You are visiting Liisbeth’s archives! 

Peruse this site for a history of profiles and insightful analysis on feminist entrepreneurship. 

And, be sure to sign up for’s newsletter where Liisbeth shares the latest news in feminist spaces.

Our Voices

The Politics and Practices of a Feminist Entrepreneur

Line of of illustrated men in suites with hedgehog in the line up looking fierce
Images by Grodno, Belarus and Christos Georghiou |Shutterstock| Mash up by pk mutch

I remember the sting felt while listening to speakers at a small business conference ten years ago. It was there that I sensed alienating and regressive elements about the small business space. Table talk centered to the political right, and sometimes far right of center. I sensed contradictions between the values speakers espoused and their operating practices. For example, firms that showcased donations to local food banks while paying temp workers $14.00 per hour to minimize labour costs. It became evident who in the room had power through voice and who did not. This moment has not left me. Further forays into small business spaces have reinforced my initial impressions.

Small business communities are not, of course, homogeneous. In my experience, the pulsing heart remains male-dominated, conservative, and increasingly populist. When it comes to advocating for justice, diversity and inclusion, its leaders are more likely to push for initiatives that put money in owner pockets without consideration how they might affect a wider group of others.

Given the size and power of the small business community, those of us working for change should be concerned. Social change makers cannot ignore Canada’s small business community. From 1.2 million incorporated, for-profit enterprises in Canada: only 380 (.0003%) are ‘Business for Good’ BCorps. 

Business as a force for good?

It’s 2022. The world is on fire. I am getting impatient. Being a conformer in business is not enough. If we want a better world, we need progressive small business owners to put their weight behind advocacy and organizations working for social and economic justice. 

History has shown that for-profit founders can be powerful allies to movements for justice. In the 18th century, small business traders and merchants helped peasants and serfs accelerate change from feudalism to capitalism. Dutch bankers risked their lives by leveraging their wealth to resist the Nazis in the early 1940s. We can look to the founding of women-owned credit unions in the 1970s. Today, small business owners have been successful in fighting interest rate hikes and landing COVID-related recovery measures. Small business advocates are powerful when they want to be. The community knows how to organize and have impact, when its interests are perceived to be at risk.

If today’s economic system that shapes our lives is hurting most of us, doesn’t it make sense for small business owners to challenge capitalism, colonialism, patriarchy and other forms of oppression?

In Canada, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) represent 97.9% of all incorporated companies. 53.8% are companies with 1 to 4 employees – including the founder – employing 67.7% or 7.7 million Canadians. These businesses generate 37.5% of private sector GDP. Women-majority owned businesses represents only 16% of incorporated SMEs, and another 13% are equally owned by men and women.

Clearly, the small business part of our economy is big, influential, and while women are making progress, still mostly male-led.  

The small business entity is unique from it’s large, often publicly traded, hired CEO-led counterparts in that these founders have considerable freedom to choose and operationalize their politics and values. They can also pivot and implement changes quickly. Given this freedom, and the weight and size of the Canadian small business community in aggregate, it has the power to change — everything. Instead, it primarily chooses to work at maintaining and perpetuating the status quo.

This set me on a journey. 

Are there others looking to re-imagine the role of small enterprise in these times of growing, grotesque inequality? Are there other founders interested in leveraging their passion for innovation, fairness, inclusion, resilience building and enterprise crafting to help dismantle rather than protect capitalism, colonialism, patriarchy and white supremacy?

Intersectional feminist Entrepreneurship – a porchlight in the storm

Turns out there was.

However, finding the feminist entrepreneurship community was a bit like finding a stick insect in a forest. They were there, but they’re hard to find. This required patience and persistence.

But find them I did.

The feminist enterprise community is an informal, intergenerational, diverse, international group of brave pioneers who are scattered across the world. The composition includes feminist thought-leaders, entrepreneurs, investors, writers, artists, academics, activists, corporate ex-pats, and dreamers. Today, they are my core community of practice-as-a-feminist entrepreneurs.

Our conversations and debates cracked me  open and let the light in. Online meet-ups and in-person conferences, and ongoing debates provide nourishment, support, teaching and provocation Through these experiences, I have emerged from beneath a heavy blanket of no longer relevant beliefs, values and teachings, including those espoused in my MBA courses—accumulated and internalized as unassailable truths gathered over the decades.

Come Sit At Our Table

Today I am a proud and vocal feminist entrepreneur. I do business very, very differently because of what I have learned.

I dream of a day when saying ‘We are a feminist business’, tells people what the enterprise stands for. But first, we need more people to understand what feminist founders believe and what feminist enterprise community is about.

So, draw up a chair, and let me share what I have learned from my teachers:

  1. It’s not new. Feminist enterprise crafting goes back to long before suffragette days. There have always been folks who align their enterprise skills and ability to marshal resources with social movements.
  2. Intersectionality rules: Feminist entrepreneurship as a field and practice are predicated on Kimberlé Crenshaw’s work on intersectionality which reoriented today’s feminist work to focus on ending all oppressions because they are all ultimately linked.
  3. Not only women: The feminist enterprise movement includes all people, trans, queer and those who experience gender-based oppression.
  4. How to tap bountiful alternative resources: Most feminist enterprises are bootstrapped. Why? Founder independence and progressive politics turn off many investors and corporations. By necessity, founders work to grow and sustain their enterprises by working like individual hydrae in nature’s underground mycelial networks—adapting, collaborating, sending and receiving and sharing, so each has what they need and so that the whole is ultimately stronger.
  5. Deep learning and questioning: The feminist entrepreneurship community demands deep study beyond topics like mastering social media. To unearth viable, innovative alternatives, we dig into radical and subversive ideas for insight. We examine the thought leadership of Karl Marx, adrienne maree brown, Ursula K. Le Guin, Kate Raeworth, Alicia Garza, Vandana Shiva, Nick Srnicek, CV Harquail,  Dr. Barbara Orser, Tim Jackson–not just Lean Startup by Al Reiss. We co-create, elevate radical, alternative ideas for leading, designing, growing enterprises that are missed in mainstream entrepreneurship education and support programs.
  6. It’s about the how: Feminist entrepreneurs prioritize how versus why and what of enterprise work. We think about how systems of oppression work, are embedded and perpetuated in how they operate. We work to liberate or disassociate our venture practices from these systems.
  7. The personal and organizational is political: Feminist entrepreneurs are fiercely, transparently political, and careful about who gets our time, attention and money. We march. We write to our elected officials. We don’t do business with founders who are trans-exclusionary, businesses who fund alt-right or anti-choice organizations.
  8. Non-extractive: We see ourselves as accountable, stewards of resources not masters of extraction.
  9. Solidarity: We support indie feminist activists, feminist media and feminist organizations including nonprofits, collectives, and non-registered grassroots initiatives. We see the feminist economy as one big sisterhood, undivided by legal formation choices.
  10. We have fun. This is a love centered, loyal, joyous, complex community that is re-learning what it means to build post capitalist enterprises.

This all said, we are not yet organized as a strong political voice. But we are working on it. It is critical that we do this work to sustain our collective voices, have resources to be allies, and mobilize this small business body politic.

Workshop at the 2018 Entrepreneurial Feminist Forum. Over 200 attendees participated.

Growing the new, inside the old

The feminist entrepreneur’s movement remains an outlier. It’s not an idea. It’s a practice. 

It is ignored by labour, the left, and side-eyed by some who see feminist entrepreneurs as neoliberal lipstick capitalists.  Mainstream entrepreneurship and small business people think we burn bras for a living.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

If we are to build a post 20th century capitalist world in which all can thrive, we need activists and movements to take a closer look at the small business space as an ally and to find ways to mobilize individual change makers within it.

