Meet five impressive women in business who are making an impact.

Ottawa, ON: Roxanne Whiting, Chef Charlotte Langley, Andrea Mulligan, Clare Hodgetts and Jennifer Denouden are semi-finalists for The 2021 CANIE Awards Woman Entrepreneur of the Year — a prize presented by the IEF that recognizes and celebrates visionary business leaders from across Canada. 

In a pandemic year when a “she-sessiondisproportionately rocked women in the workforce, recognizing and supporting resilient entrepreneurs and their businesses feels as vital as ever. 

This recognition is awarded to women who have demonstrated excellence through their leadership and vision.

“Women entrepreneurs play a vital role in the Canadian economy. It is our honour to celebrate these business savvy innovators and to shine a light on their unique work.” said Kayla Isabelle, Board Chair of the Innovators and Entrepreneurs Foundation. “The promotional videos we have created as prizes will reach new audiences and create further business opportunities for our semi-finalists.”

Individual Women Entrepreneur semi-finalist profile videos will roll out from tomorrow,

June 6th to July 15th in the following order:

Meet the 2021 IEF Women Entrepreneur of the Year finalists:

Roxanne Whiting
6th July 2021
Location: Ottawa, ON
Raised by two Deaf parents and learning American Sign Language (ASL) as a first language, Roxanne Whiting understands the communication struggles between both Deaf and Hearing cultures. Providing interpreting services herself, she learned how to make sense of the world and build better communication mechanisms. An advocate for levelling the playing field, she is an owner of SLIAO, which connects interpreting services with people who need to communicate. Roxanne also volunteers on the board of the Canadian Language Industry Association and has served on the boards of Sign Language Interpreters of the National Capital (SLINC) and the Canadian Association of Sign Language Interpreters (CASLI). Learn more:

Chef Charlotte Langley
Scout Canning
8th July 2021
Location: Toronto
Advancing both equity and local responsibility in the seafood industry, Chef Charlotte Langley is the Chief Culinary Officer & Co-Founder of Scout Canning, a craft seafood canning company that is on a mission to become the most trusted seafood brand in North America. She is an Activator for SheEO – a radically generous community supporting women and non-binary people, who come together to activate their buying power, networks and expertise – and a partner with A Better Life Foundation, which provides daily meals, education, inclusive hiring and immediate climate change action through food. Chef Charlotte fundraises for Sistering, a Toronto-based multi-service agency for at-risk, socially isolated and precariously-housed women and trans people in the city. She also sits on the Board of Directors for Not 9 to 5, a non-profit global leader in mental health advocacy for the foodservice sector. Through practical education and meaningful community-building, Not 9 to 5 is reimagining the industry by breaking stigmas and filling hope. Its vision is a safe, supportive workplace for all in consideration of both physical and mental health. Learn more:

Andrea Mulligan
Sleeping Giant Brewery
DATE: 13th July 2021
Location: Thunder Bay, ON
Andrea Mulligan is the co-owner behind Sleeping Giant Brewery, Co. a multi-million dollar craft beer company that has been a large employer, tourist attraction, local business partner and inclusive venue in the Northern Ontario community for the past nine years. When COVID-19 hit, Andrea and her team took the challenge of finding affordable childcare into her own hands, opening the Sleeping Giant Child Care Centre to support her staff. She is a champion of her community and sustainability, striving to create beer in a way that is low-impact and renewable. Learn more:

Clare Hodgetts
InFocus Canada
DATE: 14th July 2021
Location: Squamish, BC
InFocus Canada raises money for charity through sustainable fashion, producing scarves made entirely from post-consumer recycled plastic bottles from a manufacturer that is third-party audited. InFocus works with select professional photographers to print their powerful work on the scarves, with 10% of all sales going to a charity of their choice. The three collections to date champion and force attention on important global issues and have featured a National Geographic photographer, a Pulitzer Prize winner, an Associate Fellow of the International League of Conservation Photographers, filmmakers, a Canadian Geographic photographer-in-residence and, most recently, a group of powerhouse women photographers who are all changemakers working to make our world a better place – Ami Vitale, Michelle Valberg, Deanne Fitzmaurice, Kristi Odom, Viktoria Haack, Melissa Groo, and Clare Hodgetts. Learn more:

Jennifer Denouden
DATE: 15th July 2021
Location: Regina, SK
Avana President and CEO Jennifer Denouden has seen astronomical growth since founding the Regina-based real estate enterprise in 2014. Ranked
Canada’s 10th Fastest-Growing Company on the Canadian Business and Maclean’s 2020 Growth List, Avana has almost doubled its assets under Jennifer’s management in the past six months to nearly $400 million. Differentiated by a purpose-led commitment to community, Avana anticipates significant growth in its affordable housing rentals, projecting $1 billion in assets by 2030. Avana fosters partnerships with local shelters and recently pledged a $2 million donation to help develop the new YWCA Regina Centre for Women and Families. An advocate for women and children escaping domestic violence, Jenn uses her platform to draw awareness to the lack of provincial funding for second-stage shelters in Saskatchewan and privately funds housing opportunities through the Avana Foundation. Jenn is an unapologetic feminist and champion for women in business and is passionate about anti-racism initiatives.
Learn more at:

About The CANIE Awards:
Celebrating Innovators and Entrepreneurs with seven award categories in five regions across Canada. The finalists will be announced later this summer and a grand finale will be held in October 2021 to further celebrate the winners where they will receive up to $10,000 in prizes. #CANIEAwards






Join our newsletter to receive updates on the latest news, events, and info from the Innovators & Entrepreneurs Foundation.

You have Successfully Subscribed!