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. 

Budgeting is a tool to help avoid financial surprises. This learning aid helps you as a woman entrepreneur explore your attitudes towards financial decision-making and describes the association among personal, household and commercial budgets. How do you compare with other Canadian business owners?

While there are many definitions of success, financial decisions underlie the achievements and failure of all Canadian businesses. Budgeting is an important component of financial decision-making. This learning aid helps you to explore your attitudes to financial decision-making and describes the association among personal, household and commercial budgets. Rationales for budgeting your time and for employing professional services in business budgeting are also presented.

Business owners define success differently. Some prioritize market acceptance, including product adoption and service quality. Others seek professional autonomy and independence. For some, work-life balance is key. How you define success should be reflected in your financial management. Building on how you define success in personal and professional spheres, budgeting can help to achieve your entrepreneurial aspirations and avoid business failure.

A recent national survey indicates many gender differences in how Canadians budget:

  • 55.7% of working women maintain a household budget compared to 41.1% of men.
  • Women are less likely than men to have an investment advisor or to engage in long-term financial planning.
  • 45.3% of men and 36.1% of women indicate they are responsible for family financial planning. Only one third of households share this responsibility.

Budgeting and financial planning can be particularly important to women business owners. Many women spend less time than men in the paid labour force, so have less time to amass the wealth needed to support themselves in retirement years. Moreover, women tend to live longer than men so accumulated wealth often has to last longer. Many women business owners do not have pensions or other benefit plans. Whereas self-employed women are more likely to trust financial advisors, self-employed men tend to enjoy, be more engaged in, and stay informed with respect to financial matters.

For many business owners, family and business finances are intertwined. This includes household and business budgets and personal and commercial investments. Professional financial advisors can help you to manage your personal and commercial investments when you are managing a household and business. They can also work with you to identify opportunities to increase organizational efficiencies.

All business owners must juggle their time between within firm and other activities, such as leisure, commuting and family. Gender differences in time allocation are the product of differing priorities and not the cause. Where women tend to make higher investments of time in non-paid activities, men tend to make higher investments of time in business activities.

Download the learning aid PDF to begin your assessment today.