We need entrepreneurship educators and training institutions to overhaul programming—which emphasize enterprise skills and knowledge developed in the 1990s.

Just imagine if all SMEs were a force behind transforming capitalism towards a healthier, fairer, market-based system that operates in anti-oppressive, non-extractive, human-centered ways of strengthening community! 

Imagine if they are not. 

Related Reading

Sample Newsletter


Photo by Stevens Marallana on Unsplash



We all know media bias exists. Just take a look at how each of these four Canadian mainstream newspapers positioned the dismissal of Jody Wilson-Raybould and Jane Philpott from the Liberal government’s caucus in early April.

Notice the editor’s choice of photos. Check out the headlines. Was it really necessary to shout “Tuesday Night Massacre” on the front page knowing that for some women, those words might have invoked the memory of a tragic event in Canadian history? The Montreal Massacre happened twenty-eight years ago where 14 women were killed by a male shooter at the École Polytechnique in Montreal, Quebec.

Consider the picture of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on the cover of the Toronto Sun, and the accompanying headline: “Fake Feminist.”

For our readers outside of Canada, all these stories reported on Trudeau’s handling of a local corporate bully (SNC Lavalin, an engineering firm) and its efforts to delay prosecution over its use of public money to pay bribes to governments overseas (illegal in Canada). The situation led to a sizeable “he said/she said” drama between the Prime Minister, his office, and the Office of the Attorney General. The result was the removal of two smart, competent women from the Liberal government’s famous 50/50 caucus.

With great concern for how power influenced process, the nation debated whether or not Trudeau is authentic about his commitment to see women advance in society. Trudeau famously said: “Because it’s 2015” a comment on Canada’s first gender-balanced cabinet, the same man who just expelled two women from caucus.

As the fake feminist/real feminist conversation misted the political newscape of “We the North” land, and even made The New York Times, many of us who identify strongly as feminists, heaved a weary sigh.

In her New York Times Bestseller, Bad Feminist, Roxane Gay writes: “The more I write, the more I put myself out there as a bad feminist…but [at least] I am being open about what I am and who I was and where I have faltered and who I would like to become.” Gay’s book talks about the fact that despite her feminist identity, pink is her favorite colour and she sings along to catchy misogynist hip-hop songs.

Gay compassionately and beautifully makes the point that there is no perfect feminist—and counts herself among one of the most imperfect feminists around. Feminism is a huge, global, social movement. Complex, pluralistic, and hard on those who pick up the gauntlet. Everyone in it is learning. All the time. But rather than give up on the movement’s objectives and demands, Gay concludes her book by saying, “I am a bad feminist. [But] I would rather be a bad feminist than no feminist at all.”

I’m not letting Trudeau and his team off the hook. But as someone who lives in a province (Ontario) with a non-feminist provincial government working to lower the cost of beer, save money by reducing support for mid-wiveswomen’s shelters, library services, and implementing roll-backs on progressive sex-education, I can safely say that I would prefer a bad feminist government, than no feminist government at all.






Feminist Initiative leader Gudrun Schyman meets activists in Norway. Photo: Mimika Kirgios
(Gudrun Schyman centre stage wearing glasses)


If the Nordic diet ensures a healthier lifestyle, what can Nordic politics do for a more inclusive society? The Feministiskt Initiativ (FI) is a feminist political party founded in Sweden almost 20 years ago. Since then, many other European countries have followed suit.

What about the rest of the world? Few know that Canada once had a feminist party. The Feminist Party of Canada (FCP) was founded by Angela Miles. Women and men joined the party in 1979. The purpose was to “participate in electoral politics while transforming them along feminist lines. The media often included the Feminist Party when seeking statements or public appearances from political parties, which gave the FPC a strong public presence.” The party lasted three years. To learn more about it, click here.

Turns out that 40 years later, we are still struggling with the same issues. Perhaps the lack of a feminist party is part of the reason why.

We need to politicize the question of why feminist parties are needed now more than ever until it becomes OBVIOUS.

When film critic and writer Annika Andersson contacted LiisBeth about her idea to interview Sweden’s FI party founder, Gudrun Schyman, we put the story on our list.  You voted yes (LiisBeth December Story Poll) and we commissioned the work.

Andersson flew all the way to Sweden to conduct in person interviews with both Schyman, and incoming leader, Gita Nabavi, to learn how human rights are at the forefront of their mandate and why they’re called the Home Party-party. Read the full story HERE.

Speaking of politics, thank you for voting. This story happened because of YOU. The article won the vote in our first reader poll. You voted, we got to work. #collectiveaction

April 15th: Minister Mary Ng announcing $2.5M investment into SheEO, a Canadian-based, global initiative designed to radically transform the way we finance, support, and celebrate female entrepreneurs. Photo: SheEO Twitter Feed


News media organization Al Jazeera‘s election tracking website says “Nearly two billion voters in 50 countries around the world will head to the polls [in 2019] to elect their leaders.” Realizing that political power is an effective way to drive change—many women are shaking off fears and running as candidates for the first time. But it’s not an easy job to be a politician. Even harder to become a candidate. 

Many of us in the women’s entrepreneurship space in Canada see a lot of the Minister for Small Business and Export Promotiom, Mary Ng.

We thought we would ask Minister Ng about her start in politics. We hope it inspires others to consider the path. See our interview here.

A Nightwood Society panel discussion on the future of food with Michelle Battista, Salt & Straw’s Kim Malek, Alison Wu of Wu Haus, Nong’s Khao Man Gai founder Nong Poonsukwattana, and chef/food activist Arlyn Frank of Platano Rising.
Panel held by Cherry Bombe, a magazine devoted to women in food.


Portland, Oregon, USA. Known for coffee, eco-friendly bike paths, Ursula K. Le Guin and the Nightwood Society. From art to food, and crafts to music, this company has reinvented the idea of horizontal growth: doing a bunch of interesting things that complement each other. They’re complex and super cool.

Nightwood Society is a unique collective that is taking collaboration to the next level. Full story here.

Powerbitches founder, Rachel Hills


What’s so different about this feminist community network? For starters, it was founded by Rachel Hills, a feminist writer, producer, and movement-maker whose work has been published in The New York Times, Washington Post, Cosmopolitan, The GuardianThe Atlantic, Vogue, Buzzfeed, The Cut, and many more. Hills is also the author of “The Sex Myth” which was written to help make sense of the feelings of shame and difference she felt about her own sexual history.

Powerbitches is hosting an event focused on feminist entrepreneurship on May 13th. Fearless Entrepreneurial Feminist Forum (EFF) co-founder Lex Schroeder is on the speakers list. But you have to be a member to participate. To learn more about this organization, read our interview with Rachel Hills here.


Innerspace is a tech company that wants to help Google figure out where you are going while inside a building.  Apparently Google can tell what building you are in, but can’t see if you are in the bathroom or lunch room or at your desk once inside. A few weeks ago, Innerspace received venture investment from the Business Development Bank of Canada’s (BDC) Women in Technology Fund.

Those close to the company questioned its qualifications as a women-led tech company given there was only one woman on the team in the role of Chief Marketing Officer.

LiisBeth decided to dig in and check out the investments made since the fund started in 2016. You can find the results here. The punchline? The fund has a very low benchmark for what qualifies as a women-led tech company. The good news is that with the will to lead, BDC could change that going forward. An even better idea? Get out of the way and hand the fund’s management over to a collective of women in tech.

