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Investing in Women Entrepreneurs: A case study for co-creating effective supports


The Women of Ontario Social Enterprise Network’s (WOSEN) final report Investing in Women Entrepreneurs: A case study for co-creating effective supports provides the sector with evidence-informed processes on ‘how to’ develop an equity-centric social entrepreneurship ecosystem. It reveals the significant role collaborative and co-creative processes contribute to building trust, shifting mindsets and identifying innovative equity-centred pathways forward. It illustrates ‘how to’

  1. Collaborate to surface what founders needed to participate and prosper in business; 
  2. Build an ecosystem of trust to co-create effective programming; 
  3. Assess the progress and impact of this work; and,
  4. Increase the effectiveness of investment in women’s entrepreneurship.  

The initiative is contextualized within systems change and community economic development principles, offering a critical analysis of ways of effectively building, enhancing and expanding equity, and ‘how well’ strategies work — the impact and responses in addressing systemic barriers diverse women entrepreneurs encounter.

The study also includes ten recommendations for increasing investments in women founders through equity-centred collaboratives, partnerships and advocacy, and program diversity, flexibility and duration, to name a few.

Previous WOSEN reports include:

WOSEN (2019-2023) was a province-wide collaborative composed of five social innovation and system change organizations led by Pillar Nonprofit Network in partnership with NORDIK Institute, Social Innovation Canada, Social Venture Connexion and Flourishing Startups. It was partly funded by the Government of Canada through the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario).




  • NORDIK Institute
  • SVX
  • Centre for Social Innovation
  • Pillar
  • Lean4Flourishing