About us

Laurel Douglas,
CEO Women's Enterprise Centre

Welcome to Women's Enterprise Centre!

We were established in 1995 by Western Economic Diversification Canada, to assist women in starting and growing businesses in British Columbia. We've grown to become the leading business resource centre in our province for women starting, purchasing or growing a small business. We provide essential business services and resources, as well as referrals to many resources and other business service providers throughout the province.

Our team understands and relates to the unique circumstances of women business owners. Our experienced business advisors, trainers and facilitators provide our clients with tools and confidence through a supportive, individual and practical approach.

Our Services

Professional Guidance: Our professional Business Advisors offer advice for business challenges and growth strategies, as well as marketing and financial issues. We also have a number of tools to assist in the development of a business plan and will assess your plan for financing.

Business Loans: Our unique business lending program can help you start your business or assist with the growth of your business and blends business planning, training, guidance and advice with financing up to $150,000.00 for new and existing businesses. This approach is designed to build business capacity and maximize resources.

Practical Skills Development: We provide 'real-world' training and workshops in a number of essential subject areas required to run a strong and successful business, and in a variety of formats to suit busy entrepreneurs. Our do-it-yourself training is a handy way to learn tips for your small business.

Networking Connections: We connect women to other business service providers throughout the province, as well as to networking and peer learning opportunities.

Resource Library: Our on-line resource library is full of information and resource guides to start or grow a business.

Events and Workshops: We host a number of inspirational events each year for women who want to start or grow a business. These often feature guest women entrepreneurs relating their stories and lessons. You'll also see us at trade shows and business events around the province.

Making a Difference

In 1994, Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD) undertook research which identified gaps in access to financing and services for women entrepreneurs. To fill these gaps, WD committed $38.5 million to create Women's Enterprise Initiatives (WEI’s) in the four western provinces.

Each Women’s Enterprise Initiative administers a $5 million loan fund for women entrepreneurs unable to obtain traditional financing. These organizations provide complimentary business counselling, resource information and referrals and a variety of innovative training programs.

Since 1995, women entrepreneurs throughout BC have benefited from the services of Women's Enterprise Centre, accessing professional guidance, empowered lending and skills development to start, grow and succeed.

With offices in Kelowna, Vancouver and Victoria, Women’s Enterprise Centre offers services to the 137,000 women business owners in BC and, since 1995, we have responded to over 72,000 inquiries for business information.

Memberships and Affiliations

We are proud to be co-founders of Women’s Enterprise Organizations of Canada (WEOC), the national association of non-profit agencies which provide support to women-owned businesses. WEOC members across the country assist women business owners with different programs and services, which may include business loans, training, mentoring, trade development services and business advising.

We are also proud members of the Economic Development Association of BC, the BC Chamber of Commerce, the Kelowna Chamber of Commerce, and the WEB Alliance of Women’s Business networks.

Please contact us to learn more at 1.800.643.7014, or by e-mail at inquiry@womensenterprise.ca