Ryerson University and MasterCard jointly announced today a new program designed to foster women-led startups in Canada. The MasterCard Women in Entrepreneurship program will provide six female entrepreneurs with $5,000 in funding as well as $5,000 in additional resources, plus access to the Ryerson Digital Media Zone (DMZ).
“Less than five per cent of female entrepreneurs actively seek a mentor, and yet those with a mentor have a 50 percent greater chance of being in business after three years,” said Vicki Saunders, Entrepreneur in Residence at the DMZ. “Building stronger support programs specific to women’s needs, like this one, will have a significant positive impact on the Canadian economy.”
MasterCard’s participation in the program comes as part of its YES: Youth Entrepreneurial Success program, designed to provide children access to entrepreneurship who might not otherwise receive it. MasterCard has also previously partnered with Ladies Learning Code as part of the National Girls Learning Code Day.
The program will begin accepting applications on March 8th, International Women’s Day. Those accepted will have access to the DMZ for eight months, in addition to mentorship from advisors and entrepreneurs-in-residence.