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Growclass secures $1.7 million in funding to support more women and underrepresented communities

The funding will offer scholarships for the company’s six-week growth marketing course

Sarah Stockdale, founder of Growclass

Growclass, an online growth marketing course, has received $1.7 million in funding through the national talent platform, Upskill Canada, to train 500 students from underrepresented communities by March 2025 — helping to address the inclusion and talent shortage challenges in Canada’s startup ecosystem.

According to a new LinkedIn report, “growth manager” was listed as the fastest-growing job in Canada. Still, there aren't enough accessible ways for women and other underrepresented groups to upskill to be considered for these roles. The current gender breakdown for males is 73 per cent, and for females, 23 per cent.

“Growth marketing was coined in startups in San Francisco in incredibly male-dominated companies,” explained Sarah Stockdale, founder of Growclass. “Because there are technical skills involved in becoming a growth marketer, there are a lot of acronyms clouding the space that makes it hard for someone outside of tech to break into growth roles. The existing options for learning reflect the current demographics and problems.”

Funding allocated toward full scholarships

The funding allows Growclass to offer full scholarships to its six-week growth marketing certification program and build wrap-around support to help graduates secure new roles or lucrative promotions. 

An initiative already underway is a talent accelerator with world-class career coaches and mentors to help graduates prepare for interviews, negotiate their worth, gain confidence in their skill sets, prepare portfolios, and build a career strategy.

In addition, graduates will benefit from a full year of support through accountability and live upskilling workshops, co-working sessions, and networking opportunities from events and one-on-one connections.

Personal mission

For Stockdale, Growclass’ mission to bridge the digital skills gap goes far back, starting with her own experience working at notable tech companies.

“I led an international growth team for a San Francisco-based startup for years, and I struggled to hire talent in Canada,” said Stockdale. “When that company was acquired, I started advising Canadian venture-backed companies and saw a worrying pattern — the people executing on product, support, and marketing teams were often women and underrepresented people, but the six-figure growth jobs and management positions were all white men.”

Determined to change the status quo, Stockdale dreamed up the idea of Growclass with the same intention as its partnership with Upskill Canada.

Already making headway

To date, Growclass has already offered around $100,000 in scholarships to make its education financially accessible. More than 75 per cent of the program’s graduates are women, and over 50 per cent are from underrepresented communities. 

“We’ve found that 69 per cent of [graduates] have received a pay raise within three months of completing the program,” Stockdale added. “One hundred per cent have said it has helped them advance their career. The [Upskill Canada] funding will enable us to scale that impact to even more Canadians, and that’s incredibly exciting.”

For anyone interested in joining Growclass, Stockdale encourages taking an online quiz to see which program is best for them before applying for a scholarship.

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