CANADA Women-owned busi­nesses gen­er­ate less money than men

Sur­vey found on av­er­age women make $68,000 less rev­enue com­pared to men

StarMetro Halifax - - CANADA - Armina Ligaya Anya Zoledziowski STARMETRO CAL­GARY Tara Deschamps

When Dionne Laslo-baker sought a bank loan to ex­pand her bur­geon­ing or­ganic Pop­si­cle and freezies busi­ness in 2014, she was shocked by the pa­tron­iz­ing feed­back she says she re­ceived from a male banker.

“One of them said not only that they couldn’t fund us, but, why am I both­er­ing to do this?” she said. “I have a very suc­cess­ful hus­band, who makes a very good salary ... Why are you kind of dis­rupt­ing the peace?’”

She felt de­feated.

Her re­quest for fund­ing to scale up B.c.-based Dee­bee’s Organics was “quashed with­out ques­tion.” A small South­ern Al­berta town has made re­cent head­lines for not one, but two al­leged in­ci­dents of anti-in­dige­nous racism, prompt­ing ac­tivists to say these are not “one-off events.”

First, a Card­ston doc­tor al­legedly told a group of home­less In­dige­nous peo­ple to “get a job” and sar­don­ically of­fered them Tylenol 3s in May. Then last week Card­ston com­mu­nity mem­bers took to so­cial me­dia af­ter an A&W em­ployee al­legedly re­fused to serve an In­dige­nous cou­ple try­ing to buy food for an In­dige­nous el­der sit­ting out­side of the restau­rant.

Fraser Lo­gan, a spokesper­son for the RCMP, said there is no record of the A&W in­ci­dent and could not of­fer spe­cific de­tails about the case in­volv­ing the doc­tor.

“The job of the RCMP is to in­ves­ti­gate crimes when com­plaints are made,” Lo­gan added. “All calls and all com­plaints are treated and in­ves­ti­gated equally.”

It was one of the first times she re­al­ized that women en­trepreneurs face big­ger bar­ri­ers than their male coun­ter­parts.

And a lack of ac­cess to cap­i­tal is one of the big­gest chal­lenges for women en­trepreneurs, a new study sug­gests.

The wage gap be­tween men and women has been long­stand­ing — with women on av­er­age mak­ing 74 cents for ev­ery dol­lar of an­nual salary made by men, ac­cord­ing to the most re­cent Sta­tis­tics Canada data — but re­search by Pay­pal Canada and con­sult­ing firm Bar­raza and As­so­ci­ates sug­gests that this dy­namic also ap­plies to those who own small- and medium-sized busi­nesses as well.

Busi­nesses owned by women gen­er­ate an av­er­age of $68,000 less rev­enue than men who run sim­i­lar busi­nesses, rep­re­sent­ing a gap of Ni­it­si­tapi Peace Camp in Card­ston.

In­dige­nous ac­tivists be­lieve anti-in­dige­nous racism in south­ern Al­berta isn’t be­ing ad­dressed ad­e­quately.

“These aren’t iso­lated in­ci­dents that are hap­pen­ing,” said Na­dine Ea­gle Child, a found­ing mem­ber of the Api­is­tami­iks White Buf­falo Trail Blaz­ers.

Ea­gle Child and two col­leagues formed the Api­is­tami­iks and part­nered with the John Humphry Cen­tre for Peace and Hu­man Rights and the Al­berta Hate Crimes Com­mit­tee to help south­ern Al­ber­tans re­port hate crimes. Dee­bee Organics owner Dionne Laslo-baker with fi­nance an­a­lyst San­jeev Kang dur­ing a meet­ing at her of­fice.

58 per cent, ac­cord­ing to the on­line sur­vey of 1,000 Cana­dian small- and medium-sized busi­nesses be­tween Jan. 26 and Feb. 28.

The find­ings sug­gest that the me­dian an­nual rev­enue for busi­nesses owned by men across six dif­fer­ent cat­e­gories of firms rang­ing from man­u­fac­tur­ing to ser­vices was Shopify is tak­ing aim at weapons com­pa­nies by ban­ning the sale of some firearms and ac­ces­sories on its plat­form.

The Ot­tawa-based e-com­merce gi­ant qui­etly made changes to its poli­cies this week to keep its mer­chants from us­ing its tech­nol­ogy to sell ev­ery­thing from semi-au­to­matic firearms that ac­cept de­tach­able mag­a­zines to ac­ces­sories in­clud­ing grenades, rocket launch­ers and flash and sound sup­pres­sors.

The com­pany did not elab­o­rate on why it changed its pol­icy or how soon gun-sell­ers will have to va­cate the site.

But it said it “may fur­ther re­fine our poli­cies as needed.”

The changes an­gered Florida-based firearms-maker Spike’s Tac­ti­cal, which claims to earn millions of dol­lars through the plat­form ev­ery year.

$118,000, but $50,000 for those owned by women. On­line sur­veys can­not be as­signed a mar­gin of er­ror be­cause they do not ran­domly sam­ple the pop­u­la­tion.

The gen­der rev­enue gap is slightly smaller for busi­nesses op­er­at­ing on­line, at $55,000 or 44 per cent, com­pared to off­line busi­nesses, which had a gap of $71,000 or 64 per cent, ac­cord­ing to the sur­vey.

One bar­rier to growth for women-owned busi­nesses is ac­cess to cap­i­tal, the sur­vey sug­gested. Roughly 53 per cent of women-owned busi­nesses with an e-com­merce com­po­nent said it was “easy” for their com­pany to get busi­ness credit to grow their busi­ness, fall­ing short of the 67 per cent of men who re­ported get­ting loans with ease, the sur­vey found.

She be­lieves at­ti­tudes are slowly chang­ing, with more peo­ple ex­press­ing that her back­ground as a mother and fe­male en­tre­pre­neur is an as­set, not a draw­back, she said.

“As more women suc­ceed, it’s go­ing to pave the way.” Cam­eras and AI used to au­to­mat­i­cally rec­og­nize shop­pers’ choices, charge them when they walk out

Card­ston com­mu­nity ac­cused of be­ing anti-in­dige­nous

Shopify bans sale of cer­tain firearms on its plat­form

Au­to­mated-check­out star­tups aim to re­vamp re­tail

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