Balance for Better: International Women's Day 2019
Happy International Women’s Day! This year’s theme is #balanceforbetter which seeks to provide a gender-balanced economy. With this theme in mind - I wanted to introduce the Town of Newmarket to some of our phenomenal women in business. These women are driving the local economy, employing local talent and creating new products and technologies.
First up, Mariam Ekram - she’s the president and founder of KOA Natural Foods. She runs this healthy food manufacturing company in Newmarket and distributes across Canada. I met Mariam for a chat in the mezzanine office of her manufacturing facility where we chatted about all things business and how she got started simply by wanting to provide her family with healthier snack options. The piece that most intrigued me was how passionately Mariam talked about the importance of mentorship especially for women in traditionally male dominated industries like manufacturing. If you are looking for a healthy treat- I recommend the Lilo & Co Peanut Butter Cups. Mariam’s company (then named Kewaza) was featured in Season 11 of Dragon’s Den. (& thank goodness for Manjit Minhas and her defense of being human in the boardroom!)
Next up, Jessica Rawlley. Jessica is the President and Co-Founder of TIEIT and MAAS PROS, two software and technology companies headquartered in Newmarket. Jessica’s companies both seek to provide business solutions for small, medium and large organizations. She is truly a leader in the tech world, providing innovative solutions to businesses across the spectrum. Jessica recently spoke at Tech Day on Parliament Hill- an event that brings tech CEOs together with policy makers to speak about increasing innovation and tech in Canada.
Later on today, co-founder of tech company Completely Managed Mary Scotland will be welcoming over fifty delegates including representatives from IRAP (International Research Assistance Program), VentureLab and OCE (Ontario Centre of Excellence) to celebrate the commercialization of her company’s first to market, technology “Lanaware” created for the manufacturing space. This company is changing the way that manufacturers do business and bringing massive efficiencies to the industry.
Finally, this post wouldn’t be complete without a shout-out to Andrea Wetzel -founder of HerPlace. HerPlace is a space for female entrepreneurs to not only rent desk space and board rooms but also connect with other women, teach skills to up and coming entrepreneurs and generally cheer each other on. There is always something cool going on in this space as well - from training seminars by other women about smart investing to celebrations (like the one happening to day) for International Women’s Day.
These are only a few of the many amazing women accomplishing great things right here in Newmarket. And, we want to know who did we miss? What women in business should we be profiling on this blog? Drop us a comment below so we can add more for next year’s feature.