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Concordia University Creates Centre to Advance Women’s Entrepreneurship and Leadership

A new gift to the Campaign for Concordia: Next-Gen. Now is supporting research, learning, women’s leadership and women’s entrepreneurship at the John Molson School of Business.

The founder of BFL CANADA, Barry F. Lorenzetti, is giving $500,000 to establish the Barry F. Lorenzetti Centre for Women Entrepreneurship and Leadership. The donation will also endow research grants and scholarships for undergraduate and graduate students. The Centre for Women Entrepreneurship and Leadership will be led by Ingrid Chadwick, co-director, academic, and Louise Champoux-Paillé, co-director, practice.

Cultivating entrepreneurship and leadership abilities

Above all, the centre aims to create a sustainable hub of expertise and research on women in entrepreneurship and leadership.

The centre will:

  • Develop gender-related collaborative projects pertaining to entrepreneurship, leadership, governance and family-business practice
  • Develop proposals to advance women in entrepreneurship and leadership
  • Promote partnerships between the business community and academia to bridge research and practice.

“This first-of-its-kind centre in Canada consolidates our strengths as a business school, recently recognized by the Princeton Review as one of the best for graduate entrepreneurship studies,” says Anne-Marie Croteau, dean of the John Molson School of Business. “The centre will help us attract exceptional research talent focused on equity, diversity and inclusion in business — a key pillar of our school’s strategic plan.”

● WATCH: Dean Anne-Marie Croteau on Barry Lorenzetti’s generous gift.

Empowering women through entrepreneurship

“Entrepreneurship involving women is fundamental for creating new jobs and contributing to the social and economic growth of our society. Women promote social growth worldwide!” says Barry Lorenzetti.

“This gift further advances Concordia’s place at the forefront of innovative entrepreneurship research, especially through a gendered lens,” says Ingrid Chadwick.

Adds Louise Champoux-Paillé: “The centre will encourage knowledge exchanges in the form of mentorships, symposia and other outreach events. That knowledge will be used to encourage policy developments that support women and foster gender parity and equity.”

● WATCH: Co-directors Ingrid Chadwick and Louise Champoux-Paillé on their hopes for the new Centre for Women Entrepreneurship and Leadership

Lisa Giannone, a Concordia business school alumna and BFL CANADA’s Regional Vice-President for Eastern Canada, says that “the centre will bring together diverse female leaders and entrepreneurs in the business community with academic leaders. This is so important because empowering women helps fuel economic development.”

● WATCH: BFL CANADA executive Lisa Giannone on the importance of women in leadership

“Our university is immensely grateful to Barry Lorenzetti for this generous gift to our Campaign for Concordia,” says Concordia President Graham Carr. “The new centre will further our mission to build a more equitable and inclusive society.”

About Barry Lorenzetti

Barry Lorenzetti is the president, CEO and founder of BFL CANADA. BFL CANADA is one of the largest risk management, insurance brokerage and benefits consulting firms in Canada.

Under his leadership, BFL CANADA has become a Canadian powerhouse in the field of insurance. Mr. Lorenzetti now oversees a firm with close to 1,000 employees in 21 cities across the country. BFL CANADA is the largest Canadian employee-owned insurance brokerage company and, as a partner in an international venture, Lockton Global LLP, is represented in over 140 countries worldwide.

Mr. Lorenzetti has been heavily involved in community service and supporting charitable organizations for many years, as well as sitting on a range of boards. For example, he has worked with the Butters Foundation raising funds for autistic children in Canada. He has also worked with the YWCA Foundation and the Québec Society for Disabled Children. Additionally, he has created a foundation to advance mental health in Canada.

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