Have you had an experience with BDC’s WIT fund? Use the comment box at the bottom of the article to share your story or thoughts.


Grammy award-winner Lucinda Williams and a host of top Canadian and U.S. journalists will mark the Canadian Journalism Foundation’s (CJF) second World News Day on May 2nd in Toronto. Brian Stelter, chief media correspondent for CNN Worldwide and host of Reliable Sources, will emcee.

LiisBeth subscribers are eligible for complimentary tickets here with promo code: NEWSMATTERS

Speakers include: Manisha Krishnan, senior writer and host with VICE on covering weed, opioids and #MeToo, Connie Walker, host of CBC News podcast Missing & Murdered: Finding Cleo, and Julian Brave NoiseCat, journalist, on telling Indigenous stories, Hannah Alper, teenage activist, blogger and author, in conversation with Brian Stelter, and more. See the full list of speakers here.

World News Day takes place on the eve of World Press Freedom Day to celebrate the stories, the people, the reporting and the professional news organizations that are dedicated to changing lives, challenging the status quo, holding those in power to account and supporting freedom and democracy.


Pramila Jayapal / Photo: Fathom Film Group


In the era of Trump and the #Me Too movement, Hunting in Packs is a provocative documentary film about three female politicians in Britain, the United States, and Canada negotiating their way through the old-school institution of politics.

“Things have gotten to the point where the absurdity of it all is beyond reason,” says Toronto based filmmaker Chloe Sosa-Sims. “Political farce has long lived as a genre in narrative film, but it no longer needs to exist in a parallel world of fiction, it’s our reality.”

The documentary follows three different women in three different countries who exist in parallel. They speak on world stages and perform with glowing confidence; they are policy makers, advocates and experts in their fields. Behind-the-scenes, their humanity is exposed as we get face-to-face with the reality of their livelihood; battling it out with less than worthy opponents, facing on-going ridicule when not towing the party-line, and encountering harsh contempt from the public. They are entirely different from one another, but are connected by an invisible thread.

Jess Phillips in the UK receives thousands of rape and death threats a year, largely because of her feminist rhetoric. Worse though, is much of the threats come from within her own party – the Labour party.

In the US, Pramila Jayapal has many radical proposals; sitting on the committee that will consider Trump’s impeachment, calling for Medi-care for all, and demanding reparations be paid to families separated at the border. As always, Republicans will shut her down, but there are some moderate democrats who are afraid that Pramila is too progressive and is creating a counterproductive narrative about Democrats seeking open borders.

Canadian Conservative Michelle Rempel believes the liberals are not properly handling the refugee crisis. On the other hand, she is fighting for more supports for the Yazidi community, especially the women who have been violated by sexual slavery.

“These women stand up for what they believe in and don’t let others, and the patriarchal nature of politics, hold them back,” says Sosa-Sims. “They are all forwarding policies that directly benefit these communities. And they are all driven by their personal commitment to feminism.”

Hunting in Packs is in early stages of production. The film is produced by Fathom Film Group, a women-led production company who doesn’t let the patriarchal nature of filmmaking hold them back.

CanWACH Director, Julie Savard-Shaw at a Mobilization event in Edmonton.


Investing in girls and women affects the economy and keeping girls and women healthy is paramount.

The Canadian Partnership for Women and Children’s Health (CanWaCH) catalyzes collaboration among 100 partners who are improving women’s and children’s health globally. CanWaCH will be on site June 3rd to 6th in Vancouver at the Canadian Pavillion at the Women Deliver 2019 conference. The three-day event is the world’s largest gathering on gender equality and the health, rights and wellbeing of women and girls. Over 7,000 experts, journalists, activists, world leaders and youth will come to Canada for the conference, including LiisBeth! CanWaCH is using this huge momentum of the event to push for improved leadership on gender equality.

“We want to ensure that Women Deliver 2019 is not just a moment but springboard for action and real change,” says Caitlin Reid, Senior Communications Officer at CanWaCH.

Exactly one year ago they launched a campaign inviting organizations to host an event at the Canadian Pavillion and over 300 organizations signed on to join as “Mobilizers”. “They are all taking concrete actions to improve gender equality,” says Reid.

CanWaCH’s Month of Action starts on May 7th and will run until the conference begins in June. They will call on Mobilizers, and the public, to take final actions right up to the beginning of the conference. Reid says: “It will be the most important time for us to increase our shared impact and attention at the national stage.”

CanWaCH has secured Steamworks brew pub as HQ during the three-day event. Less than a ten-minute walk away from the conference at the Vancouver Convention Centre, the Canada Pavilion will be the go-to location for approximately 49 different events hosted by Canadian organizations between June 2nd to 7th, alongside the Women Deliver Conference.

Themes for the programming will be focused on women and children’s health. Mobilization events will be about achieving gender equality here in Canada and around the world.

Each event will have its own RSVP process and many will be open to the public and some will be live-streamed. Stay tuned for schedule updates coming soon.

Curbside view of Toronto’s oldest feminist bookstop


Toronto-based feminist bookstore, Another Story Bookshop has been operating in the west end of the city for over 30 years. The store sells a broad range of literature for children, young adults, and adults with a focus on themes of social justice, equity, and diversity. It also holds and hosts over 50 events per year. Its May 6th event at Lula Lounge is sold out. The evening will feature feminist crush adrienne maree brown, author of Emergent Strategy and her new book, Pleasure Activism plus other guests like Chanelle Gallant, a long time activist, writer and trainer with a focus on sex and justice.

A few weeks ago, we visited the shop to learn more about how this independent feminist bookstore has managed to thrive in the age.

To listen to our interview with the store’s event planner, Anjula Gogia, CLICK THE LINK at the bottom of the photo below. And if you didn’t get a ticket to the event (tickets were free but you had to sign up), don’t worry, we got you covered. LiisBeth will be conducting a video interview with Brown at the event. We are excited to share the chat with you all in our next refresh!

Want to order Brown’s latest book, or any book? Another Story ships anywhere! To order, and support indie bookstores, click here.

To hear the interview click here.

Photo: Emmy Legge, Customer Service (Left) and Anjula Gogia, Event Planner (Right)



We have updated our LiisBeth recommended reading list for feminist innovators and entrepreneurs! To download a collectively and carefully curated list of books, articles, and links that are central to the concept of feminist entrepreneurship, click here.

Flowers rely on sun and rain.WE rely on YOU.
Our readers.

Every paid subscription helps us with grant applications.
If social and economic justice are important to you, here’s your chance to 
help us grow the feminist economy…like 400 crocuses.
Our impact is measurable. 

If you find our content of value, consider contributing to us on Patreon
Each online magazine refresh and newsletter takes a collective effort.
We have reached over 2,500 subscribers.
Less than 30% contribute financially.


Seeking: PROFILES of kick ass entrepreneurial feminists.

The City of Toronto contracted LiisBeth for the “Unapologetic: Feminist Founders in the City” (working title)

Hooray! We’ll be doing TEN profiles of feminist entrepreneurs who are changing the way businesses are designed and operated between now and December 2019.

We would LOVE to replicate this series in other cities and towns. But will need an editorial partner. Let us know if you are interested.

If you’re not sure if a business/person/company qualifies, this will help: Does Your Enterprise Meet the Feminist Business Standard?

We’ve got some ideas but we want to hear from YOU. What if we could make this initiative happen in communities around the world?

Send us your pitch HERE. A paragraph about a feminist entrepreneur in your community and why they should be featured.

Last month we asked readers which story we should publish next. We received only a handful of responses. But hey, our view is that it takes time for readers to get to know how this works—and that voting does work. (See Gudrun Schyman story above.)

