Simplii Financial Shines Spotlight on the Side Hustle to Mark International Women’s Day

By Erin Nicole Davis

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As the relentless pandemic shook up lives, priorities, and the meaning of “business as usual” over the past two years, Canadian women were busy side hustling—or seriously considering the idea.

According to a recent survey conducted by Angus Reid for Simplii Financial, 90 percent of Canadian women aged 18 to 34 are interested in exploring opportunities to earn money outside of their day job; AKA a “side hustle.” Tellingly, 76 percent of Canadian women across all age groups are interested in starting a side hustle.

For some, the reasons may be solely financially driven; both the costs of living and real estate are only rising across the country, after all. For others, a side hustle represents a means to pursue a passion project to add more meaning to their work lives.

Whatever the motivation behind it, the side hustle is having a major moment—and one that will likely last.

Naturally, not all side hustles are created equal when it comes to the dollars needed to get it off the ground. Of those surveyed, 39 percent of women indicated that start-up capital was a barrier to following their dreams of pursuing a side hustle. Not entirely surprising, this figure increased to 46 percent among those aged 18 to 34. Aside from the cost factor, 60 percent of Canadian women who want to launch a side hustle reported that time is deterring them from it.

While it may seem daunting at first to launch a business, there are more tools available than ever to turn these side hustle dreams into reality. And we’re not just talking about laptops, Zoom meetings, and co-working spaces—though those all help. For example, Simplii Financial makes it easy, quick, and convenient to bank digitally through products like their no-fee chequing account, which removes minimum balance requirements from the equation.

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To mark International Women’s Day, Simplii Financial will shine the spotlight on the side hustle through a panel of barrier-breaking Canadian women who have launched successful businesses and have some solid advice for those looking to start side hustles of their own.

“At Simplii, we know that making digital banking convenient and accessible to Canadian women supports financial independence and empowerment,” said Rohini Dhowan, Senior Director, Deposits and Investing, Simplii Financial. “This is why as we approach International Women’s Day (IWD), we want to provide a forum for women, no matter where they are on their financial or side hustle journeys, to learn from one another.”

Featuring move-making female Canadian entrepreneurs Abby Albino, Avery Francis, and Zehra Allibhai, the #SimpliiSideHustle panel will highlight the challenges each woman faced in starting their sneaker, consulting, and fitness businesses, respectively. The entrepreneurs will also share how they’ve challenged gender stereotypes that disempower women to support a more equitable future.

“We were tired of seeing a lack of representation for women in sneaker culture along with the stereotype of what it means to be a professional within the sports industry—so my business partner and I broke the bias and decided to open our own sneaker store for women by women,” said Albino, who is the co-founder of sneaker boutique Makeway. “It’s an unconventional idea to open a standalone store in the middle of a global pandemic, but we believed in it and knew that ultimately there was no ‘right time’ to take the leap. To be honest, I’ve never been great with money, but I learned that small lifestyle changes and finding simple digital solutions allowed me to save and better manage my money, ultimately making it possible for me to open my shop.”

In addition to Makeway, Albino is the co-founder of the Filipino-Canadian non-profit organization, Rise Tribe. Between these two endeavours and her full-time role as Director of Brand and Partnerships for Canada Basketball, Albino uses her platform to elevate her community as well as sneaker and sports culture in Canada.

Fellow panelist Avery Francis is an entrepreneur and founder of Build with Bloom, a Black-owned HR + DEI Design Consultancy. As a champion for diversity, inclusiveness, and belonging she helps leading start-ups to navigate the world of talent acquisition. She is also the founder of Bridge School as well as Diversity and Inclusion Talks TO (DITTO).

Adding to the inspiration factor, panelist Zehra Allibhai is the founder of the Fitnest, a kinesiologist, and award-winning fitness trainer. She shares her passion for health and fitness with thousands of women around the world through her fitness programs and equipment.

The virtual panel will take place on Tuesday, March 8th, 2022 at 2:00 PM EST. Find more details and register for tickets here.

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