Women’s Enterprise Centre Named a Discovery Foundation Major Award Recipient

Women’s Enterprise Centre has been named one of three major award winners of Discovery Foundation’s prestigious annual competition supporting technology education programs in BC.

Women’s Enterprise Centre has created a mentoring program for women founders of tech ventures, called the Discovery Foundation’s EM3 (Entrepreneurial Mindset Mastery & Mentoring) Program. Through this funding, entrepreneurial mindset assessments and mentoring will be delivered to growth-ready women entrepreneurs in business less than 5 years, in Victoria, Kelowna and greater Vancouver.

Twelve organisations have been awarded $300,000 in total this year by Discovery Foundation in three award categories. Since its formation in 1979, the Discovery Foundation has supported the development of the science and tech sector in BC.

Research shows that women in tech need business mentoring and the mindset to realize their business potential. Researchers at the Leadership Development Institute at Eckerd College in Florida have developed the Entrepreneurial Mindset Profile™ (EMP), identifying seven personality characteristics and seven skills that are critical to entrepreneurial success. Women’s Enterprise Centre is the first organization in BC and one of the first in Canada to have Certified EMP Practitioners on staff, who use the assessment tool to enhance our training and mentoring programs.

The program will be part of the award-winning mentoring offerings at Women’s Enterprise Centre, which have been found to be key to the success of women-owned businesses in BC. According to a 2015 survey of WEC mentoring participants:

  • Over 95% of participants reported exceptionally high levels of satisfaction
  • Over 30% indicated business growth as a direct outcome of mentoring
  • 29% of respondents had hired new staff or were in the process of doing so
  • Over half the mentees stayed in contact with their mentors after the program end, showing longer-term results

WEC mentees reported that the number one measurable skill enhancement gained through mentoring is increased confidence, which is needed in order to encourage women to grow their businesses, thereby contributing more to the economy of BC.

WEC CEO Laurel Douglas said, “We are so delighted that WEC has been named one of the Discovery Foundation’s major program recipients for this year. We look forward to working as an Agent for the Discovery Foundation and supporting women business owners via the Technology Education Program for 2018.”

The program will launch in March, 2018. It will provide crucial mentoring support to women-owned tech companies, using the assistance of experienced women entrepreneurs as mentors.

Learn more about the program

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