CEO and Co-Founder, Venusverse
Partnership Engagement Advisor, Profound Impact™ Corporation
An entrepreneur and innovator on a mission to promote gender equity and digital literacy, Janelle Chalouhi is committed to empowering women to advance in the next-generation wealth economy. Chalouhi is the CEO and co-founder of Venusverse, Canada’s first female-founded, female-focused educational program, incubator and NFT collection, with the goal of closing the gender gap and removing barriers to entry for women in the Web3 domain. Through educational and networking sessions, a Web3b incubator platform, and their own collection of NFTs, Chalouhi believes that Venusverse will provide women with valuable insights and opportunities to participate in the emerging digital economy with confidence.
“Only five per cent of women in Canada are in the crypto and NFT space…that’s a big Canadian problem,” said Chalouhi, who co-founded Venusverse with Natalie Dumond. “The whole digital economy is being created with very few women engaging in it. This is a fundamental equality issue that has to be solved.”
Prior to launching Venusverse in early 2022, Chalouhi worked in fundraising and business development for archdioceses, universities, hospitals and non-profit organizations. She was the Director of Community Counseling Service (CCS) Fundraising, working with the archdiocese of Washington and Boston on fundraising campaigns. She also worked in senior management positions at Hofstra University, the Westchester Medical Center, Saint George Hospital University Medical Center, University of Balamand and the University of Waterloo. In these roles, Chalouhi was responsible for fostering strong relationships and partnerships that contributed to infrastructure upgrades, new programming, and other operational improvements.
Chalouhi also served as the Vice President of Business Development at Communitech, a Waterloo-based innovation center helping companies start, grow, and succeed. In her role with Communitech, Chalouhi helped co-create and lead Canada’s first ever $1-million Leaders Prize, a competition that explored the use of artificial intelligence to identify “fake news” and limit the spread of misinformation across the globe. She has also been a big advocate for shining a light on the people and technologies that are making the world a better place, which aligns with Communitech “Tech for Good” mandate that Chalouhi contributed to as a part of her role with the True North Conference.
“It’s about helping companies figure out how they can make a difference and align to something meaningful to them in the process,” said Chalouhi. “I think every single company should build in an ESG (environmental social governance) component into the work that they are doing. At its core, it’s giving back — and that’s the only way we’re going to be able to help make a broader dent and impact.”
The founders are leading by example by collaborating with Profound Impact™ Corporation and CivicAction Leadership Foundation, to build a community where women are empowered with the knowledge required to advance successfully in the next-generation wealth economy. Ten per cent of revenue from the Venusverse NFT collection will be donated to CivicAction in support of women in the organization’s leadership programs including the DiverseCity fellows and the Emerging Leaders Network.
“I really hope we get to a point where this (gender) gap is closed significantly,” said Chalouhi, referring to the NFT and cryptocurrency space. “Building the confidence of women is really what we want to see happen. Ideally, we want women to be more aware of the digital world that’s being created in Web3. We also want them to be more confident and independent with their finances, making their own money and feeling good with not having to hustle day in and day out — running from dropping off the kids to their job, back and forth. Ultimately, we want more women to be in a place of peace.”
Chalouhi’s approach to cultivating an environment that embraces women’s involvement in the digital economy ties directly into this year’s International Women’s Day theme, #BreakTheBias. This theme celebrates the potential for a gender equal world, free of bias, stereotypes and discrimination that can hold women back in their personal and professional lives — an experience that Chalouhi is all too familiar with in her life. “I’ve seen a lot in my life…I have experienced quite a bit throughout my life and career — everything you can think of, name it, but at the end of the day, those experiences have helped shape me and have brought me to where I am right now, helped me grow as a person and allowed me to have very different perspectives than many others,” she said. “Of course I’ve experiences discrimination anywhere I have lived in the world, however, due to my vast experiences and perspectives, the discrimination has never gotten in my way and for that I’m grateful”.
Chalouhi will be joining the Profound Impact team as an advisor in partnership engagement. You can view some of Chalouhi’s accomplishments in the images below:
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