“Bread & Money” Women Entrepreneurs & Canada’s Success #IWD

Women & International Women’s Day – during the month of March events are held throughout the world to inspire and recognize women and their achievements.

This YEAR – Canada celebrates Strong Women, Strong Canada, Canadian Women – 2014

Creating Jobs, One Business at a Time


Women in Business AdDressing "Bread & Money" 2014
Women in Business AdDressing “Bread & Money” 2014

Women Entrepreneurs & Canada’s Success?


Number of woman owned businesses  doubled last 15 years in Canada, and businesses owned by women growing at a rate of 60 percent faster than those run by others along with reports of businesses with women at the helm financially outperforming others. 

 71 % of Canadian women would become their own boss if they had the opportunity, and 8 in 10 women say having access to role models or mentors is key to their success.  (Bank of Montreal)

50 percent increase number of self employed women for past 16 years in Canada. CIBC, “Women Entrepreneurs: Leading the Charge.”

$147 BILLION dollars majority-owned women’s businesses contribute Canadian economy 2011. (RBC Economics)

1.5 million Canadians employed by women-owned businesses. (BMO Financial Group)


Female angel-investor

Did you know?

47% of all small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) in Canada entirely or partly owned by women in 2010, Industry Canada.

Survival rates are higher for women (tend to stay in business longer).

51% of Aboriginal-owned small to medium sized businesses belong partly or wholly to women.

950,000 self employed women in Canada in 2012 Statistics Canada’s Labour Force Survey.

35.6% of all self-employed persons in Canada women in 2012 Statistics Canada’s Labour Force Survey.

$198 Billion economic contribution projected if 10  % rise female firms next decade. RBC  (in inflation-adjusted terms, the gain would be an estimated $163 billion—a net annual gain of $15 billion)



norman-rockwell-delisha walking in between men01

Female-owned start ups tend to receive less funding of all types, from lines of credit to angel investment, than male-owned firms. 2010, Industry Canada. 

2011, RBC report female-led industries have often had lower financing request rates and faced various impediments in obtaining needed funds. ‘“The fact that female-led firms are seeing positive prospects is encouraging, seeking out advice from their small business advisor can help them overcome challenges and identify financial solutions that will help them reach their growth potential.”‘ (advice from RBC for women in business)


Canada began commemorating International Women’s Day on March 8 following a 1975 United Nations resolution calling on member states to proclaim a day for women’s rights and international peace.

Some milestones – CANADA. 




The current Government has the highest percentage of women in Cabinet in Canadian history. The House of Commons currently has 67 women.

Women make up the majority of full-time students in most university faculties.

The labour force participation rate for working-age women (15-64 years) has risen from 68.2 per cent to 74.3 per cent over the past decade (1997-2008). In 2007, women made up 35 per cent of all self-employed individuals.

So, it being International Women’s Day and I decided to identify some of the key events that have led up to this day – some of them are quite ‘bread’ winning!


October 5, 1789, Versailles, a large group of French women came together in the central marketplace of Paris and the March to Versailles occurred. (one of the most violent episodes during the French Revolution). At the time Versailles was a royal paradise reserved for royal families and others and was a symbol of excessive luxuries available only to them. Bread was the main diet of the French during 1800s with working people spending half of their income on it.


The Women's March to Versailles, October 5-6, 1789.



In August 1789, the price of bread increased drastically and people began to resort to desperate measures.  Angry French women wanted to feed themselves and their families so around 6,000 women reached the Hotel De Ville in Paris and then marched on to Versailles.  More people joined in.   Women were armed with pitch forks, muskets, pikes, swords, crowbars, and scythes and stormed through the gates and demanded bread. The king quickly gave in to their demands and ordered all of the bread in Versailles be delivered for the people to Paris. The king then left Versailles, moving his royal court to Paris. 



022-GdM-Punch-Almanack-17.12.1872-girl-graduates-YPLaura Secord.1891 – 1900 Canada – Sarah Anne Vincent (Curzon) two years as assistant editor of the Canada Citizen (Toronto) and wrote a column on women’s issues. She spoke out strongly there and elsewhere for women’s rights, including suffrage and the right to attend university.

In her comedy “The sweet girl graduate,” written at the request of the editor of Grip, a young woman disguised as a man is admitted to university and graduates as gold medalist, disproving the argument that men are more intelligent than women.

Curzon supported the efforts of Dr Emily Howard Stowe  to establish the Woman’s Medical College, founded in Toronto in 1883, and was active in the movement to obtain greater control of their own property for married women.

For more information: Sarah Anne Curzon’s Laura Secord, the heroine of 1812: a drama, and other poems was published in Toronto in 1887. “The sweet girl graduate” first appeared in the annual Grip-sack (Toronto), 1 (1882), and was reprinted in Laura Secord. “The battle of Queenston Heights, October 13th, 1812” was published posthumously in Women’s Canadian Hist. Soc. of Toronto, Trans., no.2 (1899): 5–12.

