Women's Enterprise Centre of Manitoba
- Region: Manitoba
Manitoban women grow networks and learn skills to become successful entrepreneurs.
- Category: Women, Business growth, Skills and training
- Story Date: 2018-08-04
On January 26, 2018, over 1,500 people – mostly women – shared stories of leadership, business and career development. They gathered in the heart of Winnipeg at the SHEday conference, presented by the Women's Enterprise Centre of Manitoba (WEC). The previous year, over 1,100 people took part.
SHEday stands for Share, Hear, Empower. The one-day, annual conference sprouted from a desire to provide services to female business professionals and a venue for them to network. Marina R. James, current CEO of Winnipeg REALTORS, and Mary Jane Loustel,former National Aboriginal Program Executive at IBM, founded the event.
From this initiative, the women created SHEACCELERATOR Inc. This incubator of programs, events and services is designed to accelerate the success and inclusion of women in business. SHEday inspired the accelerator to advance policy frameworks in:
- gender equality
- poverty reduction
- affordable housing
- healthy neighbourhoods
- social and financial inclusion
- Indigenous economic development
This helps others learn from the event.
Some of the speakers were:
- Maralee Caruso, anchor of CTV News Winnipeg
- Adriana de Luca and Michelle Lalonde, founders of Tiber River Naturals
- Norva Riddell, Vice President, Sales, of True North Sports and Entertainment
SHEday is gaining momentum and shows no signs of stopping, all thanks to Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD)'s contributions to the WEC.
WD launched the WEC in 1994 to help women entrepreneurs start or expand their businesses. It provides them with mentorship and easier access to capital. It also helps them develop experience, expertise and credit histories for their new ventures. Ultimately, the goal was to increase the number and strength of women entrepreneurs – and it was successful. WD provides the WEC with $975,000 yearly to promote and assist women entrepreneurs.
Since the WEC's opening in 1994, it has:
- loaned over $25M
- reviewed 3,000 business plans
- delivered over 2,000 workshops
- trained over 25,000 participants
- leveraged over $26M with other financial sources
- helped create over 2,000 full-time job equivalents
Photo Credit: Women's Enterprise Centre of Manitoba
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