Women's Enterprise Centre - We help women start & grow their business

Laurel Douglas,
CEO Women's Enterprise Centre

Women's Enterprise Centre was established in 1995 by Western Economic Diversification Canada to assist women in starting and growing businesses in BC. Since then, we've grown to become the leading business resource for BC women who own a business or are thinking of starting a 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, mentors, trainers and facilitators provide our clients with tools and confidence through a supportive, individual and practical approach.

Our Services

Free Business Advisory Services: Our professional Business Advisors offer free 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. View business advisory services >>

Business Loans: Our unique business lending program can help you start or purchase a business or assist with the growth of your business. Our loans program bundles free business planning, business skills training, guidance and access to mentors with financing up to $150,000 for new and existing businesses. Learn about our small business loans >>

Practical Business 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. We partner with organizations to bring relevant training and events to communities where local demand exists. Our self-guided learning and resource guides are a handy way to learn tips for your small business. Learn more about our business skills training options >>

Networking Connections: We connect women to other business service providers in BC, as well as to networking and peer learning opportunities. We are also a member of the WEB Alliance of Women's Business Networks, a consortium of over 20 Women's Business Networks representing over 10,000 women in BC.

Business Resource Library: Our online business resource library is full of free downloadable 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. View upcoming business events and workshops in BC >>

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, business loans and business skills development to start, grow and succeed.

With offices in Kelowna, Vancouver and Victoria, Women’s Enterprise Centre offers services to the 146,000 women business owners in BC and, since 1995, we have responded to over 94,000 inquiries for business information. In 2015, Women's Enterprise Centre was proud to celebrate 20 years serving the women entrepreneurs of BC. View our 20-year impact >>

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

Our Commitment to You

As the leading business resource organization for women, our passion is to empower women entrepreneurs to their business success. Women's Enterprise Centre works hard to satisfy every person who utilizes our services and we undertake the highest standard of conduct. If you are dissatisfied with our service, we want to hear from you. View our resolution process >>