The winning pitch from last month is: A story of the legacy left behind following the Wakefield, UK miners’ strike which was famously supported by gay and lesbian organizations—and serves as an example of an intersectional movement long before the word was coined. Readers are wondering what Wakefield is like now? Did activism have a lasting impact? We will be contacting the journalist shortly!


Twenty-Three Leading Feminist Writers on Protest and Solidarity

When 53 percent of white women voted for Donald Trump and 94 percent of black women voted for Hillary Clinton, how can women unite in Trump’s America? Nasty Women includes inspiring essays from a diverse group of talented women writers who seek to provide a broad look at how we got here and what we need to do to move forward.

Featuring essays by REBECCA SOLNIT on Trump and his “misogyny army,” CHERYL STRAYED on grappling with the aftermath of Hillary Clinton’s loss, SARAH HEPOLA on resisting the urge to drink after the election, NICOLE CHUNG on family and friends who support Trump, KATHA POLLITT on the state of reproductive rights and what we do next, JILL FILIPOVIC on Trump’s policies and the life of a young woman in West Africa, SAMANTHA IRBY on racism and living as a queer black woman in rural America, RANDA JARRAR on traveling across the country as a queer Muslim American, SARAH HOLLENBECK on Trump’s cruelty toward the disabled, MEREDITH TALUSAN on feminism and the transgender community, and SARAH JAFFE on the labor movement and active and effective resistance, among others.

Jenni Murray gives the lie to Thomas Carlyle’s infamous declaration that ‘the history of the world is but the biography of great men.’ Women have played just as great a role in the story of humankind, only for their own tales to be marginalised, censored and forgotten. Their names should be shouted from the rooftops.

Marie Curie discovered radium and revolutionised medical science. Empress Cixi transformed China. Frida Kahlo turned an unflinching eye on life and death. In A History of the World in 21 Women, Jenni Murray celebrates the lives, struggles and achievements of some of the most extraordinary people to have ever walked the Earth. They ruled empires, they led nations. They were pioneers in the arts and geniuses of science. They led while others followed, spoke truth to power and fought for change. All left behind an indelible mark.

‘Charming…[Murray’s] selection is pleasingly varied… but the strength of the collection lies in Murray’s relaxed and intimate style…  a testament to the achievements and the complicated legacies, of extraordinary women.’ (BBC History Magazine)

Recommended by Another Story Bookshop, Toronto, Canada.


  • Mental health conditions or addictions can get in the way of employment for many. Fortunately, Rise Asset Development, a unique entrepreneur support organization provides training and access to startup loans of up to $10K for aspiring entrepreneurs with mental health challenges. Their seven week youth program for aspiring entrepreneurs starts in July, 2019. If you or someone you know is a Canadian citizen, aged 16-24 and lives in Toronto, sign up today. Sign up here!
  • Slovakia voted in its first female president last month. Zuzana Čaputová, a 45-year-old lawyer and anti-corruption campaigner, won 58.4% of the votes in Saturday’s poll and will take office in June. She campaigned on platform of humanism, solidarity and truth. “Let us look for what connects us. Let us promote cooperation above personal interests,” she told a crowd of supporters in Bratislava. The full article is in The Guardian here.
  • Naomi Klein’s article in The Intercept includes the seven-minute short film “A Message From the Future” narrated by Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and offers this thought experiment: What if we chose to radically change course and save both our habitat and ourselves? See for yourself here.

Huzzah! That was newsletter #52! It brings you up to date for another month.

To donate one time or become a donor subscriber, click here.

Next newsletter will come out in late May! Don’t miss it! 

Peace out,

Sample Newsletter


Photo: Jose Coelo, Stocksy


Don’t look now, but International Women’s Day (IWD) is only five weeks away. Planning is well under way.

Last week, I received a call from a Canadian subsidiary of a $1B+ publicly traded, global behemoth company. They were looking for a keynote speaker and someone to run a workshop on a subject befitting a day that is about gender equity. 

I was eager to pursue the opportunity.

Before returning the call, I checked them out and was impressed with the corporation’s commitment to gender equity in the workplace. Their Europe-based CEO was a four-year and counting “He for She” impact champion. They had been recognized by Women in Governance, received a 2018 Parity Certification and have a global family leave policy. They had an active foundation doing what appears to be meaningful work.

In short, the company sounded amazing.

I spoke with the enthusiastic, all-female organizing committee to get details and see if there was an overall fit. They told me they were looking for something that would align with their “Dare to Disrupt” theme for the day. Ideally, a 40-minute motivational talk plus questions and possibly a  follow on workshop for 60+ staff. It was to be an all-gender event. To hit the mark, the talk needed to mesh with the culture of the organization. They wanted a speaker who could inspire, motivate and ensure that women employees would be left feeling confident and empowered. Why? Improved employee satisfaction, retention and brand reputation.

In other words, they were looking to bring in the Holy Trinity for a day and deliver a corporate miracle.

They also expected this–pro-bono.”  

With unpaid labour being one of the issues for women everywhere, does anyone else find it ironic that a company who touts their support of women can’t pay an entrepreneurial woman for her work—on International Women’s Day?

As IWD approaches, a lot of corporate and institutional committees will be looking to demonstrate their support for gender equity. They will be sourcing dynamic entrepreneurial, “disrupter” women of all backgrounds to speak on panels, or as keynote presenters at a variety of IWD events…often without real compensation. Those magical “exposure dollars” don’t help to pay staff, the rent, or buy groceries. Unlike their salaried sisters, entrepreneurs work without extended healthcare benefits and are ineligible for the same social safety nets that even minimum wage salaried people enjoy, like employment or disability insurance, paid sick days, or maternity leave (not eligible if you own more than 40% of your company)…

Preparing kick-ass content takes time. It requires research. Preparation. And taps into years of hard-won expertise and, likely, some personal cost along the way. Like vampires, these “exposure” gigs feed off the blood of your story. Your experience. Your soul. Leaving you with nothing more than a swag bag and a shout-out on Twitter.

This year, let’s say no. Not just as individuals, but as a community. I know it’s tough out there. But it’s only going to get tougher if we don’t push back. It’s time we send a message.

If an enterprise wants to benefit from your expertise, or get their shine on by asking you to speak without pay to honour IWD, tell them that you have just signed a petition denouncing unpaid labour and are too busy working to stop the exploitation of women, trans, and queer entrepreneurs to oblige.



Feminists at Work : Illustration by J.J. Steeves

Ever wonder what the three most popular articles on LiisBeth were in 2018? Drum roll please….

1. Woman is Wolf to Woman, by Maria Basualdo, published August 9
2. How to Unlock Billions of Unrealized Growth Led by Women Entrepreneurs, by PK Mutch, published October 17
3. Another Brick in the Wall: Anti-Feminists in Canada, by CV Harquail, published March 15

And here is what’s coming in February…

Liisbeth is about to get even better.

We have recently updated our editorial strategy for 2019.

The new acquisition strategy will prioritize queries and articles that offer insights and practical advice about how to operate as a feminist entrepreneur.

In anticipation of a material increase in reader donations, we commit to dedicating these funds towards increasing the number of profiles and well researched, hard-hitting issue oriented essays we publish.

We will continue to work with both emerging and experienced writers and source 20% of our content from outside of Canada.  We we are looking to add several new contributors to work with us in 2019.

We pledge to ensure our content is global in nature.

We begin implementing our new plan with our February refresh line up. Watch for a sex-positive playlist by Sadé Powell, a feminist look at the billion dollar content marketing industry, and a profile we know you will love!  Watch for release dates on @liisbethhq.

