Empowering Female Business Owners Through Education and Community


Women entrepreneurs across the world make significant contributions to the economy. However, only 18% of Canadian businesses are owned by women. As a Canadian-based company, Teck has worked to support women entrepreneurs and advance our goal of contributing to the communities where we operate.  

For over 10 years, Teck has supported The Forum, a Canadian charity that educates, mentors, and connects women entrepreneurs across Canada. Founded in 2002, The Forum has helped over 14,000 women business owners in Canada overcome obstacles and operate successful businesses. Their foundational program, E-Series, brings together women entrepreneurs for a six-day transformative educational program followed by 12 months of one-to-one mentorship. Participants dive deep into various topics that address key challenges that women entrepreneurs are faced with while running a business. The program also provides a wealth of resources and ongoing support from the team, their community of business leaders, successful entrepreneurs and other interested stakeholders. 

In 2020, Teck increased its support by establishing funding grants for The Forum that cover full tuition costs, allowing women entrepreneurs in British Columbia and Alberta to participate in the program at zero cost. To date, 149 Teck grant recipients have been able to take part and work strategically on their businesses and on themselves as leaders. 

Kathleen Ayre of Trail, B.C., the founder of a consulting service for professional grant writing and funding strategy services, was a Teck grant recipient in 2023. Kathleen’s participation in the E-Series program provided fundamental business training and opened doors for her as a rural entrepreneur within a strong community of women. In her words, the Forum is “revolutionizing how women approach the entrepreneurial journey and their amplifying business opportunities.”

Read more about our approach to Relationships with Communities on our website. 



1. Statistics Canada. Private sector business counts by majority ownership, first quarter of 2022. 2022.


First published on March 01, 2024