York University's ELLA Altitude wins CANIE Award for COVID-19 support initiative

York University’s ELLA Altitude has won the COVID-19 Support Award in the 2020 Canada Innovation and Entrepreneurship Awards, presented in partnership with the Government of Canada’s Trade Commissioner Service.

Also known as the CANIE Awards, the program presented by the Innovators and Entrepreneurs Foundation (IEF), is powered by Startup Canada. The awards celebrate the achievements of outstanding contributors to Canada’s entrepreneurial landscape through excellence in innovation and entrepreneurship.

The awards were presented at the CANIE Grand Finale digital ceremony Oct. 20. ELLA’s Entrepreneurship Manager Nicole Troster accepted the award on behalf of York University.

Entrepreneurship Manager Nicole Troster accepts the award on behalf of York University

"We are thrilled to have won this national award for the ELLA Altitude program," said Troster. "We know that this has been a difficult year for so many women entrepreneurs, and we are encouraged that the ELLA community has been an important cornerstone for so many of them."

ELLA will continue to provide women with access to the skills, tools and supports needed to build their business throughout the global pandemic, she said.

“We are honoured to receive the COVID-19 Support Award from the Innovators and Entrepreneurs Foundation, an organization that shares our passion for supporting entrepreneurial endeavours,” said Amir Asif, vice-president research & innovation at York University. “This recognition of an ELLA program highlights York University’s commitment to empower women entrepreneurs and support them, especially at a time when the global pandemic has disproportionately affected women. ELLA is a great example of York’s new educational approaches, such as work-integrated learning, that equip our graduates to thrive in the global knowledge economy.”

ELLA – the Entrepreneurial Leadership and Learning Alliance − recently received federal investment from the Women Entrepreneurship Strategy (WES) Ecosystem Fund to help women entrepreneurs grow their businesses through the Altitude program.

“It is incredible to see the resilience of entrepreneurs and innovators across the country during times like this,” said Kayla Isabelle, IEF’s board chair and executive director, Startup Canada. “Coming together to recognize the strength and tenacity of our community is more important than ever.”

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