Frequently Asked Questions

The Scotiabank Women Initiative™ is a comprehensive program designed to help advance women-led businesses through Access to Capital, Mentorship and Education. 

The Scotiabank Women Initiative was launched December 5, 2018 across Canada for women-led and women-owned businesses. 

Scotiabank has a long-standing commitment to diversity, and The Scotiabank Women Initiative is the most recent example. Scotiabank’s goal is to help build the economy of everyone, including women-led businesses. New and evolving research has shown that an opportunity exists to serve and support women-led businesses in a way that addresses the unique challenges they face. The program aims to help Scotiabank better understand and serve women business leaders, and be a valued partner in their success. We strongly believe that the three pillars of The Scotiabank Women Initiative – Access to Capital, Mentorship, and Education – will deliver meaningful, long-term support to women-led businesses.

Scotiabank consulted with clients, researchers, and academics to better understand the challenges women business leaders face. This input has helped shape The Scotiabank Women Initiative, its areas of focus, and its objectives.

The Scotiabank Women Initiative has three pillars, all inspired by expert academic research:

 

o   Access to Capital | We are committed to equal access to our full suite of financing solutions. As a business owner, our clients should have access to a financial partner who can help support their growth. We can propose creative financing solutions tailored to our client’s priorities, including working capital and inventory financing, funding for capital projects, expansions, mergers and acquisitions and much more. Our Credit Adjudicators for Small Business and Commercial have received Unconscious Bias training.

 

o   Mentorship | The Advisory Board has been established to help women grow their businesses through facilitated mentorship sessions on pre-identified topics and complex business problems. Program participants will have the opportunity to interact/network with senior Scotiabank leaders as well as other women in business. Program participants will have the opportunity to benefit from strengthened relationships and ongoing communications between each other and with Scotiabank executives.

 

o   Education | Through Un-Mentorship Boot Camps, we will provide access to a series of half-day sessions that “un-teach” traditionally-held ideas about how to succeed; explore business-focused issues like government, compliance and finance with Scotiabank executives and other experts; share the insights from our sponsored research; and hear from the other women and Advisory Board members who have been successful in their fields. Scotiabank will host mini-boot camps in local markets and provide access to online education tools and research available through our Knowledge Centre

Scotiabank has committed lending capital to support women-led businesses. While these programs will be subject to Scotiabank’s standard risk assessments, applications will be subject to review by a dedicated team that has received training in unconscious bias. 

Unconscious bias refers to a bias that we are unaware of, and which happens outside of our control.  It is a bias that happens automatically and is triggered by our brain making quick judgments and assessments of people and situations, influenced by our background, cultural environment and personal experiences.

The Advisory Board will help women grow their business through facilitated mentorship sessions on pre-identified topics and complex business problems they are currently facing. Program participants will have the opportunity to interact with senior leaders (as well as other women in the program) to benefit from peer-to-peer business mentoring. All participants will have the opportunity to benefit from strengthened relationships and ongoing communications between each other and with Scotiabank leaders. 

The Advisory Board includes men and women leaders at Scotiabank with broad experience and a focus on financial services. Click here to access full details, including biographies. 

Scotiabank clients who identify as women business leaders interested in joining the program should email womeninitiative@scotiabank.com to have an appointment arranged with a local branch to learn more. 

Existing/New Scotiabank Women-Owned or Women-Led businesses:

o   Women-Owned (i.e., owned or partially owned by a person that identifies as a woman)

o   Women-Led Business (i.e., decision-maker or C-suite role held by a person that identifies as a woman)

The Program is only open to Scotiabank clients, however, some program elements may be available to non-Scotiabank clients (see Question 18 for more details). 

No, the program is fully funded by Scotiabank to support women taking their business to the next level. 

The Un-Mentorship Boot Camps™ will un-teach traditionally held ideas about how to succeed; explore business-focused issues like governance, compliance and finance with our in-house experts; and hear from other women and Advisory Board members who have been successful in their fields. Click here to access details about upcoming Boot Camps. 

The Scotiabank Women Initiative is unique because it is a comprehensive offering of capital and resources to support women-led businesses at different stages of growth. We strongly believe that the three pillars of The Scotiabank Women Initiative – Access to Capital, Mentorship, and Education – will deliver meaningful, long-term support to women-led businesses.

The Scotiabank Women Initiative is for Commercial Banking and Small Business clients in Canada, with an eye to future expansion.

There are some services that will be available to non-Scotiabank clients, including access to online education tools and material as well as Boot Camps. However, other services, including the Mentorship, are only available to Scotiabank clients who are program participants at this time. 

  • o   Scotiabank is open to reviewing and assessing potential partnerships to further support women entrepreneurs through our program. 
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  • o   Scotiabank announced a partnership with Disruption Ventures on March 6, 2019. The Partnership with Disruption Ventures is a complement to our program as Disruption Ventures is Canada’s first private woman-founded venture capital fund for women entrepreneurs. Through this partnership, Scotiabank has committed capital to Disruption Ventures, and will assist with marketing initiatives, drive awareness of the partnership, and offer educational content to support women entrepreneurs. Scotiabank’s investment will be additive to The Scotiabank Women Initiative, which helps women with access to capital, support from senior business leaders, and education tailored to their needs. Funding women entrepreneurs is what drives tangible change, and Scotiabank’s partnership with Disruption Ventures is another way to expand access to capital. Contact womeninitiative@scotiabank.com for more information. 
  • o   No, however, program participants will be provided with opportunities to meet and network with each other in their respective regions.
  • o   You can also check out testimonials from some of our clients to learn more about their experience being part of the program. 

Send an email to womeninitiative@scotiabank.com. If you are an existing client, contact your Client Relationship Manager or Small Business Advisor.