Business is booming now that $485,000 has been committed to help Island women grow their ventures
The P.E.I. Business Women’s Association (PEIBWA) has partnered with three other Maritime organizations to split about $2 million over a four-year period, thanks to a federal government investment called the Women Entrepreneurship Strategy announced on July 9.
Miriam Briggs, president of PEIBWA, spoke at a follow-up reception at the Charlottetown office on July 10. About 20 women attended to hear how the Island organization plans to use the funding.
One of PEIBWA’s focuses is to assist women entrepreneurs in the early stages of their business, she said.
“Particularly women who are currently underserved.”
This includes women in trades, technology and STEM fields, Indigenous woman, newcomers, women with disabilities and women in rural areas. The money will help them access support, training and mentorship.
The other focus is to assist women wanting to reach the next level.
“By helping women who have existing businesses to scale up,” Briggs said.
Margaret Magner, executive director of PEIBWA, said they’ll offer a six-month assistance program for women looking to grow their business, such as by exporting product. They’ll also offer virtual workshops and resources, as well as in-person assistance.
“We’re going to be able to rev it up over this four-year period.”
This comes two weeks after the PEIBWA’s announcement of the Rural Women’s Business Centre being set up in Central Bedeque. These two announcements will help them assist women across the Island who aren’t getting the resources they deserve, Magner said.
“We don’t want them to feel left out.”
“Additional resources and supports will help enable them to look beyond P.E.I. in terms of building their market opportunities."
Ann Worth, president of Worth Consulting Group, is a member of PEIBWA. Dedicated resources give entrepreneurs more tools for their toolbox, she said.
“Those are important factors in helping businesses grow.”
Women entrepreneurs contribute greatly to the Island economy. If any are looking to offer their product or services on a national or international level, this funding will help with that, she said.
“Additional resources and supports will help enable them to look beyond P.E.I. in terms of building their market opportunities.”
This excites Worth, as her business delivers professional guidance to companies interested in international business, furthering the economic impact of this funding.
The PEIBWA has done a great job facilitating business growth and providing women with a foundation to build on, Worth said.
“I believe that [the PEIBWA] does highly effective work. They help fill the gaps.”