About WMAN

Shannan Schimmelmann, MBA
WMAN investor,
Indigenous Export Navigator,
Community Futures

Okanagan Women’s Mentoring and Angel Network (WMAN) is leveling the playing field faced by women owned businesses seeking investment and working to increase the number of women angel investors and board members.

Women-led and gender diverse teams achieve significantly higher financial performance 1, 9 yet women receive less than 3% of start-up capital.2

Our goal is to build an empowered community of female entrepreneurs and investors.

Partners in each Okanagan WMAN fund meet regularly to learn how to invest in companies, discuss opportunities, vet deal flow, make investment decisions and help mentor investees.

In the Okanagan, 25 - 35 women each invest $5,500 for a pool of up to $150,000+/-, which is then used to co-invest in women-led and gender diverse companies the group thinks will generate the best return.

Women-owned businesses in Canada are taking nearly twice as long to recover from the financial setbacks brought on by COVID-19 compared to businesses owned by men. Women care for children and the elderly and that means taking time away from their business and businesses led by women like education and healthcare were the first to be locked down. 4, 7

The inaugural Okanagan WMAN fund kicked off on International Women’s Day 2021.

The fund was launched by the founders, mentors and supporters of the UBC Okanagan entrepreneurship@UBCO Accelerator. They saw first-hand the challenges women founders and CEOs face.

Research around the world demonstrates that after participating in an accelerator program women land 2.5 times as much bank financing - however men land 2.5 as much equity financing.5

In addition to increasing the access for women to equity, other key WMAN priorities include aiding women-owned businesses in the Okanagan to recover from the economic fallout of the pandemic and building a healthy and diverse entrepreneurship ecosystem in the Okanagan.

NACO -- Mobilizing Angel Capital for Canada's Women Entrepreneurs

NACO Report

NACO’s 2022 Annual Report on Angel Investing in Canada features the launch of OKGN WMAN and reports on the status of women angel investment in Canada.  The report shows that:

  • In 2021, angel investment jumped 53% over 2020 and the amount invested was 150% higher.
  • A total of 27% of the members of Canadian Angel organization in 2021 were women, up from 24% in 2020.
  • In 2021 there was a 60% increase in participation by women angels.
  • Angel organization invested in 600 deals in 2021 - a total of $212.9M was invested.
  • The median size of investment in 2021 was $84,000 and the mean size was $346,000.
  • Business with 1-5 employees accounted for 43% of investments and with 6-10 employees for 25% of investments.
  • Information technology (31.2%), healthcare (21.1%), consumer discretionary (14.4%), industrial (7.1%) and then financials (6.7%)  were the top sectors for investment in 2021.

Download the Report

In partnership with academic institutions, investor groups and innovation organizations across Canada, NACO is developing a solution to empower Canadian women. NACO is developing a sophisticated online education and investment platform that empowers women entrepreneurs and angel investors with a customized learning experience and access to their national network of 50 incubators and accelerators, 45 angel organizations and 4,200 investors.


Rhonda Hymers,
WMAN Investor;
Portfolio Mgr./Wealth Advisor
RBC Dominion Securities

Help us level the playing field for women led businesses


Karen Christiansen,

WMAN Co-founder & GP;
Partner, MNP