Calgary, AB, CANADA, October, 26, 2022 – Ernst & Young LLP (EY US) announced today that Bobbie Racette, Founder and CEO of Virtual Gurus, a unique talent market place utilizing propriety technology to match companies with virtual assistants from underrepresented backgrounds, is one of the 20 women founders from companies selected for the EY Entrepreneurial Winning Women™ North America Class of 2022. Celebrating its 15th anniversary this year, the program selects high-potential women entrepreneurs and connects them with the advisors, access and resources they need to continue to grow and scale their businesses. By engaging in the program, participants receive tailored executive education and introductions to the massive EY global entrepreneurial ecosystem, as well as the Winning Women community around the world.
“It is truly a honour to be recognized by Ernst & Young to participate as part of the North America class for this year,” said Racette. “EY has selected an amazing group of women and I’m proud and excited to be amongst them. To see such a phenomenal, diverse selection of women is really inspiring and aligned with our company values. I can’t wait to get started!
The Class of 2022 comprises 18 fast-growing companies led by women across Canada and the US, touching an array of industries. Members of the Class of 2022 are diversified in their missions and industries but share the common thread of focusing on social good and sustainability issues, such as disabilities and workplace equity, specialized care, organic food and environmental waste recycling. Others look to create efficiencies and solve universal business problems with innovative technology solutions in health care, education, staffing and more. The founders chosen for the program showcased exceptional business acumen, effectiveness, innovation in designing solutions and an unflinching determination that helped them stand out among their peers.
“The past year has been filled with economic ups and downs, including lasting impacts of the pandemic and unprecedented social change,” said Maranda Bruckner, EY Entrepreneurial Winning Women North America Program Leader. “These entrepreneurs effectively navigate challenges and scale profitable, high-growth companies while demonstrating the grit, drive and resilience needed for ongoing success. They are rewriting rules and reshaping markets,” Bruckner said. “We have no doubt that these women will continue to change the world.”
The Entrepreneurial Winning Women North America program serves women business owners who are founding CEOs of any US or Canadian privately held company that is 10 years old or younger. Company revenues typically range from at least $2m to as much as $30m annually. On an ongoing basis, Entrepreneurial Winning Women take part in additional workshops, conferences and training sessions. The Entrepreneurial Winning Women program participants become part of a global peer community, which includes more than 900 Entrepreneurial Winning Women entrepreneurs in 48 countries and on every continent.
“Women are a tremendous driver of the economy, and we must empower and help these entrepreneurs thrive,” said EY Americas Solutions Leader Cheryl Grise, who also serves as the EY Entrepreneurial Winning Women North America Executive Sponsor. “Not only does empowering women founders lead to a more inclusive and prosperous society, but it also spurs innovation across the economy. Over the last 15 years, the Entrepreneurial Winning Women program has worked to address systematic gender-based hurdles that often face women business owners,” Grise said. “With the right access, women have proven they can scale and reinvent, innovate and excel in their respective industries. This community is an awe-inspiring one, and we are so honored to be able share their stories and help them on their journey to the top.”
“When we celebrate these Entrepreneurial Winning Women, we encourage the future health of our economy and society,” said Lee Henderson, Americas EY Private Leader. “Through providing access to the organization’s far-reaching entrepreneur network, training and resources, we are committed to helping these founders create jobs, break boundaries and lead by example. We welcome these entrepreneurs to the EY family. We cannot wait to see all the great things that you will continue to do for businesses, your communities and our overall economy.”
The Class of 2022 will be officially recognized in November during the Strategic Growth Forum, one of the nation’s most prestigious gatherings of high-growth, market-leading companies.
Virtual Gurus recently closed a CAD 8.4 million Series A funding round, following the company's official expansion into the United States in 2021. The company utilizes a proprietary matching algorithm, having recently adopted machine learning to make the experience for both companies and virtual assistants as seamless as possible. Similar to Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) companies, Virtual Gurus thinks of itself as a Talent-as-a-Service (TaaS) provider.
About Virtual Gurus
Virtual Gurus is a talent marketplace that leverages proprietary technology to match organizations with highly skilled Canadian and American virtual assistants. Whether your organization needs a dedicated assistant, special project support or help with occasional tasks, they’re your people. Their social mission of providing employment opportunities to individuals from historically underrepresented backgrounds is a key commitment of the team. Learn more at www.thevirtualgurus.com.
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About EY Entrepreneurial Winning Women™
The EY organization is committed to seeing women lead. EY Entrepreneurial Winning Women™ is a global program for successful entrepreneurs whose successful businesses show more potential to scale. Through access to global EY networks throughout the entrepreneurial ecosystem, pioneering founders on every continent secure the resources, advice, and connections they need to scale their businesses sustainably. This one-of-a-kind community of founders is rewriting rules and remaking markets. Visit ey.com/us/winningwomen.
About EY Private As Advisors to the ambitious™, EY Private professionals possess the experience and passion to support private businesses and their owners in unlocking the full potential of their ambitions. EY Private teams offer distinct insights born from the long EY history of working with business owners and entrepreneurs. These teams support the full spectrum of private enterprises, including private capital managers and investors and the portfolio businesses they fund, business owners, family businesses, family offices, and entrepreneurs. Visit ey.com/us/private.
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