Women are not adequately represented in the business world. In Guelph and Wellington County, less than 20% of businesses are owned by women. And we know that number can and should be higher.
The goal of The Rhyze Award is to create an opportunity that’s currently missing in our region: an award that will not only provide the funding women entrepreneurs need to finance their businesses, but the mentoring and support they need at key stages of their development to build and grow their businesses long term.
The Rhyze Award is the first program to emerge from research completed on the The Rhyze Project.
Who the Rhyze Award is for
We’re proud of the business support we were able to provide to women through the Rhyze Award in 2015 and 2016. This year our focus is to support women who have just begun or are still developing their business idea.
Investments in Rhyze Award applicants will be smaller in order to assist as many women as possible on their business journey.
If you’re a woman in Guelph or Wellington County with entrepreneurial spirit and a small business or business idea, we encourage you to apply! Please note that all Rhyze Award recipients must meet the eligibility requirements listed below.
Application Period: March 10th – April 10th, 2017
Application Information Sessions: April 3rd, 4pm-6pm (at Innovation Guelph – 111 Farquhar St., Guelph, 3rd Floor)
Application Review: May 1st – May 5th, 2017
Community Celebration and Award Ceremony: Early June 2017
To be considered for the Rhyze Award, all applicants must meet the following criteria:
- Women who want to start or develop a business in Guelph/Wellington County
- Possess entrepreneurial spirit and passion
- 30 years of age or older
- Submit a completed application form
- Not a previous recipient of The Rhyze Award
- Commitment to share their business journey as part of evaluation activities and future Rhyze Project initiatives
Application and Review Process
Complete and submit the 2017 Rhyze Award application by April 10th, 2017.
Applications will be reviewed by an unbiased panel of volunteers from the Guelph-Wellington County business community.
The volunteer panel will select the top 25 applications. These finalists will be invited to participate in an exclusive event in June 2017 where they’ll have the opportunity to network with other finalists, business coaches and industry specialists in order to refine their business idea and application prior to final review by the selection committee.
The selection committee will review the top 25 applications and choose 10 to receive a 2017 Rhyze Award, including cash and business mentoring. Actual cash amounts will be awarded at the discretion of the committee based on amount of funding available.
Winners will receive their awards and be celebrated at a community event in September 2017.
Winners will participate in ongoing mentoring opportunities for 2017/2018. Winners are also expected to be an advocate for the Rhyze Award program, assisting in community engagement by sharing their business journey for future Rhyze Project initiatives.