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2019 RBC Canadian Women Entrepreneur Award finalists announced today

TORONTO, September 18, 2019 -  Women of Influence announces the 2019 RBC Canadian Women Entrepreneur Awards finalists. This was a record-breaking year for the program with over 9,000 nominations from across the country. After an intensive judging review, 18 finalists were selected across six legacy award categories. An additional five recipients were chosen to receive the Ones to Watch Award, which recognizes entrepreneurs who have launched businesses that have made an incredible impact in fewer than three years.

These exceptional women were chosen for their accomplishments in a diverse group of industries including finance, oil and gas, publishing, technology, construction, hospitality and health services.

"We are honoured to celebrate the accomplishments of our 2019 award finalists," says Alicia Skalin, Co-CEO, Women of Influence. "These entrepreneurs have applied their intelligence, dedication and ingenuity to challenge the status quo of their industries. As we approach the end of the decade, the 2019 RBC Canadian Women Entrepreneur Award finalists are an exciting representation of the growth and innovation that is to come for Canadian business."

The winners will be announced and celebrated at the 27th Annual Awards Gala, on Wednesday, November 20, 2019 at the Fairmont Royal York in Toronto. Keynote remarks will be shared by Jacqui Allard, Executive Vice-President, Personal Financing Products, RBC.

The RBC Canadian Women Entrepreneur Awards recognize 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 businesswomen from three major regions across Canada: East, Central and West.

"Women entrepreneurs are a powerful force in driving Canada's economic growth and innovation agenda. Their leadership and economic participation generate more than $148 billion a year and their trailblazing efforts serve as an inspiration for the next generation of Canadian entrepreneurs to rise to their potential," said Greg Grice, Executive Vice-President, Business Financial Services, RBC. "In recognizing the tremendous accomplishments of Canadian women entrepreneurs and celebrating their stories through initiatives like this — and many others at RBC — we hope to accelerate our collective progress on the advancement of women in business."

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

The 2019 Recipients of the Ones to Watch Award are:
Benveet Gill, ReYu Paralysis Recovery Centre
Melissa Kargiannakis, skritswap
Melinda Rombouts, Eve & Co Cannabis
Dina Kulik, Kidcrew
Lisa Ali Learning, AtlanTick Repellant Products Inc.

The 2019 RBC Canadian Women Entrepreneur Award Finalists are:

Diversity Institute Micro-Business Award
West: Kelly Ann Woods, Gillespie's Fine Spirits Ltd, Boozewitch Beverage Company, Switch Beverage Co.
Central: Megan Kalaman & Angelica Demetriou, K+D (Kalaman + Demetriou Inc.)
East: Connie McInnes, RSTUDIOS

Start-Up Award
West: Kiely MacLean, RJ MacLean
Central: Jayne McCaw, Jayne's Cottages
East: Nathalie Kaspy-Shtern, DoughNats Bakery

RBC Momentum Award
West: Janet LePage, Western Wealth Capital
Central: Camille Jagdeo, Edge1 Equipment Rentals Inc.
East: Youlita Anguelov, AgroFusion

Social Change Award
West: Laurel Douglas, Women's Enterprise Centre
Central: Geetha Moorthy, SAAAC Autism Centre
East: Pascale Bouchard, Leucan

TELUS Trailblazer Award
West: Jesse Finkelstein & Trena White, Page Two
Central: Carinne Chambers-Saini, Diva International Inc.
East: Natalie Voland, GI Quo Vadis

Excellence in Entrepreneurship Award
Central: Anna Eliopoulos, byPeterandPauls.com
Central: Margot & Marion Witz, Elizabeth Grant International
East: Brigitte Jalbert, Les Emballages Carrousel Inc.

The 2019 RBC Canadian Women Entrepreneur Awards are presented by Women of Influence. Award sponsors include RBC, TELUS, Diversity Institute 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 25th 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.

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For interview requests or further information please contact:

Amanda Kruzich, Women of Influence, 416 456 8633
Yuri Park, RBC, 437 229-2742