2019 is the Chinese zodiac Year of the Pig.
In Chinese culture, pigs are the symbol of wealth.
Pigs, we ain’t. We need your help.

LiisBeth is open access and relies 100% on reader donations. Our impact is measurable. So if social justice and economic transformation are on your intentions and gratitude list this year, here’s your chance to donate.

If you find our content of value professionally, we hope you will consider contributing to us on Patreon. Each online magazine refresh and newsletter takes a community to create and disseminate.
We have 2,000+ subscribers, but less than 30% contribute financially.



Remember the Canadian Women’s Entrepreneurship (WES) Fund Grant?

We called the Ministry of Small Business and Export Promotion to find out what’s up. They were quick to respond. Recipients will be contacted in March and announcements made soon after.  Cash however, won’t flow until contracts are crafted and signed. Likely April through June. Stay tuned. And run to the bank as soon as you get your first instalment. It’s an election year. As those of us in the United States, and now Ontario, know all too well, programs advancing women can be cancelled with the stroke of a new leader’s pen.

How Emily Hustles 

We could all take a few lessons from Emily Mills, founder of “How She Hustles”, a vibrant network of diverse women that connects through social media and special events, each with up to 400 guests, in Toronto.

For eight years, How She Hustles has hosted a range of buzz-worthy events, including: a wildly popular women’s brunch and a pop-up shop exclusively for women-led startups, and seasonal networking events.

How She Hustles led the creation of HERstory in Black, a digital photo series of 150 black women as seen on CBC. The project earned the attention of the Prime Minister on social media, received national press coverage, became a one-hour TV documentary, led to an unprecedented celebration at the CBC Broadcasting Centre, and earned the prestigious CBC President’s Award.

February is Black History Month. 

You can catch Mills as the MC at the Ontario Black History Society Black History Month Kick-off Brunch and as a panelist at U of T’s Hart House Black Entrepreneurs & Visionaries Round Table.

The Fearless Girl statue was first installed on Broadway in March 2017 as a marketing campaign by State Street Global Advisors ( a division of State Street Corporation with over $2.8 trillion dollars under its management) in honour of International Women’s Day.

Mastering Finance is a Feminist Act 

The Fearless Girl statue was removed from her position facing the Wall Street bull, but that doesn’t mean feminist entrepreneurs should stop facing down the iconic “Charging Bull” –a symbol of 20th century capitalism if there ever was one.

While we take a conscious critical approach to how money is made, distributed and used, and bust our butts leveraging our enterprises to end oppressions generated by modern capitalism, we know money is fuel–at least for now.

To help you think about alternative streams of revenue for your enterprise, download this super useful “26 Sources of Revenue” checklist on Eve-Volution Inc (LiisBeth’s sister enterprise.)

It does not include non-monetary value streams–something feminist entrepreneurs include when assessing the weight of their enterprise, but it does offer 26 good ideas worth considering if generating more cash is a priority for you in 2019.

Photo: By Canadian Women’s Chamber of Commerce


The Canadian Women’s Chamber of Commerce (CanWCC) celebrated its one year anniversary on January 23.

In co-founder Nancy Wilson’s address to the 50+ crowd, Wilson introduced the 2019  CanWCC advocacy agenda adding “Achieving gender equality requires a wholesale shift in mindset and social and cultural norms. It involves re-engineering the way we conceptualize gender itself.”

CanWCC is the only women-led/women-focused Chamber of Commerce in Canada. Up until their launch in 2018, Canada was one of the only countries in the world without a Chamber of Commerce specifically representing the interests of women in business.

Women’s March, Toronto, 2019


Hmm. By our estimate, at least 1,000+ people of all genders participated in this year’s Women’s March in Toronto, despite the fact that your fingertips froze in seconds if you took off your gloves. With blowing snow and -20C weather, not even pussy hats (of any color) could keep heads warm. Sure, this year’s number was down from 2017 (60,000) and 2018 (a few thousand, despite great weather), but don’t take that as a sign that the fight for equity is in any way slowing down. If not on the streets, feminists of all genders were in front of the fireplace—getting ready and laying down plans for advocacy work during a federal election year that will undoubtedly have the feminist agenda as a central issue.

Always wanted to learn how to bucket-drum and march at the same time? Who hasn’t? Hooray! Now’s your chance.

LiisBeth has partnered up with Women on the Move, The Canadian Women’s Chamber of Commerce, and Harlow Studios to offer TWO marching bucket-drumming classes in time for the Toronto International Women’s Day march planned for March 8 in Toronto. Classes are open to all genders and ages. Tickets include bucket, strap, drumsticks, two lessons, snacks and refreshments—plus a whole lot of fun, as we work out our songs for the march. FEMINIST FREEBIE! LiisBeth subscribers (this is the honour system) receive 10% off the ticket price! Use discount code PARTNERPASS. Space is limited, so sign up soon.

We would LOVE to see a #drumforequity bucket-drumming corps form in your community. To help, we decided to videotape the classes and post them, once edited, on LiisBeth’s YouTube channel. We can’t be there to hold your hand (or your bucket) in person, but we can at least show you how it’s done.


Well, 79M women in the U.S. apparently think so. For many years, Ms. magazine (owned by the Feminist Majority Foundation, based in the United States since 2001) has been tracking an important statistic: How many people who come out to vote identify as feminists? The recently released report based on the 2018 U.S. mid-term election voter survey shows another increase in the number of people (all genders) who identify as feminists.

Efforts to collect similar statistics in Canada in the past show that Canadian women still live largely in fear of the word—but Canadian men, not so much. Given that  women in the U.S. have Trump, while women in Canada have an openly feminist prime minister with a feminist budget, does anyone find that strange?


Win 2 TIX to the February Spoken Lives Toronto event at Mustard Seed on February 25th (info below) when you complete ONE ACTION ITEM from our EFF top six takeaways here.

Tell us which one you did in an email to receive your FEMINIST FREEBIE.


DO THIS: Treat yourself to four minutes of artistic splendour.

“Work re-imagines the familiar image of people commuting to work as a moving portrait. This video is the result of the hard work and collaboration of many intelligent, strong and compassionate women, genderqueer and trans folks close to Charlotte, myself and our crew, who invited their friends, family and complete strangers to come together in support of one another with lovewarmth and hope.” – Fantavious Fritz, Director


We asked, you answered. Tack! That’s “thank you” in Swedish.

Stay tuned for a Portrait of Swedish Feminist Initiative party leader, Gudrun Schyman, in the coming weeks.

For now, have a look at her 5-minute Q&A with Women Across Frontiers where she talks about the Feminist Initiative and how it differs from other global movements, and how Sweden, “a paradise of gender quality” has the same problems as other regions with women’s underrepresentation in business.




Nathan Schneider has written books about God, the Occupy movement, and now, the cooperative business. From the internet to service and care, more and more industries expect people to live gig to gig, while monopolistic corporations feed their spoils to the rich. But through years of in-depth reporting, Schneider reveals an alternative to the robber-baron economy hiding in plain sight. Everything for Everyone chronicles the cooperative movement and social revolution—from taxi cooperatives that are keeping Uber and Lyft at bay, to an outspoken mayor transforming his city in the Deep South.
A gifted writer, chronicling the world he and his compatriots are helping to make—spiritual, technological, and communal.”—Krista Tippett, host of On Being

If you’re in need of some art therapy…welcome to the antithesis of the “Dick and Jane” coloring book. A coloring book!
Girls Will be Boys Will be Girls is a funny and provocative deconstruction of traditional gender roles. 32 original illustrations with captions like “Calvin, baking is fun and all, but we can make a rad drum set out of these pots and bowls” and “Don’t let gender box you in” offer light-hearted, fun ways to deconstruct gender for both children and adults. The coloring book format is a subversive and playful way to examine how pervasive stereotypes about gender are in every aspect of our lives, especially the ones that are so ingrained we don’t even notice. Girls Will be Boys Will be Girls pokes fun at the tired constraints of gender normativity, and makes it okay to step outside the lines.


