WOMEN
BY WOMEN

COMMITED TO
DIVERSITY

For ELLA, diversity expands beyond women founders. We have a 40% goal of inclusion for under-represented groups in entrepreneurship. We are proud to build a program that represents our country and our values.

York University has led the way in social justice since its inception, in 1959. Having had its first women president in 1993 and still having a strong women presence in upper management, pushing for change to provide equal gender opportunity is truly tied to the university’s core values.

TIED TO
OUR CORE

EACH WOMAN HAS THE POWER TO BE
A GREAT LEADER

Supported by outstanding people:

  • AISHA ADDO

    CEO, DriveHER
    Founder, Power to Girls Foundation
  • CHRISTIANE WHERRY

    Founder, Quantius Education Foundation
    VP, TODAQ Financial
  • DANIELLE B. GRAHAM

    Principal, Dream Maker Ventures Founder, Fierce Founders
  • Dr. Deborah Nixon

    VP, Mandrake
    Founder, Trust Learning Solutions
  • KATHY CHENG

    President & Founder,
    Redwood Classics Apparel
  • KRISTA LARIVIÈRE

    CMO, Mintent
    Director, Angel Investors Ontario
  • IDAS LEVATO

    Founder, WERKTO
    Community for Women Entrepreneurs & Investors
  • MAITHILI MAVINKURVE

    COO & Co-founder,
    Sightline Innovation
  • Mirella SPANO

    Partner, KPMG
  • Reetu GUPTA

    President & CEO, The Gupta Group & Easton's Group
  • SOPHIA STONE

    Founder, Indie Group Consulting
  • VALERIE FOX

    Co-founder, DMZ
    Chief Innovation Consultant, The Pivotal Point
And the best part: it’s 100% free.
No cost, no equity.

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ELLA is brought you by

We acknowledge the support of the Government of Canada through the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario.