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?