Retrospective - Radius Dinner and AWE Year One
By: Kim Zarzuela
iF Summer Content Marketing Intern
Members of the AWE community came together to celebrate a great year of programming with the Accelerator for Women in Entrepreneurship at Radius at the end of June.
As part of the evening's program, a panel of entrepreneurs in the AWE community were invited to partake in a discussion, facilitated by Shann McGrail. Our panelists, Anita Grant (Fleeky), April Wright (Sniper Skin), and Erica Guidi (Blend Catering Co.) were gracious enough to share their thoughts and ideas after the Radius dinner and their high hopes for AWE.
Anita Grant, Fleeky
As a new entrepreneur, Anita was able to share her experience, and spoke about the importance of having a positive mindset and surrounding yourself with a supportive social group. She believes the future is bright for women and Innovation Factory, and that Hamilton is opening the door for many women who want to be a part of the entrepreneurial community but don't know where to start.
April Wright, Sniper Skin
As a seasoned entrepreneur and 2015 LiON's LAIR winner, April was able to speak from her personal experience about the struggles and successes she has had in her business. She feels that the community is a great opportunity for women entrepreneurs, especially those who work at home and need some time away from the office.
April loves the AWE community because it puts women in connection with people who are going through the same thing as you, and who understand things that male counterparts sometimes do not. Being in that comfort zone with women going through similar experience gives you the opportunity to feel more open than you might in a mixed-gender environment.
While April was not able to attend all of the AWE events, she believes it has huge potential and is looking forward to watching it grow. There is a great group with lots of benefits for the women involved, and the offering of moral support and and networking for women entrepreneurs is huge value add.
Erica Guidi, Blend Catering Co.
Erica spoke about her upcoming project of creating the Blend Cooking Studio,, which will allow her to teach fundamental skills in cooking classes geared towards adults and children. She spoke about her experience as an entrepreneur in the food industry and the importance of having a strong support system in place.
Her biggest takeaway from the evening and program in general: mentorship is key! Erica is on the look out for mentors who can assist and be a sounding board to questions, ideas and dreams, as well as help with troubleshooting and accountability. With AWE going through an expansion this year, she's really excited about the prospect of how Innovation Factory and the AWE program are going to help her and others in their businesses.
As AWE continues to grow and expand, we welcome any feedback and suggestions that our participants have. From the evening, it's clear that mentorship and community are key to successful women entrepreneurs in their endeavours. We look forward to helping our participants build their networks and hope to be able to provide one-on-one consultations or mentorship as part of our program going forward.
AWE is looking forward to returning with our first session on October 17th. The Entrepreneurial Identity is available for registration now on Eventbrite. Contact Brigitte Huard at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions about this session or any upcoming programming for AWE.
We look forward to seeing you there!