1900’s industrialized world 

industrialization canada



1903 United Kingdom Emmeline Pankhurst 15 July 1858 – 14 June 1928, a British political activist and leader of the British suffragette movement who helped women win the right to vote. Five years after her husband died, Pankhurst founded Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU), an all women suffrage organziation dedicated to “deeds, not words.” The group was often in opposition to political parties.  Votes_For_Women UK



“She shaped an idea of women for our time; she shook society into a new pattern from which there could be no going back.”

1908 – 15,000 women march in NEW YORK city demand better pay, shorter hours and voting rights.

1908 US

1909 United States

Voting Rights US.


1910 International Conference of Working Women in Copenhagen with over 100 women from 17 countries, representing unions, socialist parties, working women’s clubs, and the first three women elected to Finnish parliament and  Clara Zetkin (Leader of the ‘Women’s Office’ for the Social Democratic Party in Germany) tabled the idea of an International Women’s Day in every country to press for their demands.

 1911 Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland on 19 March. More than 1M women and men attended IWD rallies campaigning for women’s rights to work, vote, be trained, to hold public office and end discrimination.



Bread and Roses 2



1911 ‘Bread and Roses’ Campaign – USA 25 March, tragic ‘Triangle Fire’ in New York City took lives of more than 140 working women, most of them Italian and Jewish immigrants. This disastrous event drew significant attention to working conditions and labour legislation.


1913-1914 Eve of World War I Campaigning for peace, Russian women observed in February 1913. In 1913  transferred to 8 March.



Russia IWD

Canada March 14, 1916 Women province of Saskatchewan gain right to vote and stand for election.

Manitoba right to vote


1917 Russian women strike for “bread and peace” in response to the death over 2 million Russian soldiers in war and continued to strike until the Czar forced to abdicate and government grant women right to vote.

Canada March 14, 1928 The “Famous Five” asked the Supreme Court of Canada if the word “person” in Section 24 of the British North America Act included persons that were female. When the Court decided the answer was no, five Alberta women took their fight to the Privy Council in England, and won their case. As a result of the landmark judgement, Canadian women could be appointed to the Senate. The Famous Five were Emily Murphy, Nellie McClung, Irene Parlby, Henrietta Muir Edwards and Louise McKinney.





1918 – 1999 United Nations held numerous annual IWD conferences to coordinate international efforts for women’s rights and participation in social, political and economic processes.



1975 designated as ‘International Women’s Year‘ by the United Nation.

UN women ad





Canada WINS GOAL March 25, 1990 Canadian team won the Women’s World Hockey Championship in Ottawa, Ontario, earning the gold. Way to go!


First Gold Hockey

2000 & beyond

2014 Canada Goal Women Hockey Olympics

Ice Hockey - Winter Olympics Day 10 - Canada v Switzerland



Official holiday in Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, China (for women only), Cuba, Georgia, Guinea-Bissau, Eritrea, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Madagascar (for women only), Moldova, Mongolia, Montenegro, Nepal (for women only), Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Vietnam and Zambia.



United Nations day



Some of these countries report men who honor their mothers, wives, friends with gifts, and in some countries, children give gifts to their grandmothers and mothers.



Challenges in Canada, “Bread & Money” & Women ?


Why do women in Canada make up roughly half the population but still more lively to live in poverty?

2011 Statistics Canada reports

51 % of single mothers living in poverty,

42 % single or windowed women over 65 live in poverty &

44% of indigenous women living off reserves experience poverty.

Women still only make 71 cents on every male dollar.  









World Economic Forum, states “the most important determinant of a country’s competitiveness is its human talent – the skills, education and productivity of its workforce.”

Since women account for slightly more than half of Canada’s population, empowering women means making the most of Canada. The WEF report, “numerous studies during the last decade have confirmed reducing gender inequality enhances productivity and economic growth.” 

According to the Forum, even in countries like Canada where women enjoy the same health and education levels as men, their economic participation is “far from optimal.”  It reports policy barriers, such as the persistent lack of affordable childcare, and the need for practices and policies that

“provide equal opportunities for rising to positions of leadership within companies.”Woman money


Canadian Women’s Foundation says,'”Although women and girls in Canada have come a long way in the last few decades,  far too many are still trapped by violence, poverty, and rigid stereotypes that limit their potential.”‘


Eight-three percent (83 %) of the victims of police-reported domestic violence are women.

Branded women

More than one million (1 Million)single mothers in Canada are raising their children in poverty.




Women still do not have pay equity, universal daycare, or workplaces free from sexual harassment or other forms of sex discrimination. 






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