Women’s Equity Lab (WEL) Manitoba Early-Stage Venture Fund Now Investing in Women-Led businesses in the Prairies
March 23, 2023
WEL Manitoba brings together a network of accredited women investors from across the province providing hands-on investment education and networking to its members and access to new capital for female founders at the pre-seed and seed stage on the Canadian prairies.
“We’ve been working over the past year to bring together the region’s first female fund that focuses on engaging and encouraging women to learn more about angel investing,” says Joelle Foster, co-founder of WEL Manitoba and Managing Partner, (MP). Joelle is the CEO of North Forge Technology Exchange, a technology incubator accelerator that also runs the largest publicly accessible fabrication lab in North America. “The success of the fund is due to the collaborative efforts taken by our four MPs who were able to bring these women together for our first capital raise in a region that is becoming nationally recognized as a growing tech hub.”
WEL Manitoba is part of WEL National – an organization founded in 2017 with a mission to get more women involved in angel investing. “In addition to Manitoba, WEL investment groups operate in Victoria, Vancouver, Silicon Valley, and an Atlantic Provinces fund made up of investors from Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, PEI, and Newfoundland. “WEL Manitoba is an impressive group of accomplished accredited women investors and a new source of female led capital and expertise to support female founders who traditionally have been unable to access vital capital needed to launch successful companies,” Stephanie Andrew, Founding Partner, WEL.
Led by a team of Managing Partners; Joelle Foster, Sandy Foster, Rosalie Harms, and Priti Mehta-Shah, the group believes that female-founded businesses will generate strong returns, and by increasing access to early-stage capital in female-founded companies is a key opportunity to level the playing field.
The WEL investing model was created to address the chronic and systemic underrepresentation of women in early stage investing. By reducing the barriers to entry that have typically kept women out – gender bias, lack of previous investing experience, capital needed to get involved – our Learning On InvestmentTM (LOI) approach is designed to facilitate entry into this investment class. WEL consists of a powerful community of over 150 women investors from across the country managing a growing portfolio of investments which should reach about 40 company investments by the end of the year. Over 70% of WEL investments are in women-run and women-led businesses. WEL not-for-profit was created to support national fund operations with funding from the Government of Canada. For more information on how to participate in WEL please refer to our website at www.womensequitylab.com or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.