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Helping women find the work-life balance to becoming an entrepreneur

Click to play video 'Helping Saskatchewan women find the work-life balance to becoming an entrepreneur' Helping Saskatchewan women find the work-life balance to becoming an entrepreneur
March 8th marks International Women's Day and while women continue to make strides, starting and growing their own businesses in Saskatchewan, there's still more work to be done. Katelyn Wilson explains.

Thursday, March 8 marks International Women’s Day. A time to celebrate women and recognize the contributions they make every day around the world, but it’s also a day to raise awareness for women’s equality.

READ MORE: Women across the world take to the streets to celebrate International Women’s Day

While women continue to make strides, starting and growing their own businesses in Saskatchewan, there’s still more work to be done.

Karey Kapell has been coaching and mentoring women entrepreneurs in Regina for the past two years.

“As women, we have a lot on our plate because we’re moms,” Kapell said. “We’re running businesses and business is typically structured in a very masculine way, so as females we approach it differently.”

The goal is to help women find that work-life balance and support when it comes to opening a business.

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“Business [is] awesome and it’s facing your fears every day, and on the other side of facing your fears is fulfillment and joy and just knowing that you can contribute financially to your family,” Kapell explained.

READ MORE: Women encouraged to celebrate strength for International Women’s Day

Across the country, female- run businesses are the fastest growing sector in the economy, mostly dominating in the retail and hospitality sectors.

“We don’t have enough women- owned business in the high growth, high profitability sectors like technology, manufacturing, agriculture, so what this creates is the gender entrepreneurship gap,” Prabha Mitchell, Women Entrepreneurs Saskatchewan, CEO said.

But despite the progress, on average, women entrepreneurs don’t make as much money as men.

“A male-owned business is 3.5 times more likely to reach a million dollars than a female owned business. So these stats are quite startling,” Mitchell said.

Mitchell added there are barriers women face when it comes to owning their own businesses, including access to start-up capital, growth-capital, access to networks, role models and mentors.

READ MORE: Canadian women’s empowerment in the workforce leads International Women’s Day

“We need to educate our community about those gaps because were just understanding that there are these discrepancies,” Mitchell explained. “Then we as a community and I mean all sectors of the community, the government, the private sector and non-profits, we need to come together to examine how we can develop a strategy that address these barriers.”

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The gender wage gap is just one of many conversations taking place on International Women’s Day.

“In most recent years, that conversation has been elevated as a result of a number of things, the #MeToo movement would be one of them,” minister responsible for status of women, Tina Beaudry-Mellor said.

Even though the wage gap in Saskatchewan is one of the highest among provinces, there is prosperity on the horizon.

“We are more and more seeing women tribal chiefs, in politics, in engineering, as head of big corporations, on news desks right,” Beaudry-Mellor said. “As more and more young girls see that, they want to aspire to those roles.”