Imagine an event focused on celebrating women, where female entrepreneurs proudly share their wares and guests enjoy a wonderful dinner and an empowering keynote! That’s exactly what Ignite.Empower.Innovate delivered yesterday at the Hanlon Convention Centre in Guelph.

Innovation Guelph, with the Partners for International Women’s Day, hosted their seventh annual celebration of International Women’s Day supported by title sponsor Miller Thomson – and the room was buzzing!

Over 350 guests enjoyed the marketplace featuring 24 exhibiting businesses owned by female entrepreneurs with unique and interesting offerings. The booths showcased a wide range of products and services including mental health support, financial services, jewelry, clothing, food and beverage items, cosmetics, photography and more.

More inspiration came with featured keynote speaker, renowned author and frequent guest expert on CTV’s The Social, Professor Maja whose talk was titled Screw the Apologies: Learn to lead with confidence.  Professor Maja emphasized that women say sorry too frequently. She encouraged exchanging ‘sorry’ for phrases like pardon me, I have something to add and excuse me. Among the wisdom and encouragement shared in her keynote, Professor Maja also asked the audience to stop spending so much time ruminating over mistakes.

“Stop the failure autopsy,” she said. Instead write down your accomplishments and own them.

The evening concluded with guests enjoying an opportunity to purchase the beautiful floral centre-pieces provided by Flueristic that adorned the tables. Net proceeds from the evening’s event, along with a generous contribution from Meridian Credit Union, go toward the Rhyze™ Award, in support of women entrepreneurs in Guelph and Wellington County.

Coming together to laugh, learn and celebrate is what International Women’s Day is all about, and we certainly did that last night!