ATB Financial backs crowdfunding initiative for women entrepreneurs

ATB Financial backs crowdfunding initiative for women entrepreneurs

Women entrepreneurs in Alberta are getting a boost from ATB Financial, which has announced its second annual Build Her Business crowdfunding initiative.

“ATB is proud to support women entrepreneurs and encourage the growth of small businesses which are at the heart of our provincial economy,” said Curtis Stange, president and CEO of ATB Financial, in a news release. “We are committed to removing the barriers standing in the way of women entrepreneurs so Alberta—and Canada—can benefit from a stronger economy.”

ATB said the campaign helps foster the talent of Alberta’s women entrepreneurs by providing access to funding, education, mentorship, as well as expert advice. It also gives Albertans a great chance to show their support for local Alberta entrepreneurs.

Shannon Pestun

“ATB is looking at new ways to close the investment gap while helping women overcome other challenges in entrepreneurship,” said Shannon Pestun, director of women’s entrepreneurship at ATB Financial. “Crowdfunding is a viable source of financing to help women start and grow their businesses and, at ATB, we have the platforms and expertise to help them succeed.”

ATB’s BoostR crowdfunding platform aspiring entrepreneurs can pitch ideas and get feedback. In exchange for financial support, crowdfunders get a reward like a product, service or unique experience.

Last year, 22 Build Her Business participants raised $250,000 and 86 per cent of them met their crowdfunding goals, said ATB.

“Build Her Business is a great way to test the market, and validate your idea without taking on a ton of risk,” said Aymie Rondeau, former participant and founder of The Curvy Shop. “I built friendships with people, we promoted each others’ businesses, and it was nice to have that support network of other people who understood what you were going through.”

Applications to ATB’s Build Her Business campaign are open now until January 31, 2020. To participate or find out more, visit online.

Mario Toneguzzi is a business reporter in Calgary.

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