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Government Funding & Financial Support For Businesses During COVID-19

April 9, 2020 @ 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm EDT

Government Funding COVID-19

Access to government funding can be a real game changer for Canadian women-owned businesses hit by the COVID-19 crisis. It can help your business to minimize the immediate impact of COVID-19, survive through the challenging times while shifting your focus on preparing your business and team for life after the crisis. Ashlee Froese is keeping an eye on government resources available to Canadian businesses.

In addition to government support, financial institutions have their own resources to help entrepreneurs during these trying times. WBE Canada is happy to host senior women leaders from all our member financial institutions who will share their best tips and recommendations for Canadian women owned businesses in need.

What you will learn:

  • Funding, deferrals and support available to businesses during COVID-19
  • How your bank can help and where to get started
  • Your questions answered

Join us on Thursday, April 9 at 3pm EDT as we host conversation with

  • Ashlee Froese – Lawyer, Froese Law
  • Chantal Pitre – National Manager, Women Entrepreneurs, TD Bank Group
  • Hedy Afsharian – Director, Business Banking, CIBC
  • Kellie Sauriol – Regional Vice President, Business Financial Services, Atlantic Canada, RBC
  • Laura Didyk – Vice President and National Lead, Women Entrepreneurs, BDC
  • Moriah Linton – Director, Business Banking & Wealth Integration, BMO

When women succeed, everyone succeeds!

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We can’t wait to connect with you!

WBE Canada Team

PS: This call will be recorded but recording will only be available to WBE community. You don’t need WBE certification to join us on LIVE call.


Ashlee FroeseAshlee Froese

Ashlee Froese is a lawyer and trademark agent, who is recognized by the Law Society of Ontario as a Certified Specialist in Trademarks Law.  With over 10 years’ experience practicing branding and fashion law, Ashlee provides a deep understanding of brand protection strategies. Since 2017, Ashlee has been consistently recognized by the World Trademark Review as one of the top 1000 trademark lawyers in the world.  In 2019, Ashlee was only one of 39 lawyers across Canada to be granted the Lexpert Zenith Award, which recognizes Ashlee as a change maker in law.

Ashlee’s scope of practice includes trademarks, copyright, licensing, domain name, social media, marketing/advertising and packaging/labelling laws.  Ashlee also assists in drafting and negotiating commercial agreements associated with the manufacture, distribution, sale and advertisement of branded products and services.

Chantal PitreChantal Pitre, CA, CPA

Chantal holds a CA and CPA designation and has truly grown her financial acumen and ability to get things done. She started her career in finance in 2009 at Ernst & Young, after several years working in marketing. She then became a Senior Account Manager where she demonstrated her expertise in business development, with a focus on entrepreneurship through finding solutions and building their networks, all with the goal of successfully growing their businesses. She is focused on empowering and connecting individuals and teams, to help unlocking the potential of those around me. She has worked at many places in North America which gives her a broad comprehension of business. She now leads the development and execution of women entrepreneurs strategy across Canada for TD.

Hedy Afsharian Hedy Afsharian

Hedy Afsharian has over 20 years of tenure with CIBC and the banking industry. She has served clients and the bank in various roles from front line advisory to team leadership both on personal and most recently in Business Banking. A registered Certified Financial Planner (CFP), Hedy finds her purpose in her work assisting clients and employees to reach their goals and ambitions.

Kellie SauriolKellie Sauriol

Kellie Sauriol is Regional Vice President, Business Financial Services, Atlantic Canada for RBC. Kellie leads a team of 190 financial services professionals, overseeing the delivery of financing, investment and cash management advice and solutions to commercial and small businesses throughout Atlantic Canada. Born and raised in Nova Scotia, Kellie joined RBC in 1998 and over her 20+ year career has held a variety of sales and leadership positions in personal and commercial banking, wealth management, human resources and sales support in Halifax and Toronto. Prior to this current appointment she was Vice President, Commercial Financial Services, Greater Toronto. Kellie obtained her B.A. in Sociology from Saint Mary’s University and an MBA from the University of Toronto, Rotman School of Management. Passionate about community, she served as a chair of the Child Development Institute in Toronto for two years and director for nine.

Laura DidykLaura Didyk

Laura Didyk leads BDC’s national strategy to support Canadian women entrepreneurs and ensures that strategy is integrated across the entire bank. Laura has always been passionate about entrepreneurship. Since 1994, she has held progressively senior roles at BDC across many divisions of the bank. From consulting and finance, to branch support and financing, Laura has worked with all types of entrepreneurs, at all stages of their business, helping them access the advice and capital needed to grow and succeed.

Since 2015, Laura has been an ally and advocate for female business owners and leaders. In her role as Vice President and National Lead Women Entrepreneurs, Laura leads the bank’s national strategy to support Canadian women entrepreneurs and ensures that strategy is integrated across the entire bank.

Moriah LintonMoriah Linton

Moriah Linton has over 20 years of banking experience with BMO Bank of Montreal including retail, commercial, leadership, wealth and strategy in both rural and metropolitan areas. She has extensive experience working with women entrepreneurs both professionally and through a variety of volunteer activities & board memberships.

In her current role Moriah develops and implements strategies to support business banking and wealth professionals in taking a full picture approach with business clients.

Silvia PencakSilvia Pencak, Host

Silvia Pencak is President of WBE Canada, a Canadian non-profit organization certifying women-owned businesses and opening the doors to corporate & government supply chains under supplier diversity programs across North America.

Silvia has over 20 years of leadership experience in the nonprofit and business environment, leading transformational projects and teams. She is regularly called a Juggernaut – accelerating the speed of change. Her diverse international background spearheading successful initiatives gives her a wealth of experience to lead supplier diversity to its next level to support Canadian women owned businesses.


April 9, 2020
3:00 pm - 4:00 pm EDT
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WBE Canada
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