International Women’s Month ft. Ayushi Dave
Ayushi Dave studied Law at Carleton University and then moved on to pursue her Juris Doctor at the University of Ottawa. She has always been interested in the intersection of law and technology and believes technology can be leveraged as an equalizer to promote access to justice. Through these interests, Ayushi and two other co-founders created jusTech.
In March 2021, they participated in a pan-Canada hackathon. The hackathon required them to create a solution using technology that promoted access to justice. Given this parameter, they started looking at flaws and gaps in their current legal system, and that is how they decided to build a solution to make it easier for entrepreneurs to navigate privacy breaches, become more proactive in tech and cyber literacy, and protect their businesses more effectively. After winning the hackathon, they received a lot of positive feedback from small businesses and legal experts alike and so they decided to continue working on jusTech to make it more robust and have continued to grow since, building partnerships and being featured in the media.
Being an entrepreneur is a challenge, and being a woman-identifying entrepreneur is another challenge in itself. Has there been a time when being a woman pursuing entrepreneurship created additional obstacles? If so, how did you overcome these challenges?
“For years women have been underrepresented in tech and law. While we see an increase in women entering the legal and tech profession, there remain several barriers, including attitudinal barriers, that pose obstacles in our growth.
One of the biggest challenges many other women in this space and I face is not to be taken seriously. While this can be extremely disheartening, it is important to continue working hard, building self-confidence, and not allow negative self-talk to hinder your progress or potential. It is also crucial to build relationships with like-minded people who support and encourage you through this journey.”
Did anyone inspire you in or during your pursuit of entrepreneurship? Subsequently, what inspired the idea for your business/organization?
“My family has always been my biggest inspiration. My father has his own business, while my mother and sisters have continually pushed themselves to step out of their comfort zone while simultaneously working in male-dominated industries. Seeing them achieve something new every day has motivated me to continue my efforts.
The inspiration behind jusTech came from a mix of all the co-founders’ backgrounds. We all come from entrepreneurial families, and the idea of entrepreneurship has been ingrained in us from a very young age. At the same time, we recognized the struggles and successes of small to medium-sized businesses and wanted to direct our skills and energy toward building solutions. So, when the opportunity presented itself in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, we decided to build a tool to make it easier for entrepreneurs to report privacy breaches. We found that given how many businesses were victims of cyberattacks and privacy breaches, the current system was flawed, expensive, and more reactive than proactive. With this in mind, and with the goal of helping a community of business owners, we created jusTech.”
We love having strong representations of women-identifying leaders in the entrepreneurial community — is there anything you wish to tell the next generation of aspiring women entrepreneurs?
“There will always be people that say no to you, but just keep going! Your resilience and determination are what will make you achieve your goal. The challenges and setbacks you face are learning opportunities that only make you better at what you’re doing. Most importantly, find a community that encourages and guides you.”
To learn more about Ayushi and her company, click here.
*This feature was published in honour of the International Women’s Month, 2023.