NPC salutes female leaders on International Women’s Day. And every other day of the year.

March 8, 2022

NPC is pleased to shine a spotlight on the countless women contributing to Canada’s natural product innovation ecosystem on International Women’s Day. NPC works with hundreds of female founders developing evidence-based, natural solutions that are tackling some of the globe’s biggest issues, including health, environmental sustainability, and food security and nutrition. NPC also collaborates with female leaders through their many partnerships across the country, and has a strong representation of women within their own executive team, Board of Directors, and their spin-out, NPC Ventures.

“We are proud of the women involved in natural product innovation in Canada,” says Shelley King, CEO, Natural Products Canada. “These women are contributing to sustainable and healthy solutions that are improving the lives of people here in Canada and right around the world.”

NPC provides financial support to companies through investment and commercialization programs. Companies with female founders or co-founders that have benefitted from NPC investments include Millennia TEA, Chinova Bioworks, and DeNova. Companies with female founders or co-founders that have received funds through NPC’s commercialization programs include Bosk Bioproducts, Chickapea, Genecis Bioindustries, Novagevity, and Staterra.

“The natural product companies that receive financial support from NPC undergo rigorous evaluation about their technical innovation and market potential under a very competitive process regardless of their gender,” says King. “These female founders are succeeding on the basis of their exceptional scientific and business credibility in areas where women have traditionally been underrepresented.”

NPC works with hundreds of other female founders through its non-financial services, providing business and technical guidance, referrals and strategic introductions. NPC also hosts numerous pitch events where many female-founded companies have participated such as Good Food for Good, Lumi, Well Told Health, Three Farmers, Red Dog Blue Kat, Save Da Sea Foods, and Because Animals.

NPC also acknowledges the role of female leadership within its organization, including: Shelley King, CEO; Sue Coueslan, VP Strategy and Partnerships; Barbara Campbell, Regional Director – Atlantic Canada; and Kim Johnstone, Program Director. In addition, NPC Ventures, the for-profit investment fund created by NPC in 2021 is led by Managing Partner, Kristi Miller.

NPC is also grateful for the exceptional female leadership within its Board of Directors, including: Najla Guthrie (KGK Science); Kathy O’Rourke (retired, Grant Thornton); Patti Miller (retired, Canadian Grain Commission); and Lorna Vanderhaeghe (founder of the Lorna Vanderhaeghe Health Solutions line of supplements).

“We are proud to acknowledge and recognize the excellence and achievements of our amazing female network on International Women’s Day,” says Shelley King, CEO, Natural Products Canada. “However, we do not reserve this well-deserved spotlight for March 8th. We strive to support this esteemed community of women every day of the year through our programs, services, collaborations and leadership.”

Further examples of NPC’s ongoing efforts in this area include a Female Founders Pitch Event planned for later this year.

For more information:

Sue Coueslan

Natural Products Canada (NPC) is the driving force behind Canada’s Natural Product Innovation Cluster–a strategic and diverse community focused on the development and commercialization of naturally-derived products and technologies in health and life sciences, natural resources, agriculture and agri-food, and sustainable bioproducts. As part of its role in the Cluster, NPC offers in-depth advice and a suite of commercialization programs to Canadian early-stage companies and research institutes; provides connections and innovation scouting services to corporations and investors; and leverages an investment fund (NPC Ventures) to help develop and de-risk promising Canadian opportunities.