The Scotiabank Women Initiative

The Scotiabank Women Initiative has collaborated with Dr. Barbara Orser and Dr. Allan Riding of the Telfer School of Management, University of Ottawa. Together, we have created learning aids designed to assist with the development of your business.

Assessing Your Financial Knowledge is an exercise that provides the opportunity to evaluate your understanding the gendered nature of finance. Generally speaking, Canadian male and female business owners differ with respect to level of financial knowledge. Only 19% of women and 22% of men said there are “very confident” in their skills in financial management. Strengthening your financial knowledge will strengthen your financial management. This learning aid will help you learn about financial knowledge among Canadian business owners. It includes assessment criteria and evidence-based insights to inform conversations between lenders and investors.

While some believe that financing is not a gendered process, peer-reviewed studies indicate otherwise. Research tells us that women entrepreneurs systematically make decisions that differ from those of men. Understanding the gendered process of financing is important given that most decisions taken by business owners have financial consequences. Poor financial decisions are one of the main reasons for small business failure.

Understanding the gendered nature of small business finance can therefore inform business practices and motivate some to learn more about entrepreneurial financing. Numerous studies report that financial knowledge and confidence are generally low. For example, a 2017 survey of Canadian business owners conducted by the Telfer School of Management (Telfer), in collaboration with the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC), found that:

  1. 11 percent of women self-assessed their financial knowledge as “very knowledgeable” compared with 26 percent of men.
  2. 19 percent of women and 22 percent of men said there are “very confident” in their skills in financial management.

If you’re a Canadian, woman-led entrepreneur, download the learning aid PDF today to see how you rate.