ABOUT

As a Black woman, Elise Konadu Ahenkorah witnessed first-hand the double bias that female entrepreneurs of colour face when entering the workforce and within the business community. Frequently the only Black woman in the boardroom or keynote speaker at events, she was often asked by other women of colour (WOC) how she gained her success. This pushed her to create #shemeets, a platform that gives WOC the resources, mentorship and training to build their own path to success. Building on her past experiences in roles such as Inclusion Strategist for inclusion FACTOR and a prominent local community builder, Elise founded #shemeets four years ago. Her goal was to build a supportive network for the growing community of WOC entrepreneurs across the country while offering valuable experiences, mentorship and guidance.

Utilizing tools like skills training, workshops and networking, #shemeets is bridging Canada’s wealth gap and creating a community where WOC are able to build on their ideas into reality. Thanks to Elise’s dedication and steadfast leadership, the platform has grown from 25 to 7,500 members across Canada and continues to expand.

Breaking through boundaries set by society is nothing new to Elise. As Vice President for Calgary Pride, she was the first Black Pride executive in Alberta’s history. Her work has been recognized by the Canadian Centre for Diversity and Inclusion as the recipient of the 2019 Community Contributor Award and the University of Calgary’s Diversity Excellence Awards for her work as the founder of Inclusion FACTOR, another diversity-focused, venture.

#SHEMEETS

#shemeets was created to support WOC in different industries and aspects of business, from social enterprises to entrepreneurial initiatives. The mission behind the initiative is to be a support system for the next generation of Indigenous women and WOC leaders by providing networks, training and mentorship to help develop their ideas and set them up for success. The program offers speed mentoring sessions, training, grants, and leadership discussions that are redefining the impact that WOC are having on Canada’s economic and innovation sectors.

Since its inception, #shemeets has helped countless WOC through annual programming and has now expanded throughout the country to become a valuable community of support and guidance. In July 2020, #shemeets hosted Canada’s first-ever virtual event for WOC entrepreneurs; it has expanded across Canada thanks to a partnership with Women Entrepreneurship Knowledge Hub (WEKH) and the Women’s Economic Council.