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Alberta Innovates announces funding for Rural Women Entrepreneurs in Tech (RWEIT)

Jun 3, 2022

Calgary, AB…Alberta Innovates is investing new funding to support Alberta’s small and medium sized technology companies and strengthen the province’s emerging technology ecosystem. The announcement made yesterday at Inventures 2022, will award Economic Development Lethbridge (EDL) $500,000 over 13 months to deliver programming to Rural Women Entrepreneurs in Tech (RWEIT) across Alberta. The funding will allow EDL to continue the momentum of Women Entrepreneurs in STEM (WESTEM) - Science, Technology, Engineering and Math, which it has facilitated since 2019. The RWEIT program will offer learning opportunities, business advisory services and networking, free of charge to rural women entrepreneurs working with technology across Alberta. 

“Yesterdays announcement will help our organization continue to offer services to areas that struggle with access to quality tools and resources. Rural entrepreneurs and more so, women entrepreneurs don’t have access to opportunities that present themselves readily in urban areas. This funding will see Lethbridge and Southern Alberta become the anchor for rural women technology entrepreneurs across the province,” says, EDL, VP Entrepreneurship & Innovation, Renae Barlow. “Until April 2023, the RWEIT team will develop, market and execute a curriculum that will help promote and facilitate successes of women led tech ideas and start-ups in our province.” 

The Alberta Innovates pilot program invests in non-profit and for-profit entities and supports activities in the following focus areas:

·        Promote diversity and assist under-represented populations in the earliest stages of building a technology-enabled startup.

·        Accelerate growth for scaling and establishing technology companies.

·        Help high-potential digital companies grow in Alberta through talent development.

·        Strengthen and convene innovative technology hubs. 

Overall, 14 projects were selected through the initial Alberta Innovates Ecosystem Development Pilot Program, with over $9MM awarded across the province.

“Entrepreneurship and Innovation is one of the pillars of our business plan and we do a remarkable job delivering qualitative and quantitative results for Lethbridge and area. Tecconnect, RINSA, WESTEM have all been wildly successful in the Southern Alberta entrepreneurial ecosystem and now we get to expand those successes with the RWEIT program across the province,” remarks, EDL, CEO Trevor Lewington. “Our long-standing relationship with Alberta Innovates has helped immensely in the success seen in the region when it comes to technology and innovation, and we look forward to working with rural women entrepreneurs, partner organizations and stakeholders on this pilot project.” 

For more information, contact:     

Mark Neskar
Director, Marketing & Communications
Economic Development Lethbridge

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