Just last week, Honourable Rona Ambrose, Minister of Public Works and Government Services and Minister for Status of Women, recognized the importance of women in Canada’s economy and in leadership roles. "Having more women in leadership and decision-making roles in every sector of society helps us realize a brighter future for all and how women can have a hand in creating it" (Canada Newswire).
The growing number of female entrepreneurs in Canada is evidence of women taking on leadership roles. Many of these women have also applied their leadership skills to easing the path for new female entrepreneurs by creating strong women-centered business support organizations. Here in British Columbia there are several organizations that serve as resources for women entrepreneurs to develop networks, share expertise and simply support one another as leaders. Whether you are an established business owner or an aspiring entrepreneur these great organizations have something for you!
Women’s Enterprise Centre
Established by Western Economic Diversification Canada, Women’s Enterprise Centre aims to assist women in starting and growing businesses in British Columbia. Covering all aspects of launching a business, the Women’s Enterprise Centre offers workshops, professional guidance from business advisors, business planning support, business loans, networking opportunities and an online business resource library. Take a look at the events page to get started.
Forum for Women Entrepreneurs (FWE)
FWE is committed to providing female entrepreneurs with the support, networking opportunities and knowledge to necessary to ensure their success. With leaders, advisors and mentors willing to share their business expertise FWE is a great place to find wisdom and encouragement. Check out the mentorship program.
mom inc. MOVEMENT (MIM)
Created to help moms be both successful moms and successful businesswomen, MIM gives moms the information and support needed to start, find or expand a business or a career. The website is a valuable online resource filled with useful articles, business tips and a directory listing business opportunities and services. The annual MIM Tradeshow (in Burnaby November 4th!) allows mompreneurs to meet other members of the mom market to expand their networks and opportunities while attending great workshops by inspiring female leaders.
Young Women in Business (YWiB)
YWiB network is a non-profit society for emerging female leaders in Western Canada. YWiB supports young women, by hosting events to help them to develop skills, knowledge and insight to reach their fullest personal and professional potential. They have student chapters at UBC, SFU and Uvic and hold an annual conference, Beyond Pink, to share inspiration and learning. Beyond Pink 2012 is coming up November 2nd and 3rd.
The organizations listed above are just a few highlights. There are many local organizations and groups supporting female entrepreneurs in British Columbia. Here are few more resources to check out.
Mom CEO Academy
Entrepreneur Mom Now
Kelowna Women in Business (Okanagan)
Valley Women's Network (Chilliwack, Langley)
Comox Valley Women's Business Network
Westshore Women's Business Network (Victoria)
Women in Leadership (National)
Minister Ambrose congratulates the Women in Leadership Foundation for encouraging women in business. (2012, October 25). Canada Newswire.