Business women’s association implements new strategic plan

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Sally Cole
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Constance Robinson, left, PEIBWA president, and Hannah Bell, PEIBWA executive director, make plans for the Women in Business Symposium 2014, which will be held on May 29 at the P.E.I. Brewery Company in Charlottetown. The event is part of the strategic plan which was launched in September.

The P.E.I. Business Women’s Association (PEIBWA) is on a quest to make life better for women in business.

Since launching its strategic plan in September, the organization has been working hard to implement its goals.

These include delivering quality business advisory services across the province, offering learning and growth opportunities for every women entrepreneur and business professional, as well as creating awareness of women entrepreneurs and business professionals, and helping women expand their networks in P.E.I. and beyond.

“We support women who not only own businesses but are business professionals,” says PEIBWA president Constance Robinson.

“And we’ve done a huge amount to get us rocking. We’re doing tangible things that can be seen by members across the whole Island.”

A good example is Business 101, a three-hour training session on how to start a business, presented across Prince Edward Island by the organization’s executive director, Hannah Bell.

“We’re seeing, on average, 10 people per session. We’ve provided training for 90 people so far. We’ve had nine businesses start because of that session. That’s pretty remarkable,” says Bell.

Another case in point is the Christmas Marketplace.

“It’s a new spin on the Christmas mixer. Rather than meet and greet, people are actually coming in and getting to see each other’s products. So it’s a member to member opportunity to sell and buy unique Christmas items,” says Robinson.

And it’s free.

“Rather than cost us money to put on an expensive mixer, we were able to provide value to people who are members. In order to participate you had to be a member. So we actually got new members signing up,” says Bell.

The organization has also been holding monthly mixers.

“Our mixers are unique because we hold them at our members’ premises. We’ve been up to Summerside, to Montague, to New London, so we’re bringing clients to the member. Then, because we use social media, we’ve doubled the number of people coming out to our mixers. We get, on average, 50 people, which is phenomenal,” says Bell.

In March, with the help of a partner, the PEIBWA held a successful business-planning workshop where participants completed and took home a finished business plan.

And there’s more coming

A day of professional development, Women in Business Symposium 2014, will be held on May 29 at the P.E.I. Brewery Company in Charlottetown. Focusing on professional development, there will be keynote presentations, workshops and panel discussions, followed by a networking / social event with entertainment.

For more information, call 892-6040 or go to http://peibwa.org.

Organizations: PEIBWA, Bell.The organization, New London P.E.I. Brewery Company

Geographic location: P.E.I. Business Women, Prince Edward Island, Summerside Charlottetown

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