Five Female Startup Founders to Follow

 Photo by  Matthew Hamilton  on  Unsplash

At JDC, we’re all about supporting the innovators, movers and shakers and disrupters in the social enterprise industry. Women entrepreneurship in Canada has been rising in the last few years and women are crushing it in a traditionally male-dominated industry and are becoming more successful in securing funding. But we understand that launching a business can be exceptionally terrifying, especially when you’re a solo entrepreneur. That’s why we compiled a list of five female startup founders who saw a problem, created a business to solve the issue and are thriving from their success.  Read on for inspiration and be sure to give them a follow!


Lily Tse – Think Dirty App

The Think Dirty app was borne out of a thirst for knowledge in uncovering hidden chemicals and toxins in cosmetic products. A matter close to her heart, Think Dirty CEO and Founder, Lily Tse, resolved to create a tool that provides transparency in the beauty industry after witnessing her own mother’s brush with cancer. After that experience, she used her marketing and design skills to launch an app with more than 68,300 products listed. Her mission, as Lily describes, “empowers and educates the consumer on the cosmetic industry by allowing them to make an informed decision on what products to purchase.” The organization regularly supports breast cancer-related charities and events. Recently, they teamed up with the Breast Cancer Fund to promote clean beauty products and personal hygiene habits through their Campaign for Safe Cosmetics initiative.


Kim Kirton and Jaclyn PattersonUnCo.

The founders of UnCo., Kim and Jaclyn, understand that a modern, career woman’s wardrobe needs to be filled with timeless, quality clothing that is produced ethically and adds to her confidence. So, when they launched their eco-friendly t-shirt company, they knew that they were providing a solution to an ongoing problem in an industry clouded by fast fashion and poorly constructed clothing. The forward-thinking fashion company aims to reduce textile waste and simplify the way women purchase their clothing. Their timeless pieces reinforce the practice of maintaining a capsule wardrobe of about 12 high-quality essentials that are interchangeable and timeless. Their quintessential customers are empowered “forward-thinking femme leaders”. With all the strong females out there pursuing their dreams, it sounds like they have tapped a large market!


Aisha AddoDriveHER App

We’ve all been there: sitting in the car of an Uber driver asking too many personal questions or crammed in the backseat with drunken partygoers in an Uberpool ride. We can’t help but shudder at these all-too familiar situations! As women continue to be victims of assault during transit, Aisha Addo saw a need to create a ride-sharing service for women, driven by women. The service operates just like Uber but male drives and passengers are entirely removed from the equation. Set to launch later this year in Toronto, be sure to follow DriveHER on Twitter as they post the latest news on their app development and safety tips to get around the city.


Janelle HindsHelping Hands App

Helping Hands match students and volunteer organizations based on skills and experiences. The organization states that they “are a community that believes in the power of volunteering to enrich our lives and the world around us.” Believing that successful relationships are created when student volunteers and nonprofits are placed in in opportunities that match their passion and skills. Their advocacy in providing students with valuable opportunities were reaffirmed when they recently acquired a $210,000 grant from the Youth Opportunity Fund. In addition to their app, Helping Hands also hosts volunteer training workshops, youth advisory committees and youth volunteer fairs to provide ongoing support for youth.


Jeanette StockVenture Out Tech Summit

Venture Out is “Canada’s first conference for LGBTQA+ inclusion in tech and entrepreneurship.” Seeing a surge in the tech industry, Co-founder and Chair Jeannette Stock created a niche event that specifically promotes visibility for LGBTQA+ individuals. The conference equips students with networking skills and workshops so they are ready to enter the industry and build their professional network. Having just finished their conference in March 2017, be sure to follow Jeanette on Twitter and the Venture Out website for details on the next summit!

If you’re considering entrepreneurship in your career move or need some assistance in your existing startup, don’t hesitate to get in touch and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!


Shirley Lui