Innovation Guelph to expand The Rhyze Project for young women

Mar 9, 2017 | Media Releases

At our 5th annual International Women’s Day celebration last night, we were thrilled to announce the expansion of The Rhyze Project, our organization’s entrepreneurship program for women.

With financial support from The Cowan Foundation, Rhyze on the Road will equip young women in Guelph-Wellington with the core skills and confidence needed to successfully navigate life. The program builds on the success of The Rhyze Academy, a nine-month educational program for women entrepreneurs that uses a holistic approach to integrate business and financial skills with work-life wellbeing.

Leon Punambolam, AVP Digital & Industry Leader, Technology Sector, Cowan Insurance Group, announced The Cowan Foundation will provide a $30,000 grant to implement Rhyze on the Road.

“The Cowan Foundation is pleased to support the creation of this program that will take the Rhyze Project model and roll it out to young women in order to teach them the soft skills necessary to handle the trials and tribulations of everyday living; all the while supporting and reinforcing self confidence in both themselves and how they deal with others”, explained Punambolam. “With an ultimate goal of creating future entrepreneurs in a group of women who might not otherwise have this opportunity, Innovation Guelph is once again thinking of creative ways to positively impact our community.”

Set to pilot in summer 2017, Rhyze on the Road will engage two cohorts of girls (ages 11-13, and 14-17) and will share the Rhyze Academy’s key lessons on life skills development – such as negotiation skills, financial literacy and confidence – in a modified, youth-friendly format. Rhyze on the Road will be delivered in neighbourhoods across Guelph through the Guelph Neighbourhood Support Coalition, and communities across Wellington County through various youth advocacy programs.

“We are excited and honoured to partner with Innovation Guelph to help bring their amazing Rhyze Project out into the community,” shares Brendan Johnson, Executive Director, Guelph Neighbourhood Support Coalition. “Rhyze on the Road will empower the next wave of women leaders and entrepreneurs.”

The Cowan Foundation grant will make it possible to ensure the program is free for all participants, with financial support for transportation, course materials, and any other barrier that may prevent their participation.

We are beyond grateful for not only the partnership and financial support of The Cowan Foundation in the expansion of The Rhyze Project, but their incredible commitment to community investment,” says Kristel Manes, Director of Operations, Innovation Guelph and The Rhyze Project. “Based on the transformative learning experiences of our current Rhyze Academy participants, and with the collaboration and expertise of the Guelph Neighbourhood Support Coalition, we’re confident Rhyze on the Road is going to support the success of young women in our region, and develop the next generation of women entrepreneurs.”