  • NEW! Oxfam Canada Report: A Feminist Approach to Women’s Economic Empowerment. Globally, women earn less than men and are trapped in the lowest paid and least secure jobs. Fundamentally, gender inequality and economic inequality are inextricably linked. Unless we tackle both, simultaneously, women’s economic empowerment (WEE) will be impossible. This report details practical examples of feminist support for WEE that can be replicated or scaled up. It makes recommendations for how Canada can adopt transformative feminist programming and policies. Read the report here.

  • December 2018 Profile of Ronit Avni, Founder of Localized, an online platform that connects students in emerging economies with mentors to help them gain the skills they need to succeed. Her top tip: Become fluent in the terminology investors use. Push back on unreasonable requests and don’t take money from people who are not aligned with your mission, company stage and vision. Read the full profile here.

  • Is the Women’s March falling forward or falling apart? Read this NY Times Op Ed and decide for yourself. Let us know what you think @LiisBethHQ

  • From Mat Leave to Successful Startup
    Eva Wong, Co-Founder and COO of Borrowell, a fintech company that helps Canadians make great decisions about credit, recently spoke on a leadership panel at CPA Ontario’s Women Inc. Conference, and said “confidence is a muscle that can be developed.” Featured in the PIVOT series from MaRS Discovery District, Wong is never without a smile. Perhaps part of her startup success? Watch the 2-minute video here.

  • A New Knowledge Centre!  In late 2018, the Ontario Trillium Foundation launched a new online commmunity which connects Ontario’s 14,000 non-profits to create relationships, share knowledge, and build capacity with each other and beyond their own backyard.  We checked it out. And, naturally, started a discussion group called “Entrepreneurial Feminism”. There is a lot of good information and tools on the site. We think it’s worth the time to sign up!

That brings us to the end of our January newsletter, the first of 2019! We are excited to continue providing you with original articles, news and views on entrepreneurship and innovation via a feminist lens.

That said, as you probably learned, last week, 1000s of journalists were laid off in the U.S. The Discourse’s recent study on the status of Canada’s media landscape reports that over 260 news outlets have closed in Canada in the past 10 years. In addition, analysis shows that women and women of colour continue to be underrepresented in media. This doesn’t look like it is likely to change anytime soon, given that the majority of new startup media companies created to fill the gap are founded by white men—not necessarily bad, but not great if what we are looking for is more diversity in news, media and culture production work.

With an election on the horizon, and women’s issues likely to be a central plank for all parties, we need women-owned/led, indie and feminist media more than ever before. 

LiisBeth is the only dedicated feminist business magazine on the planet.

To date, we have published 49 newsletters and 168 original feminist business practice stories along with advocacy pieces to help shine a light on this growing community. And we do this on a budget of just $2,500/month and a lot of volunteer admin work. In addition, we have mounted two Entrepreneurial Feminist Forums with our partner, Feminists At Work.

We have loved every minute of serving this community and others, working to advance gender and social justice.

That said, we still need your help! And we need more of it in 2019.

Did you know that out of 2,300+ subscribers, only 5% sign up to our monthly donor subscription plan?

Not everyone can speak out without risking their career. But we can. And we do. 

Subscribe today. Now. Here.

NamasteCheers, and Peace,


Feds Drop $9 Million Into Women’s Entre-preneurship

Day two of the Entrepreneurial Feminist Forum 2018 in Toronto

The federal government has awarded Ryerson University $9 million over three years to fund a Women’s Entrepreneurship Knowledge Hub (WEKH) to advance research into women’s entrepreneurship with the goal of increasing participation of women in the economy.

Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business and Export Promotion, who worked in the President’s Office at Ryerson University before becoming a Member of Parliament in the Liberal government, made the announcement this morning, saying WEKH will equip governments and the private sector “with the necessary information to better understand and assist women entrepreneurs in their efforts to start up, scale up and access new markets.”

Currently, only 16 percent of Canadian small and medium-sized businesses are women owned. By many estimates, advancing gender equality has the potential to add $150 billion to the Canadian economy by 2026. WEKH is expected to be a one-stop source of knowledge, data and best practices to help governments, organizations and the private sector develop better policies and strategies to grow women’s entrepreneurship.

Vicki Saunders, founder of SheEO and a partner in WEKH, hopes the investment will unleash the potential of women’s entrepreneurship. “We have an excellent business case in the women’s entrepreneurship area to show how investing in women will grow the Canadian economy. It’s very exciting to see that a university will take this information and upload research that will power better government policy.” She adds that “Ryerson has been a leading driver of entrepreneurship, innovation and education across the country.”

The Ryerson-led consortium was chosen over one competing bid led by University of Ottawa, which included some of Canada’s top thought leaders in the area of women’s entrepreneurship, notably Barbara Orser, a professor at University of Ottawa and co-author of Feminine Capital: Unlocking the Power of Women Entrepreneurs; Jennifer Jennings, Associate Director of the Centre for Entrepreneurship and Family Enterprise at University of Alberta’s School of Business; Sarah Kaplan, Director of the Institute for Gender and the Economy at Rotman School of Management at University of Toronto; Sandra Altner, CEO of the Women’s Enterprise Organizations of Canada; and the MaRS Institute, an innovation hub that helps entrepreneurs launch and grow ventures.

The Ryerson consortium includes eight regional hubs and universities, ten partners and 37 supporters.

The federal government has not lacked for reports making the case that supporting women’s entrepreneurship will strengthen the Canadian economy – more than 30 in the past 30 years, many industry sponsored. The central question now is will this direct federal government investment in university-led research produce relevant policy action and real results?

Says Barbara Orser, who coined the term Entrepreneurial Feminism, “It’s a unique opportunity to ensure a feminist and women-focussed perspective is shared and that only research of the highest quality is profiled. If not, there’s a risk of replicating the stereotypes and mythology of women’s entrepreneurship. Every incubator and accelerator and academic engaged in entrepreneurship should be speed dialled into this new source of information.”

Ryerson University’s Wendy Cukier, the Founder and Director of the Diversity Institute at the Ted Rogers School of Management, says they were thrilled to win the bid. “We don’t see this as an opportunity to do research. We see this as an opportunity to drive change, and the diversity institute has a strong track record in terms of using evidence and research to make things happen. We have pulled together a good network of partners including universities who will be able to grow and sustain (WEKH) beyond the initial funding.” She says that Ryerson will reach out to work with partners beyond the consortium. “The whole point is to aggregate research and information available. The whole point is to map and grow the entire ecosystem.”

Kelly Diels, a Vancouver-based feminist marketing consultant and writer, hopes there is a channel that loops the research hub back to women entrepreneurs so they can turn it into useful information with tools to use in their businesses. That way, “it’s not a report disappears into the ether or was a big project that didn’t actually move back to the people who need it.”

Jena Cameron, Manager of Women Entrepreneurship Policy at Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada, says both applications were very strong and equally evaluated against the assessment grid that included things such as partnerships and sustainability. A lot of information on women’s entrepreneurship already exists, says Cameron, so a big part of the plan is to “package information (it) in a way that it becomes accessible to women business support organizations and women entrepreneurs themselves. Go through it and distil nuggets down into practical things that the ecosystem can use.”

