TORONTO – Women of Influence has announced the finalists of the 2018 RBC Canadian Women Entrepreneur Awards program. This was another record-breaking year for the program with over 7,400 nominations from across the country.

The program also saw the introduction of an exciting new category that celebrates up-and-coming entrepreneurs with the Ones to Watch Award, Presented by Freshco.ca. This award recognizes five deserving candidates whose innovative businesses have already made an incredible impact in fewer than three years. These five recipients, in addition to the 18 finalists from the existing categories, have now been selected. These exceptional women were chosen for their accomplishments in industries as diverse as construction, space exploration, social enterprise, hospitality and medicine.

“This is an exciting year for the program, because we’re not only celebrating some of the most established and impressive women entrepreneurs in Canada, we’re also shining a spotlight on the up-and-coming talent that is about to make their mark,” said Alicia Skalin, Co-CEO, Women of Influence Worldwide Inc. “From across the country, from diverse backgrounds, spanning industries and business stages and sizes – our finalists truly represent what it means to go after your personal dreams.”

The winners will be announced and celebrated at the 26th Annual Awards Gala, hosted by Diane Francis, editorat-large for the Financial Post, on Wednesday, November 21, 2018 at the Fairmont Royal York in Toronto. Keynote remarks will be shared by Helena Gottschling, Chief Human Resources Officer, RBC.

The RBC Canadian Women Entrepreneur Awards recognizes female business owners from across Canada who make impressive and substantial contributions to the local, Canadian or global economy. Candidates share a strong entrepreneurial vision and a relentless passion in pursuing their dreams. These awards recognize business women from three major regions across Canada: East, Central and West.

“The passion, dedication and enthusiasm of these entrepreneurs is inspiring and the success they achieved is a testament to their hard work and sacrifice” said Greg Grice, Executive Vice President, Business Financial Services, RBC. “RBC is proud to support entrepreneurs across Canada as they start, grow and scale their businesses. The role they play in inspiring future entrepreneurs and business leaders, and the significant impact they make on their communities, is something we should all celebrate not just today, but every day.”

All nominees are required to submit through applications, which are reviewed and judged by a panel of prominent business leaders and subject to a due diligence performed by KPMG.

2018 RBC Canadian Women Entrepreneur Awards 901 King Street West, Suite 400, Toronto ON, M5V3H5 Tel: 416-629-9144 Int: 1-866-684-4809 Email: [email protected] Website: at www.womenofinfluence.ca

The 2018 Recipients of the Ones to Watch Award, Presented by Freshco.ca are:

Kate Latos, Ecofence and Decking Ltd. Jessica Ching, Eve Medical Humera Malik, Canvass Analytics Thao Nguyen, Bonbon Collections Inc. Sonja Mills & Alicia MacDonald, Port Rexton Brewing Company Ltd.

The 2018 RBC Canadian Women Entrepreneur Award Finalists are:

Micro Business Award

West: Luann Baker-Johnson, Lumel Studios Central: Glain Roberts-McCabe, The Roundtable East: Kathleen Quinlan, Fiore Botanica Natural Skin Care

Staples Start-Up Award

West: Jennifer Denouden, Avana Homes West: Ella Choi, Playtime Pediatric Dentistry Central: Joanna Griffiths, Knix Wear Inc.

RBC Momentum Award

West: Jennifer Hamilton, Oxygen Yoga and Fitness Central: Marjorie Dixon, Anova Fertility and Reproductive Health East: Francine Brûlé,

Les Enfants Terribles Brasserie Social Change Award

West: Ching Tien, EGRC (Educating Girls in Rural China) Central: Latha Sukumar, MCIS Language Solutions East:Heather Modlin, Key Assets Newfoundland and Labrador

TELUS Trailblazer Award

West: Toni Desrosiers, Abeego Central: Caroline Roberts, Thoth Technology Inc. Central: Elen Steinberg, SPP Marketing Services Inc.

Excellence in Entrepreneurship Award

West: Mandy Farmer, Accent Inns Inc. Central: Victoria Sopik & Jennifer Nashmi, Kids & Company East: Mélanie Normandin, Les Consultants de l’Arctique Inc.

The 2018 RBC Canadian Women Entrepreneur Awards are presented by Women of Influence. Award sponsors include Freshco.ca, Staples, RBC, Telus and our official Due Diligence partner, KPMG.

About the RBC Canadian Women Entrepreneur Awards

The RBC Canadian Women Entrepreneur Awards are the pre-eminent national business awards recognizing the country’s leading female entrepreneurs. The awards are an initiative of Women of Influence, an award-winning organization dedicated to advancing women globally. About Women of Influence Worldwide Inc. Women of Influence, now in its 24th year, is one of North America’s leading organization offering solutions to further women’s career advancement. With courses in executive leadership, global events, and print and digital content, Women of Influence annually reaches over 300,000 professional women and men across Canada and internationally. Signature events include the Women of Influence Luncheon Series and the RBC Canadian Women Entrepreneur Awards. For more information, please visit www.womenofinfluence.com

For interview requests or further information please contact:

Amanda Kruzich, Women of Influence, 416 456 8633, [email protected] Yuri Park, RBC, (437) 229-2742, [email protected]