Partnerships and Innovation

Office of Partnerships and Innovation
Office of Partnerships and Innovation

For women entrepreneurs from diverse and underrepresented groups

COVID-19 - Updates and resources for researchers, entrepreneurs, startups and SMEs

Leveraging Queen's resources and critical funding from the government of Canada, through FedDev Ontario's Women Entrepreneurship Strategy Ecosystem Fund, Queen’s Partnerships and Innovation (QPI), together with innovation ecosystem partners, offer several programs and services to help women-identifying entrepreneurs from diverse and underrepresented groups, including visible minorities and newcomers to Canada, women entrepreneurs with a disability, women entrepreneurs from rural areas and women entrepreneurs under 40, who are looking to start and/or grow their business in Kingston and the surrounding area, and women entrepreneurs from eastern Ontario, including the greater Kingston area, the Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory, the Mohawk Nation Territory at Akwesasne, Cornwall and Ottawa, and southern Ontario, who identify as Indigenous.

We invite you to browse our list of programs and services in the table below.

If you are interested in accessing many of our programs and services, please complete our Program Application Form.

Please visit our WE-CAN Resources page to find valuable information and resources to help you with your business needs.

You may also be interested in exploring programs and services for Women Entrepreneurs in a Technology Sector or Women Entrepreneurs who Identify as Indigenous.

Veuillez nous contacter pour discuter de vos intérêts et des services que nous pourrions offrir en français.

  Program and/or Service Description 
Programs and services for women entrepreneurs from diverse and underrepresented groups Sales Coaching Boot Camp for women entrepreneurs

Led by Queen's Partnerships and Innovation, the Sales Coaching Boot Camp for women entrepreneurs is a group and individual coaching opportunity aimed at established women entrepreneurs in the Kingston region who have developed an action plan for their business which has been negatively affected by COVID-19.

To apply for the Sales Coaching Boot Camp, please fill in the application form.

The deadline to apply is September 25, 2020.

Spark Marketing Services program

Les by St. Lawrence College, the new Spark Marketing Services program aims to equip women entrepreneurs with the marketing tools and expertise they need to make their mark.

This program will be made available to 10 women entrepreneurs who own an established business, in the greater Kingston region, that has been negatively affected by COVID-19. Each successful applicant will receive marketing services and support valued up to $5,000. Projects will begin this fall with a completion date of no later than March 31, 2021. 

To apply for the Spark Marketing Servics program, please fill in the application form.

The application deadline is October 2, 2020.

Your Way program for women interested in entrepreneurship

Led by St. Lawrence College, KEYS and the City of Kingston, Your Way is a program designed to bring together women who are interested in entrepreneurship, who aim to establish or grow a business in various sectors, and provide them with specialized resources related to the food sector.

This program is offered to women in the greater Kingston area who are interested in starting or growing a business and who self-identify as a newcomer to Canada (last 10 years), a visible/racialized minority, or someone with a disability.

For more information about the Your Way program, please visit the KEYS website.

Hire Yourself program for women who are interested in starting their own business

Led by the Kingston Economic Development Corporation, Hire Yourself is a program designed to support women who are newcomers to Canada (last 10 years) who are interested in starting a business in Kingston. The purpose of the program is to support women newcomers in starting their own business, strengthening their entrepreneurial skill set, and supporting them in the launch of their business. Bootcamps will be delivered twice a year by a specialized team. One-on-one consultation services will also be available to support business launches.

This program is offered for women entrepreneurs in the greater Kingston area who are interested in starting or growing a business and who self-identify as a newcomer to Canada, including but not limited to those belonging to a visible/racialized minority, or someone with a disability.

For more information about the Hire Yourself program, please visit the Kingston Economic Development website.

Rural Mentorship program for rural women entrepreneurs and women starting a business in rural areas within and around Kingston

Led by the Kingston Economic Development Corporation, the Rural Mentorship program will provide dedicated mentorship tailored to support the individual business challenges of the participating rural, women entrepreneurs. The suite of mentors will include regional business leaders and service providers selected for their specific expertise and experience. This program will break down the geographic barriers and develop a long-lasting mentorship and mastermind outreach series to support business growth.

This program is designed for women entrepreneurs starting or growing businesses in rural areas outside the urban centre of Kingston.

Applications for the WE-CAN Rural Mentorship program are now closed.

LEAD (Leadership Excellence and Development) program for women entrepreneurs in the greater Kingston area who are in C-suite positions

Led by the Kingston Economic Development Corporation, the LEAD (Leadership Excellence and Development) program aims to engage and encourage dialogue, professional growth and knowledge-sharing through a formalized, supportive network of women in leadership roles.

This program is designed for women entrepreneurs in the greater Kingston area who are in C-suite positions.

Contact us for more information about the Women in Leadership program.