Our initial take at LiisBeth? What, another study? This data better lead to change. It will benefit women entrepreneurs if the Ryerson-led consortium reaches out to the other side to tap into Canada’s leading feminist enterprise research and thinkers. Create an open door policy that lets everyone in so everyone can win, including community-based women’s entrepreneurship organizations and feminist entrepreneurs who are often off the mainstream radar.



Sample Newsletter


Photo By Thais Ramos Varela


Creating a Feminist City: We Rise By Lifting Others

The other day, I came across an article written by the incredible Mayor of Madrid, Manuela Carmena Castrillo (elected in 2015) in which she wrote about Madrid’s commitment to “to promoting gender equality and fighting the continued discrimination which women face daily.” Then I did a little more research.

I was blown away.

In the article, Mayor Castrillo lists the plethora of innovative initiatives and programs that the Madrid City Council have underway to advance gender equity including “Spaces of Equality” which among other things work to legitimize women’s knowledge and provide them with a safe space to question gender roles defined by patriarchal society, and offering funded, extra curricular programming to “raise awareness and mobilize the population around issues of equality by disseminating the great contributions brought by feminism and implications around the concept of gender.” Not one to mince words, Castrillo goes on to say “Our society needs a breakthrough and profound transformation in this regard. The structural inequality between women and men takes many forms …[including] the alarming rise in macho attitudes among the younger generation. These forms of inequality require a determined and firm response from all of us.”

Let’s pause for a moment. Can you imagine the Mayor of your city even mentioning the word patriarchy at a Board of Trade luncheon or economic club? Or launching a new program to educate citizens about the contributions of its-heretofore mostly maligned feminist community? I can’t. I live in Toronto.

Introducing the Feminist City
There is a strong business case behind the idea that a Feminist City would produce incredible economic development opportunities – so why aren’t all city mayors rushing to become one?

And what if we could rank cities according to how desirable they were for women to live, work and play? What if this equated with sustainable economic growth for all?

If we could pinpoint and, hence, strengthen factors that would attract women and in particular, women entrepreneurs and investors, to move to a city, what might those factors be? Safety in all areas of a city, during day and night? A thriving diverse women-led entrepreneurship ecosystem. A feminist enterprise district? A thriving and well connected feminist community? A self-identified feminist Mayor?.

Sound attractive? We could call this The Feminist City.

Imagine the sign on the highway as you cross into city limits: Welcome to The Feminist City: We Rise by Lifting Others. Please Take Our Values Home.

Read more about the feminist city idea in the full VIEWPOINT essay here,


100% woman owned and queer feminist lead, The Gladstone Hotel is located in Toronto, Canada

New ideas must use old buildings.” – Jane Jacobs

Artist, activist, and entrepreneurial feminist Christina Zeidler runs the Gladstone Hotel, Canada’s first B-Corp hotel. Lana Pesch visits the Inn With Agency that operates under an anti-oppressive feminist framework. Zeidler and her team are challenging the status-quo…one magic pony at a time. Read the feature story here.

Rivera Sun, author of The Dandelion Insurrection and workshop facilitator at the 2018 Entrepreneurial Feminist Forum

Solutionary Ideas From a Love-Based Revolutionary

Rivera Sun, author of the Dandelion Insurrection Trilogy, says she has fantasized about running away to Canada. Sun grew up on an organic farm in Northern Maine, but now lives in New Mexico–even further away!

Though oh-so-close at one time, Sun has never had the opportunity to check out our native land first hand. Until now. Sun arrives in Toronto on December 2nd by invitation to facilitate a workshop at the Entrepreneurial Feminist Forum on how entrepreneurs and business leaders can leverage non-violent activism to drive systems change.

In this interview Sun says, “Change doesn’t just happen through protest. It doesn’t just happen – for regular people anyway – through calling politicians or senators. And it doesn’t usually just happen through buying the right goods as individuals. It happens when we organize. It happens when we look at the whole system, identify what’s holding us back, and starts when we begin working with others — and connecting our enterprises and organizations in ways that leverage each other’s strengths to drive the desired change.”

Check out more Rivera’s thoughts on enterprise-based activism on LiisBeth this month by clicking here.

It’s Campaign Season! If you think our advocacy for women and gender-non conforming entrepreneurs is worthy, or you find our content of value professionally, we hope you will consider contributing to our 2018 Patreon Fund Raising Campaign. Each online magazine refresh and newsletter takes a community to create and disseminate. We have 2000+ subscribers, but less than 30% contribute financially. We are open access and rely 100% on reader donations. Our impact is measurable. So if social justice and economic transformation are on your intentions and gratitude list this year, here’s your chance to donate to LiisBeth. 

Lana Pesch, LiisBeth Newsletter and Associate Editor, at the Made by Feminists GH Marketplace in the Gladstone Hotel Ballroom


Win the t-shirt that speaks for itself by being the first 2 people to TAKE OUR SURVEY TODAY  and drop us a note here when you’re finished. We’re on the home stretch but we still need a few more responses before we can publish results.

We sold a few of these at the FAC markets at the Gladstone Hotel in Toronto last month and the first feminist entrepreneurship t-shirt is available for $32 here. Use the LiisBeth reader discount code LIISBETH10 for a 10% discount!

LiisBeth is not in the t-shirt business, which is why we partnered with Jamie “Boots” Marshall so you can #buywomenled. Marshall owns and runs Boots Tees, an online shop for her t-shirts, art, and other fun stuff. Her hobbies include: reading, board games, and fighting the patriarchy.


The 2018 Entrepreneurial Feminist Forum in Toronto less than A WEEK away!

NEW ADDITION!  Lunchtime writing sessions led by Sarah Seleckyauthor and creator of Sarah Selecky Writing School.
Sarah believes good writing needs heart, consciousness, skill, and presence

What else? Three thought provoking foundational talks, three deep dive lab sessions, six 90 minute “think and do” workshops, two embodied movement classes, journaling and creative writing break rooms, a poster sessionreception and more!
Full speaker bios and session details here

Tix are still available!
$299 for ALL sessions // $99 for Students — For TWO WHOLE DAYS!  
Get your tickets here

ONE DAY PASSES ALSO AVAILABLE for December 2nd or 3rd

Read about our official transportation partner, child care support + local dog walking services below! 


Kids, Dogs, and Automobiles

Can’t get a sitter? Pooch need a pee? The 2018 EFFs has all your dog walking, childcare and local transport covered!

Jack Jackson of DoggyDatesToronto is available to provide dog walking services while you’re attending a session and ticket holders’ little ones can be left with Helm, Toronto’s leading babysitting app. Download the Helm app HERE.

Our official transportation partnerDriveHer is the new alternative & safe ride-sharing service dedicated to women by women. Uber for women but without all the deliquency. DriveHer’s priority is to help you arrive safely, comfortably and in style. Click HERE to download the ride sharing app.


Turning the Grey Tsunami into the Silver Economy

If you’ve got an hour to spare, the video above is 60 minutes worth of wisdom, advice, and inspiration from Helen Hirsh Spence and others about finding purpose post retirement.

