Women’s Equity Lab (WEL) Manitoba secures provincial exemption order from The Manitoba Securities Commission (MSC) to permit non-accredited investors to join early-stage venture fund

June 23, 2023

An innovative concept has resulted in the province’s first hybrid early-stage all-female investment fund, allowing non-accredited investors to join the angel investment ecosystem and participate and learn alongside accredited investors.

“We commend The Manitoba Securities Commission (MSC) for their leadership in working with WEL MB to provide the opportunity for more capital to be raised for entrepreneurs through the approved exemption for non-accredited investors” says Joelle Foster, co-founder of WEL Manitoba and Managing Partner (MP). “This truly is an example of regional collaboration and captures the spirit of our province in contributing to our region’s economic recovery by allowing more women to invest and bringing vital capital to the region.”

WEL Manitoba, one of six female investment funds operating across North America, was instrumental in leading the efforts and coordinating between the MSC and legal partners Pitblado Law and Osler in finalizing the much anticipated result. This unique pool of both accredited and non-accredited investors is WEL’s first hybrid model, leading the way for future WEL funds located in other regions to engage in policy-making with provincial securities commissions. The new MSC ruling requires investors to complete a form of declaration along with documentation acknowledging the risk of angel investing.

“This is a significant win not only for WEL but for Manitoba’s greater angel investment community. The goal was to uphold investor protection provided by securities regulation and promote a culture of economic prosperity for both the founder and investor” explains Elizabeth (Liz) Czyrnyj, a lawyer at Manitoba based law firm Pitblado Law who represented the investment group before the MSC and coordinated the successful ruling with support from WEL’s national law firm Osler.

“Securing this exemption order from the MSC helps to support growth and activity in Manitoba. It aids in removing barriers for women investors in the province and is another example of WEL’s commitment to empowering active participation of women in venture investing,” says Laura Webb, a Partner in Osler’s Emerging and High Growth Companies Group which acts as WEL’s national law firm.

“I am thrilled for the opportunity to be able to join WEL as an investor. Like many other younger women, I am building my career. I feel that achieving accredited status is very difficult for many women to meet at this stage” shares Jenell Osioway Chrorney, an entrepreneur. “To be accepted as a non-accredited investor means that I can invest and learn alongside accomplished, intelligent women. I am very grateful for this exemption.”

WEL’s unique model offers their investors access to hands-on training, education and best practices of investing to ensure members have educational awareness in the industry.

The newly formed early-stage fund will actively invest this fall in tech-enabled companies across the Prairies.

WEL Manitoba is opening applications for entrepreneurs to apply for angel funding later this month. Founders can submit their applications by applying through the Women’s Equity Lab website.

For media inquiries or to join the fund as an investor, please contact

About WEL:

The WEL investing model was created to address women’s chronic and systemic underrepresentation 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 Investment™ (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. For more information on how to participate in WEL, please refer to our website at or contact