We should be celebrating powerful women every single day, but in honour of International Women’s Day, Notable Life is spotlighting 10 female-led startups making an impact in Toronto and beyond.
This is by no means all of the incredible women-identifying leaders and entrepreneurs in Toronto, rather a small insight into the startup ecosystem.
Marie Chevrier Schwartz
CEO & Founder, Sampler
Founder of Sampler, the leader in direct-to-consumer sampling, Marie Chevrier Schwartz has continued to make an impact in the Toronto startup community. Starting her career in advertising, Marie set out to merge her passion for marketing and technology with the vision to transform the way consumer packaged goods companies are distributing samples.
Fast forward, Marie has collected an impressive amount of awards including the CANIE Global Entrepreneurship Award, Toronto Life’s 50 Most Influential Torontonians of 2020, 2017 Star Woman in Grocery, Kraft-Heinz Digital Innovation Challenge, and many more.
COO & Co-Founder, Borrowell
As the Co-Founder and COO (Chief Operating Officer) at Borrowell, Eva Wong has made a name for herself in Toronto’s fintech community. As a member of the executive team, Eva provides leadership to the product, engineering, design, and data teams at Borrowell.
She’s had an impressive career working in both private and not-for-profit sectors, with work and studies spanning the US, Caribbean, Africa, Asia, and Europe. Eva was the recipient of the EY Entrepreneur of the Year 2019 award in Ontario, and has been named as one of the Standout 35 globally on the 2018 Women in FinTech Powerlist.
Founding Partner, Two Small Fish Ventures
Eva Lau is a Founding Partner at Two Small Fish Ventures, a venture fund focused on investing in global, early-stage, transformative tech companies that hold the opportunity for strong network effects. Eva herself is a tech-startup enthusiast and is passionate about building the tech-startup ecosystem in Canada.
With her husband, Allen Lau, as a partner, the couple is on a mission to help other entrepreneurs build the next big thing.
Adeela Carter & Amoye Henry
Co-Founders, Pitch Better
Adeela Carter and Amoye Henry are both the Co-Founders of Pitch Better, a start-up focused on developing and scaling small businesses through market research and capacity building. The two established Pitch Better in 2019 and have since been seen in popular publications like Flare, Forbes, Refinery29, and Daily Hive.
In addition to Pitch Better, Adeela is also the founder of The Carter Strategy Group, a global consulting firm that specializes in strategic planning and business development for small businesses and corporate clients.
Similarly, Amoye also co-founded and Executive Produced the AfroChic Cultural Arts Festival which has created opportunities for over 350 local and international artists, entrepreneurs, and cultural practitioners.
CEO & Founder, Quill
The CEO and Founder of the award-winning branded podcast production agency, Quill, Fatima Zaidi has been making *audio* waves in the podcast industry for the past 3 years. In addition to Quill, Fatima is a member of the National Speakers Bureau, where she has spoken at various events around the world on media and tech trends, leading her to keynote on world stages alongside speakers like Gary Vaynerchuk.
Over the past few years, she has also won two Top 30 under 30 awards, the Young Professional of the Year by Notable Life, Veuve Clicquot’s Bold Future Award, WICM Content Marketing award, and one of Flare Magazine’s Top 100 Women.
CEO & Founder, Tealbook
Prior to Tealbook, Stephany spent a decade building a successful strategic sourcing and procurement consulting firm, focused on large-scale sourcing optimization projects. She has also been recognized as one of the Top 100 Most Influential Women in Supply Chain. Tealbook has been named a Top 50 company to watch by Spend Matters, and won the Cool Vendor Award by Gartner.
CEO & Co-Founder, Clearco
A name that the Canadian tech and innovation community knows well, Michele Romanow is the CEO and Co-Founder of Clearco, the world’s largest e-commerce investor. To date, Clearco has invested over $3.2 billion in over seven thousand different companies across ten countries.
On top of Clearco, Michele has been an investor on CBC’s Dragon’s Den for over six seasons where she’s made dozens of angel investments including Endy, TruLocal, Inkbox, Lillia, and more. She’s also been voted Angel Investor of the Year in Canada.
CEO & Co-Founder, Mejuri
CEO and Co-Founder of the popular jewelry brand, Mejuri, Noura Sakkijha has been innovating the jewelry game since 2015. The brand found its fame across social media, specifically on Instagram, and since then Mejuri has gone from an online store to having eight beautiful store locations across North America and the United Kingdom.
The goal for the brand is to build a jewelry culture of women celebrating themselves rather than an industry for men gifting women. Mejuri has continued to empower women and support women investing in themselves.
CEO & Founder, AccessNow
Maayan Ziv is the CEO and Founder of AccessNow, a digital platform that mobilizes communities by mapping the accessibility of places and experiences globally. Living with Muscular Dystrophy, Maayan is a passionate and relentless advocate for establishing accessibility in our world.
Maayan has been named one of the Top 100 Most Power Women in Canada by WXN in addition to winning the City of Toronto Access Award, the Startup Canada National Resilient Entrepreneur of the Year Award, and many others. You can find Maayan regularly speaking on topics around accessibility, diversity, and inclusion.
CEO & Founder, Lilia
The CEO and Founder of Lilia, an egg-freezing concierge providing express access to the best providers, Alyssa Atkins has been involved in the Toronto startup and tech ecosystem for years. Aside from Lilia, Alyssa has worked with CareGuide, Top Hat, NEXT Canada, and even started her own student-run window cleaning experience while she was in college.
Alyssa has also impressively read ninety six books in the last twenty nine months (yes, 96!). She breaks down how she reads so many books during this time frame for anyone who’s curious and shocked by this number.