She was a disruptor in the 60s and 70s and now she is disrupting in her 60s and 70s. The 69 year-old  started Top Sixty Over Sixty when she discovered seniors’ superpower: invisibility. Unless you’re wearing Harry Potter’s cloak of invisibility, feeling unseen can erode a person’s confidence and be damaging. Spence wanted to create something that would undo that damage. Top Sixty Over Sixty is a platform to celebrate, educate and amplify the positive impact of older Canadians. “We should be maximizing and growing the potential of older people and seeing them as an asset as opposed a detriment,” says Spence. “It’s about a change of mindset.” And entrepreneurial opportunities for Boomers abound in areas like housing and transportation, health and well-being, education and learning, fashion and design.

The site houses articles like Best Before Dates are for Products Not People, dispelling commonly held myths about ageing, entrepreneurship and generational differences, like:

  • older people are less reliable in the workforce

  • you can’t train older people

  • older people are taking jobs away from young people

Spence developed the ReSet program which is a series of modules that focuses on reducing ageism, helping older adults redesign their future and also increase their entrepreneurial mindset to facilitate better multigenerational teams. “In a youth obsessed culture very often we’re looking at the frailty or older people, not their energy.” The program was supported by Ontario Centre of Workforce Innovation and Ryerson UniversityOut of 48 participants, 44 were women, and people like Vicki Jasperse (also in the video up top), jewelry artisan/entrepreneur, gained validation from the course to understand that she was on the right track.

Spence is in the process of evaluating next steps and is following her own consult: “Contrary to what you thinkthere’s nothing that stands in your way other than your own mindset.”

Good advice at any age.

Francesca Da Costa

Welcome Francesca Da Costa! 

LiisBeth’s new Advisory Board Member is Director Of Philanthropy at The MATCH International Women’s Fund. She is a fundraiser, diplomat, community advocate, entrepreneur, volunteer, foster parent, and foundation builder. Francesca believes we all have the power—and responsibility—to make our communities a better place for all. As a former intelligence and security officer for Global Affairs Canada, she has lived in and traveled to over a dozen countries. It is these experiences that have formed the foundation of her career and a desire to “do more” and we are thrilled to have her join the team.

We are still looking for two additional directors to join and diversify our board. If you, or someone you know is interested in advancing entrepreneurial feminismwe would love to hear from you! Drop us a email here outlining your interest.

From the UK’s The Poola 7 minute video from author and brand communications maven Mary Portas about five ways to improve your working life and your sense of yourself. The tips are taken from her new book Work Like a Woman and include being vulnerable in a confident way and supporting other women.

From left to right: MP Arif VeraniHeather GambleMinister Mary MgPK Mutch

Last month in Ottawa, we gifted Minister Ng with one of our signature t-shirts. She was pleased with message and promised to wear it the next time she announces more funding support for Women Entrepreneurs.  

Lana’s cat, Neil


We’re stunned with how many good queries come to LiisBeth and sometimes it’s hard to know what readers want. So we thought we’d do it the feminist way and ask you directly! 

Below are the top 3 story ideas we’ve received recently:

1. The Duality of Entrepreneurial “Struggle Porn” and Unseen Women’s Labor from a business owner in the gaming industry
2. Portrait of Swedish Feminist Party leader Gudrun Shyman
3. Women are the backbone of Africa’s labor force but lack of opportunities, gender-based violence and policies reduce their ability to advance. Why a conducive environment for African women to thrive makes sense.

VOTE HERE on the one you want to read most.

Photo by Matheus Ferrero on Unsplash


Recipients of last month’s FEMINIST FREEBIES:

Tickets to the Move The Dial event went to:
Golnaz Golnaraghi, Toronto, ON

WE Connect conference pass was won by:
Golnaz Golnaraghi, Toronto, ON

3 signed copies of Gender Physics went to:
Alyson Nyiri, Wroxeter, ON
Heidi Phillips, Santa Barbara, CA
C. V. Harquail, Chicago, OH

YES! We still have three signed copies of Betty-Ann Heggie’s new bookGender Physics! The first three people to do the energy evaluation quiz (that under a minute to complete) and send their response (including their address) to: will receive the next three copies. FREE! Old school in the mail! (unless you’re at the EFFs)


Financialization not only refers to the incredible power of the financial sector over economics and politics, it also refers to the creep of financial ideas, metaphors, narratives and measurements throughout society and culture more broadly.  Examining a wide range of examples and case studies, this book argues that, at the same time as popular culture and everyday life are increasingly saturated by a financial idiom, the financial sector as a whole is more deeply invested than ever in everyday life and culture writ large. From the security culture of Walmart to children’s play with Pokémon trading cards, from the hype around the “creative economy” to the economics of austerity and precariousness, this book seeks to reveal financialization at work where we might least expect to find it. In an age when seemingly imaginary financial assets determine the fates of whole economies, this book suggests we take the idea of “fictitious capital” seriously as a way to understand the power of finance, and what might be done to stop it.

Where are we right now? With feminism and all that? There was the vote. We got the vote, which was lovely. Then there was work, and the pill, and sexual liberation, which was all great, and today there’s #MeToo, and Beyoncé, and something else – something like a sinking feeling: a realisation that these might have been a series of battles won, rather than the war promisedMeg Wolitzer’s 11th novel sympathetically satirises this complicated landscape of contemporary feminism, while also pressing knowingly against these bruises. ” – Eva Wiseman, The GuardianThe Female Persuasion (Penguin Random House) deals with female mentorship, power, ambition and how a single encounter can forever change a person. It’s a story about an intergenerational female friendship encompassing
ideas of influence, ego, and loyalty in Wolitzer’s signature wise and witty style.

Wolitzer’s social commentary can be as funny as it is queasily on target.” The Wall Street Journal


  • On Nov 5th, the Canadian government revealed a list of seven “alternative model” venture funds who will receive some piece of $50M in federal venture capital money which they in turn, can invest in companies. Great idea. The only problem is that only one of the funds is woman-led (Pique Ventures, Vancouver B.C.). All the other recipient venture firms are male dominated. And tech/STEM focused. Not very alternative in our books. We say to Canada’s Minister of Innovation, Minister Bains-good initiative overall. But uncreative, status quo perpetuating selection criteria. #patriarchy

  • Our book recommendation from last month won the Governor’s General’s Award for Fiction! Sarah Henstra’s The Red Word was among the seven English language books announced in November. Listen to Henstra on CBC radio here. (12 minute segment)

  • Do Women’s Networking Events Move the Needle on Equality? The short answer: yes. Author Shawn Achor wrote this article in the Harvard Business Review full of stats about the power of connection, and it’s not just about gender. (See you at the EFFs!)

  • Women’s Entrepreneurship Day is everyday, but especially this past week, on November 19th, following the WEDO Summit (Women’s Entrepreneurship Day Organization) at the UN in New York City. See who attended the summit here.

  • Nearly 9.1M firms in the US are owned by women and generate $1.4 trillion in sales. Celebrate #ChooseWOMEN on November 28th, by joining the greatest movement to empower women in business. Click here to join

  • In a recent survey, The Girl Guides of Canada found out what teens in Canada really think and how girls start to experience gender inequality at age 11. The good news is by having these tough conversations, girls can get the tools to grow their confidence and reach their full potential. Read the full report here.

That brings us to the end of our November newsletter. You’ll see a website refresh and newsletter mid-December, 2018, after we come up for air post-EFFs.

Did you read something of value in this newsletter?

LiisBeth is the only media voice in the world which supports the work of feminist entrepreneurs and innovators. We are 100% reader supported. If you love what we do, become a subscriber to LiisBeth! We humbly remind you that subscriptions are $3/month, $7/month or $10/month.

Remember! We are now also on Patreon!

Funds go directly towards paying writers, editors, proofreaders, photo permission fees, and illustrators. Building a more just future requires time, love—and financial support.

Save the daylight, winter is coming.