Fast Track Exporting program for women entrepreneurs

Led by the Kingston Economic Development Corporation, the Fast Track Exporting program is designed for women entrepreneurs who reside in the greater Kingston area who are leading high-growth companies aiming to reach international markets through exporting options and have potential for significant return on investment. The program will engage women entrepreneurs who are seeking opportunities to scale their business through export, and will facilitate customized information sessions to assist them in the due diligence process to prepare for export opportunities. In addition, the program will support women entrepreneurs through the process of exporting and accessing new markets.

For more information about the Fast Track Exporting program for Women Entrepreneurs, please visit the Kingston Economic Development website.

FUSION for women entrepreneurs of colour

Led by Queen's Partnerships and Innovation together with community experts, FUSION is a virtual event, group and individual coaching program for women of colour who are growing an existing business in the greater Kingston region.

This event will happen in November 2020 and will include a panel of women business owners/experts who identify as visible minorities and/or from a racialized group, a showcase of businesses led by women entrepreneurs from a visible and/or racialized minority, the opportunity for one-to-one coaching, mentorship as well as networking and peer support.

Contact us for more information about the FUSION event.

OvercomeHER for women entrepreneurs with a disability

Led by Queen's Partnerships and Innovation, OvercomeHER is a workshop series and one-on-one coaching program for women entrepreneurs with a disability. The program will begin in late 2020. 

Contact us for more information about OvercomeHER.

The Hive (Pre-Accelerator) program for women entrepreneurs from diverse and underrepresented groups

Led by the Dunin-Deshpande Queen's Innovation Centre (DDQIC), The Hive is a year-round program for idea-stage women entrepreneurs, on a rolling admissions basis. This program will provide access to space, training, networking opportunities and an interactive online platform.

This program is designed for women in the greater Kingston area, with focus on women entrepreneurs from underrepresented groups, including those who are under the age of 40, who are curious about entrepreneurship.

Contact DDQIC for more information about the The Hive program.

Konnect program for women entrepreneurs from diverse and underrepresented groups

Led by the DDQIC, Konnect is a 6-month Kingston-based program (October through March) that provides a network, support, and personal and professional development opportunities for women entrepreneurs from underrepresented groups who are starting a business in Kingston. The Konnect program facilitates accountability, support, community, skill building, and opportunities to amplify success in building businesses or advancing professionally.

This program is designed for women in the greater Kingston area, with focus on women entrepreneurs from underrepresented groups, including those who are under the age of 40, who are curious about entrepreneurship.

Contact us for more information about the Konnect program.

Prototyping workshops for women entrepreneurs 

SparQ Studios is a makerspace and design studio that provides a wide range of tools, machinery, knowledge, and expertise so that you can bring your idea into a physical form. The Dunin-Deshpande Queen's Innovation Centre will be running prototyping workshops for women entrepreneurs who are unfamiliar with working with the tools to help them be successful in the lab. Access to the prototyping space is limited due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Request information about the prototyping workshops.

Additional Mentorship services for women entrepreneurs 

The QPI team employs an on-staff mentor/advisor to specifically work with women entrepreneurs, helping them to tap into networks and resources in Kingston and the region as well as providing advice on how to get their business to the next stage of development.

Submit a request for additional membership services for Women Entrepreneurs from diverse and underrepresented groups.

Services Intellectual property services for women entrepreneurs

The QPI team helps women entrepreneurs with ideas understand the opportunity for commercializing their invention by researching the existing patent landscape and helping entrepreneurs to develop and implement an intellectual property and commercialization strategy.

Submit a request for Intellectual property services for women entrepreneurs from diverse or underrepresented groups.

Workshops, Events and Other Resources Workshops and events 

The many partners in the Kingston innovation ecosystem offer numerous workshops and events. Workshops and events are being held virtually. For information about the workshops and events available for Queen’s students, please visit the Queen's Events calendar. For information about workshops and events for entrepreneurs, startups and-or SMEs in the Kingston community and surrounding areas, refer to the following sources:

Facilities

QPI is located in the Seaway Coworking building in downtown Kingston. Our incubation and acceleration clients have access to the amenities available such as private Zoom rooms, a podcast studio and workshop and event space.

Queen's University is also a partner of the University of Toronto's ONRamp facility, located in the Banting Institute in Toronto. This facility is a 15,000 square foot collaboration and coworking space for the U of T entrepreneurship community and partner universities. To access this space, please contact Amanda Gilbert.

Please note COVID-19 restrictions are currently in place at both facilities. Contact Rick Boswell to learn more.

Resources for women entrepreneurs

There are many resources available for women entrepreneurs. The QPI team has curated a list of resources, which you will be able to find on our WE-CAN Resources page. In addition, the QPI team has compiled a list of resources to help regional entrepreneurs and startups, which you can find on our Resources page.

For resources specific to assisting entrepreneurs during the pandemic, please visit our COVID-19 Resources page.