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March - June 2020

Lead . Succeed . Inspire

Each year, women entrepreneurs in the Hamilton and Greater Toronto Area come together on the last Monday of each month between March and June.

The Series features women entrepreneurs who share their stories, insights and expertise. A "Quick Pitch" Competition is held during our last session in June, where women are invited to showcase their business for an opportunity to win cash and in kind prizes.

This is a not-for-profit group, with no paid employees. All sessions are free to attend, lunch is provided.

Contact Us

The Women Entrepreneurship Series was founded in 2011 by the late Justin Policarpio. Justin was a proud feminist and worked tirelessly to foster equal representation in the entrepreneurship community. Justin graduated with a Masters in Engineering Entrepreneurship and Innovation from McMaster University, and subsequently co-founded a robotics based company, Roboteurs.

At the age of 30, after a 5-year long journey with cancer, Justin passed away on September 20th, 2017; It was Justin’s wish that the Women Entrepreneurship Series continue beyond his years. He was a true Canadian entrepreneur; a proud Hamiltonian who worked tirelessly to make his home city a hub for innovation. Justin’s girlfriend, Navita Dyal, and dear friend, Shelley McQuade, have joined forces to continue the very meaningful work that Justin started. We are also grateful to Salma Burney who has very generously volunteered her time to assist with our administrative, and social media related needs.

 About Us

Justin Policarpio
1986 - 2017

Shelley McQuade is a Peak Prosperity Coach. She works with business leaders and teams to identify and remove roadblocks.  Shelley believes through collaboration; every organization has the ability to be a place where people can be their personal best and aligned to a shared purpose to find solutions where none previously existed. As the founder of Cypress Strategies, Shelley helps companies, cities and associations get clear, confident and ready to prosper.

Navita Dyal holds a Masters in Engineering & Design and thrives at the intersection of Engineering & Medicine. She founded GLITR (Giving Life In The Rural) at the age of 17; a non-profit organization dedicated to providing access to health care to vulnerable populations. Navita also founded, and leads, two start-up ventures; Era Diabetes  and WADE, which were borne out of her research at McMaster University. In her spare time, she loves to travel and experience new cultures!

Salma Burney is a Virtual Assistant, Computer Instructor & Social Media Coach for Virtual Girl Friday, a company she created in 2004. She assists a wide range of professionals including an, Editor in Chief for Digital Magazine and Nutraceutical Executive, just to name a few! Salma actively volunteers for Hamilton’s Out of the Cold and recently founded the “Birthday Fund” at the Good Shepherd Centre. The Birthday Fund's mission is to help celebrate a child’s special day while away from home.



for the 2020
 Women Entrepreneurship Series


In honour of Justin's dedication to entrepreneurship, we have established the Justin Policarpio Fund.

We will be raising money throughout 2019 and 2020, to present an annual entrepreneurship award in Justin's name. 

We appreciate your support. 

The JP Fund

 2020     Speakers

Want to be one of our speakers?

Contact us at info@womenentrepreneurship.ca

Sept 28

Zoom Meetings Now!

Shelley McQuade & Sharon Ricci


Zoom Agenda:

12:30 PM

Introduction to the Series

12:35 PM

Introduce our Guest Speaker

12:40 PM

Guest Speaker's Presentation

1:00 PM

Q&A & Wrap up


Gold Sponsors

McMaster University School of Enginnering
Hamilton Small Business Centre
BDC Canada

Silver Sponsors


© 2020, Women Entrepreneurship Series all rights reserved