University of Ottawa Study about Financing Women Entrepreneurs
March 06, 2007

Ottawa, March 6, 2007 - As Canadian women celebrate International Women's Day on March 8th, the University of Ottawa School of Management and CATA Women in Technology Forum (CATA WIT Forum) announce research and community initiatives to support growth-orientated women entrepreneurs.

Women Entrepreneurs and External Capital, co-authored by Dr. Barbara Orser and Dr. Allan Riding, Deloitte Professors in the Management of Growth Enterprises reports about gender differences in the capitalization of Canadian small and medium enterprises. "The research examined external financing, including commercial debt, leasing, supplier financing, and equity capital. Contrary to previous studies that did not control for size and sector of firm, women business owners were equally likely as men to seek all types of financing, except equity capital. This is an important observation because equity capital is often used to finance high-growth firms," says Barbara Orser. The study also found:

  • On average, Canadian women own businesses that are smaller, less profitable and more likely than men to be concentrated in the wholesale, retail and services sectors -- sectors that are of less value to venture capitalist.

  • Male and female business owners who do apply for financing were equally likely to obtain capital.

  • The report concludes that on average, women exhibit lower levels of financial risk tolerance compared to men and receive a disproportionately lower share of venture capital financing.

The findings point out that it is important that associations for trade and women business owners, plus financial institutions and training agencies communicate clearly about the factors that influence terms of lending, approval rates and firm growth, says Dr. Barbara Orser. Joanne Stanley, Vice President, CATAAlliance and co-founder of CATA WIT Forum also believes that such findings demonstrate the value of programs that recognize and support growth-orientated women business owners. For example:

Additionally, one of the core planks of the CATAAlliance Innovation Nation Platform is "Developing the IT capacity of women and encouraging women to join the technology market and enrol in technology-related studies."

According to Joanne Stanley, "The growing membership within the CATA WIT Forum reflects women's impatience about the absence of women in leadership roles. We are building a community of highly educated, skilled and competent women who are employed across sectors and within all sizes of organization".

For more information about CATA WIT Forum visit:

++ Action item:
Nominations are now open for the 2007 Sara Kirke Award. Please email if you wish to submit a nomination. You will be sent a nomination form with full details. Nomination deadlineis May 1st 2007 Questions? Call Cathi Malette at 613-236-6550 or


++ Action item:
A copy of the report Women Entrepreneurs and External Capitalis available to CATA WIT Forum Members only. Contact

Contact information:

Christian Coulombe
Marketing Manager
University of Ottawa School of Management
(613) 562-5800 ext. 4672

Joanne Stanley
(613) 236-6550 ext. 223