The Sara Kirke Award for Entrepreneurship and Innovation

Sara Kirke Award Sponsors

The Sara Kirke Award for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, sponsored by EY is presented to the woman who has shown outstanding entrepreneurship as well as technological innovation or leadership — leadership that has significantly expanded the frontiers of Canada’s advanced technology industry. The purpose of the Award is to celebrate entrepreneurship and create positive role models for women in Canada’s technology sector. The Sara Kirke Award for Entrepreneurship and Innovation is presented annually to the woman who has demonstrated consistent innovation and leadership skills, resulting in the creation and international acceptance of significant world-class products and/or services.

Canadian Women in Technology (CanWIT) is a National non-profit network launched by CATA designed to boost women’s participation and advancement in the high-growth technology sector.

Tina Sarellas, Regional President, Ontario North & East at RBC presented the 2016 RBC Sara Kirke Award for Entrepreneurship and Innovation to Dr. Karen Sievewright, Managing Director, Banting & Best Centre for Innovation & Entrepreneurship, University of Toronto.

Suzanne Gignac, Partner, EY, presented the 2016 EY Sara Kirke Award for Entrepreneurship and Innovation to Teri Kirk, Founder and CEO of Funding Portal.

Sara Kirke is considered by many to be North America’s first entrepreneur. Sara Kirke arrived in Newfoundland in 1638 with her husband David Kirke, who was soon recalled to England. Sara, however, continued to reside in Avalon, and conducted business as usual from the Pool Plantation. Lady Kirke was a remarkable individual as she managed affairs at the Pool Plantation and became one of the most successful merchants on the English Shore — and was almost certainly North America’s first and foremost woman entrepreneur.

Read More on Sara Kirke in this study by Robert W. Sexty, Faculty of Business Administration and Suzanne Sexty, Queen Elizabeth II Library, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

Nomination Criteria

The selection is based on a written resume of the nominee’s accomplishments and the selection criteria include:

  • Innovation
  • Leadership
  • Recognized Achievements in Area of Expertise
  • Community Involvement and Mentorship
  • Contributions to achieving a more competitive investment climate in Canada will also be taken into account

The Call for Nominations for 2017 is now open

Nominators must fill out the Sara Kirke Award nomination form at:

Submissions must be received at the CanWIT office by the entry deadline:
April 7, 2017