Ontario Construction News staff writer
The City of Orillia, Georgian College’s Henry Bernick Entrepreneurship Centre, and Creative Nomad Studios, launched XcelerateHER, a business accelerator program for female-identifying business leaders, in Orillia last fall.
“The City of Orillia is pleased to support programs for local entrepreneurs. Whether starting, growing, or scaling a business, the XcelerateHER program has the potential to support a range of sectors here in the Orillia area,” said Mayor Steve Clarke. “Orillia is a welcoming, progressive city, with a wonderful business community, and this program provides a local opportunity for female business leaders to tap into customized business supports that address the unique barriers they may face in their industry.”
The XcelerateHER program, implemented through the Henry Bernick Entrepreneurship Centre at Georgian College in partnership with Sandbox, Small Business Enterprise Centre for Barrie, Simcoe County and Orillia, and Innisfil Accelerates, has been delivered in communities across Ontario. The program supports female entrepreneurs through a four-pronged approach: skills development, networking opportunities, workshops and success stories. The eight-month program will feature a launch event, six-part series, peer groups, mentorship, and support.
“Female entrepreneurs in our community have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 for a variety of reasons, including lack of affordable childcare, the continuing wage gap, and the demographics making up the hardest-hit sectors,” said Laura Thompson, senior manager of business development. “This program seeks to support women as they navigate these challenges and work to successfully grow their business.”
Lisa Bertram, president and CO at Bertram Construction, was recognized for her work across Simcoe County.
Lisa graduated from Liverpool University with an MBA, and Lakehead University with a degree in Civil Engineering and from Georgian College with a Civil Engineering Technologist diploma.
Watch this video to hear Lisa tell her story of success.