As an avid horse jumper, soaring over hurdles is one of Shannon Pestun’s passions. As an Indigenous woman, and Director of Women’s Entrepreneurship with ATB, understanding the nuances and complexities of each hurdle, and finding ways to rise above them, is what drives her. Known as “A Girl’s Biz Banker,” Shannon is an advocate for all women, passionately working to advance the success of female entrepreneurs in Alberta and help them overcome the barriers that stand in their way of starting or growing their business.
Women entrepreneurs face a number of challenges, from accessing financial capital to
connecting with the right social networks to help them gain the insights and role models
needed to succeed. Shannon’s vision is to unleash the untapped potential of the people
behind 50% of all Canadian start-ups by reimagining the banking experience for
“For many women entrepreneurs, banks are seen as a barrier, instead of a catalyst to
success and we want to change that.,” she says. “ATB is committed to listening and
understanding the barriers women are facing and reimagining how we can change their
Shannon is at the forefront of that change, creating more opportunities for women
entrepreneurs, not only by influencing how financial institutions serve the needs of their
female customers, but also as an active mentor and business advisor. “It has always
been important for me to help elevate women,” she says.
Growing up in an entrepreneurial family in Alberta, Shannon has business in her genes
and is well versed in its risks and rewards. A 12-year marketing career in the areas of
law, accounting and finance, paired with more than six years’ experience as a lender in
the business banking arena has helped cultivate the experience which she envisions
ultimately strengthening Alberta’s economy and future for women entrepreneurs.