York works to advance careers of women entrepreneurs through ELLA accelerator program

Two Black women talk together

A four-month program led by York University that supports women entrepreneurs and works to reduce the gender gap is accepting applications for until Aug. 9.

ELLA (Entrepreneurial Leadership & Learning Alliance) – a community and accelerator for women, by women – runs in partnership with Small Business Enterprise Centres across York Region to provide training and support programs, free of cost, to women entrepreneurs. It is led by York University’s Innovation York.

Launched in March, the initiative offers two programs to help women accelerate their business growth through access to a network of other women founders, top experts, mentors and supporters.

ELLA Altitude is a four-month program for women-led ventures that have sales of over $250,000 and are moving towards national and international expansion. With one-on-one advice and support, entrepreneurs are able to create a step-by-step plan to bring their business to the world stage.

The program, which runs October to February, is accepting applications until Aug. 9.

ELLA (Entrepreneurial Leadership & Learning Alliance) is a community and accelerator for women, by women, that provide training and support programs, free of cost, to women entrepreneurs

Program participants can expect to receive:

Individualized expert advice

• Advice, mentoring and coaching will come from entrepreneurs-in-residence (bi-weekly one-on-one meetings), the Fractional Executive Program (expert help for a specific challenge or project), subject matter experts (connections with industry experts), masterminds (peer-to-peer mentoring) and leadership workshops (developed by industry leaders for growing organizations).

Step-by-step strategic plan

• Through the program, participants will have access to the expertise needed to develop a growth plan for national and international expansion. Program participants are held accountable with progressive milestones and bi-weekly progress check-ins.

A network of industry professionals

• Participants will gain access to curated networking opportunities with a vast portfolio of professionals. This will help participants grow their network of contacts for present and future needs and connect with peers to broaden the scope of resources available.

Those interested are eligible to apply for ELLA Altitude if:

  • you are a woman entrepreneur with at least 50 per cent ownership of an incorporated business or a registered non-profit or social enterprise, and you are working full-time on your venture;
  • your business earns at least $250,000 in revenues annually*;
  • you have significant traction in your industry and are ready to scale nationally or internationally within one year;
  • your business is located in southwestern Ontario;
  • you are open to change, looking to step out of your comfort zone and willing to give back to the ELLA community in some way.

*Special considerations can be made for non-profit organizations and social enterprises.

The program is supported through funding from the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario.

To apply, visit ella.yorku.ca/altitude-apply-now.