The Sara Kirke Award for Entrepreneurship and Innovation

CanWITThe Sara Kirke Awards for Entrepreneurship and Innovation recognizes leading women executives who have shown the most outstanding technological innovation and corporate leadership — leadership that has significantly expanded the frontiers of Canada’s advanced technology industry. The purpose of the Award is to celebrate innovation, entrepreneurship and create positive role models for women.

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

In judging the nominees for the award, the Selection Committee is looking for women leaders who demonstrated consistent innovation and leadership skills, resulting in the creation and international acceptance of significant world-class products and/or the establishment and development of a major advanced technology company or companies that have withstood the test of time.

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.

2018 Winner:

2018 Sara Kirke Award for Entrepreneurship and Innovation presented to Suzanne Simpson, President, CEO & Founder, HRSG

Nomination Criteria

The Sara Kirke Awards for Entrepreneurship and Innovation are presented annually at the CATA Innovation and Awards Gala in Ottawa 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.

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

  • Innovation
  • Corporate 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.