Our work in tech PR has introduced us to so many brilliant founders, but we’ve noticed that in fintech more than any other subset of tech, there are not enough folks who identify as women in leadership roles. Part of the problem is a lack of access to capital with women fintech entrepreneurs have received on average 50% less capital over the past 5 years than their male counterparts. We want to be part of the solution and lift up the trailblazing female fintech founders who are building smart solutions that are changing the way we interact with financial services.
The Women in Fintech Grant is $30,000 worth of public relations and communications services that were to be awarded to one deserving woman-founded, early-stage fintech in 2021. The winner was selected by a judging panel made up of experts in tech and communications who we admire.
Our judging panel, Janet Bannister, Managing Partner of Real Ventures, Leen Li, CEO of Wealthsimple Foundation and Erin Bury, CEO and Co-Founder of Willful, assessed applicants based on a number of criteria including long term business viability, market size and competitiveness and media appeal.
On February 12th, 2021, our judging panel selected BuyProperly, led by Khushboo Jha, as the winner of the grant. Read more about it here!
Leen is the CEO at Wealthsimple Foundation, a non-profit organization with a vision to make education accessible to every child in Canada. Previously, Leen was the CFO at Wealthsimple, a leading fintech company on a mission to help everyone achieve financial freedom by providing products and advice that are accessible and affordable. A co-founder herself, Leen led finance and operations at Influitive, and held a number of positions at HSBC Canada, Eloqua (acquired by Oracle in 2012) and China Construction Bank. She is actively involved in the community and has a passion for education, healthcare, technology, and advocating for women and people of colour.
Erin is an entrepreneur, speaker, startup advisor, and former technology journalist. She is the co-founder and CEO at Willful, an online estate planning platform that makes it easy for Canadians to create a will in less than 20 minutes. At Willful she’s responsible for driving the company’s mission to make it easier for Canadians to prepare for and deal with death in a digital age. Erin is a frequent speaker with Speakers’ Spotlight, and has appeared in publications including The New York Times, Forbes, and CNN. She is a board member at Save the Children Canada, and a member of the #Tech4SickKids advisory council for SickKids. She was named one of Marketing Magazine’s top 30 Under 30 marketers, and her claim to fame is being retweeted by Oprah – twice!
Janet is the Managing Partner at Real Ventures, one of Canada’s largest early-stage venture capital firms. Janet has led investments in over a dozen companies and works actively with founders to help them build large, industry-defining companies. She is very active in the Canadian tech ecosystem; she is on the Board of Communitech in Waterloo, Vector Institute in Toronto and C100. In 2004, Janet launched Kijiji.ca and grew it to become one of the most visited websites in Canada. Prior to launching Kijiji, Janet worked at eBay in Silicon Valley, was an Engagement Manager at McKinsey, and a Brand Manager at Procter & Gamble.