Wanted – Women and Social Entrepreneurs

Last night I had the pleasure of going to the Entrepreneur Awards. it was incredibly inspiring to hear how people had boot strapped their way from their garages or tables in coffee shops into large scale businesses. Some of the entrepreneurs had come from other countries and it was heartening to hear them speak about what Canada meant to their success. Very touching. Courage to push beyond the naysayers and negativity were present in so many of their stories.

It was a great evening except for a couple of observations. There was only one woman who had been nominated. The rest of the finalists were all men – it was a sea of suits, except for two guys – one in a flashy white tuxedo jacket (very cool) and one dressed in a traditional brightly coloured Indian coat. I realize that the nominations were open to all – that women weren’t excluded but it is shocking still to see a stage filled with only men talking about their achievements – wonderful as they all were.

My second rant – there was a separate category for social entrepreneurship as if improving conditions socially, environmentally and educationally was somehow different from running a profitable business. Surely we’ve come to a time when all businesses need to be conscious of the world beyond their bottom lines – that where they do business, how they do business and what they do in their business is as important as how much money they make.

Next year, I’m making it my mission to nominate as many women as possible. And make social entrepreneurship just part of the criteria in judging the winners. Care to join me?

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6 thoughts on “Wanted – Women and Social Entrepreneurs

  1. Coreena Fletcher

    Hi Mickey,

    I have been lucky enough to meet some incredible entrepreneurs throughout my life, some women, but most men. I agree with all your comments above and would be happy to nominate some of the amazing women in business, and I consider myself fairly connected in the world of business in Vancouver, but I didn't even hear about the awards. I will be sure to vote next year.

  2. janice

    You're so right. If the awards criteria seriously took into account the entrepreneur's impact on our social, economic and environments, we may have seen a different selection of recipients. Not that that "winners" weren't great, it's just time to step up here.
    Good "rant" and I can't sign off with thinking about how great you probably looked in your party dress!!!!

  3. Mickey

    Thanks Coreena for your comment and your sentiments to nominate some women. It was the Ernst Young Awards so my understanding is that the nominations took place in the spring. I'll make sure I make people award of it.

  4. Mickey

    Thanks Janice for your thoughts on the social and economic environments and the difference it would have made. What a great model for business. I believe businesses, especially with the passion of the entrepreneur and his or her social consciousness can really shape our world.

  5. Salima

    Hi Mickey,
    I completely agree! I was honoured to attend the awards gala but found myself in the same place as you, wondering why there was only one female recognized. Furthermore, she didn't even win an "Entrepreneur of the Year" Award, she won the special award, AKA one made up just to award what she has done as a Social Entrepreneur – that is why she wasn't up there on stage for the Overall Entrepreneur of the Year Category, she wasn't eligible for it! I believe that EY should make Social Entrepreneurship a category EVERY year.

  6. Mickey

    Totally agree Salima. We just need to nominate more women and more people in business who are concerned with the triple bottom line – profits, people and planet.

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