CALL FOR APPLICATIONS - Deadline to apply: September 24th
THE APPLICATION PORTAL IS NOW OPEN AT: spark.banffmediafestival.com
TORONTO, Sept. 5, 2019 /CNW/ - The Banff World Media Festival is proud to announce that applications are now being accepted for the opening cohort of the BANFF Spark Accelerator for Women in the Business of Media. With support from Western Economic Diversification Canada, this new program offers training, mentorship, and market access to women entrepreneurs ready to grow or launch their own businesses in the screen-based industries.
BANFF Spark will provide selected candidates from Southern Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, and British Columbia with a hands-on business planning curriculum, facilitated networking opportunities, mentorship and access to potential investment partners through regional workshops in select including Toronto, Calgary and Vancouver as well as a tailored stream of programming at the 2020 Banff World Media Festival.
This call for applications is for the first cohort of the program which will welcome 50 participants. Participants will attend BANFF 2020 with full registration and a stipend to defray travel costs, enabling them to benefit fully from the Festival's extensive professional development opportunities. Moreover, each participant will receive one-on-one guidance from a mentor expertly positioned to help with business plans and financing strategies..
"Some of the biggest obstacles that women face in the media business are difficulty accessing capital, pay inequity, financing large projects, economic insecurity and advancing past middle management," said Jenn Kuzmyk, Executive Director, Banff World Media Festival, adding: "This program will address these challenges, as well as the gender representation gap with the goal of supporting the launch of new ventures and growing existing women-led businesses within in the Canadian media industry."
"The Government of Canada believes that women's economic empowerment is not just the right thing to do; it's good for the bottom line. That's why we launched the Women Entrepreneurship Strategy, a strategy that seeks to double the number of women-owned businesses by increasing their access to financing, networks and advice. It's a smart investment with an economic and social return," said the Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business and Export Promotion.
The program is open to women who are established in the media industry and those that are starting out. Content production businesses as well as those that offer services within the screen-based industry are eligible. BANFF Spark has a strong mandate to support diversity and bolster the economic success of all women including visible minorities, Indigenous women, women with disabilities, and LGBTQ2+ women.
Interested applicants must apply by Tuesday, September 24, 2019 at 11:59 PST to be considered for the first cohort.
The Banff World Media Festival is one of the world's most important gatherings of entertainment industry executives and creators, dedicated to content development, production, broadcast and distribution within TV and digital media. BANFF provides a platform for the evolving media industry to develop its creative and business objectives. It serves as a leading destination for coproduction and co-venture partners and is an unparalleled marketplace for over 1500 international decision-makers to connect with new partners, learn from industry leaders and execute new business deals. The 41st annual BANFF World Media Festival will take place June 14-17, 2020 at the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel in Banff, Alberta, Canada.
About Western Economic Diversification Canada
Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD) promotes the development and diversification of the economy of Western Canada and advances the interests of the West in national economic policy, program and project development and implementation. WD administers programs that advance innovation, business development and community economic development in rural and urban areas throughout the four western provinces. This includes initiatives delivered directly by WD, as well as the western component of a number of national agreements.
About the Women's Entrepreneurship Fund
The Women's Entrepreneurship Fund is a $20-million fund providing direct investment in women entrepreneurs. Successful applicants will receive investments of up to $100,000 to help them grow their business and reach new export markets.