Funding for Women’s Enterprise Centre is provided by Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD), which created the Women’s Enterprise Initiative (WEI) in 1994/1995 to address barriers faced by women in starting and expanding their businesses.
Western Economic Diversification Canada’s mandate is to promote the development and diversification of the economy of Western Canada and to advance the interests of the West in national economic policy. WD fulfills its mandate through these programs and activities:
- Economic Development
- Business Development
Partner with Us
We partner with organizations around the province and across the country to increase our impact.
Women's Enterprise Initiatives in Western Canada
No other organization in Canada compares with the WEI experience. With extensive knowledge and understanding of issues faced by women entrepreneurs, WEIs provide the support required to effectively build women’s business capacity.
What We Do
The objectives of the WEI are to establish a resource for women’s enterprise in each of the four Western Canadian provinces, and to assist in the expansion and diversification of the Western Canadian economy.
The mandate of the WEI organizations is to encourage women to start and expand businesses, encourage self-employment and business development and to promote economic equality between men and women.
Support from WD enables the four provincial organizations to provide enhanced business services to women entrepreneurs, including:
- Business Advisory Services
- Information Services and Referrals
- Training and Business Skills Development
- Networking and Mentoring
Since 1995, we have provided over $220 million in direct and leveraged financing and helped create or maintain over 7,700 as a result of our loans.
The WEI helps create more jobs per loan than any other federally funded lending program, and WEI-assisted businesses are 50% more likely to remain in business after five years than the national average.
The WEI partners with women entrepreneur support organizations across the country to create the Women’s Enterprise Organizations of Canada.
Women’s Enterprise Organizations of Canada (WEOC)
WEOC is the national association of professional business support organizations dedicated to the success of women entrepreneurs, and the authority on women’s entrepreneurship in Canada. Learn more >>
Alberta Women Entrepreneurs (A.W.E.)
AWE provides unique programs and services to women at all stages of business through advising, financing, mentoring, and skills and network development. Learn more >>
Women Entrepreneurs of Saskatchewan (WESK)
WESK provides business advisory and support services, start-up, purchase and expansion lending, mentoring and networking, and many learning opportunities from seminars and webinars to events. Learn more >>
Women's Enterprise Centre of Manitoba (WECM)
The Women’s Enterprise Centre of Manitoba is a resource for women looking to start or expand their businesses. In addition to our three core services: business advising, training and financing, the team at the Centre has developed innovative programs to assist women at all business stages. Learn more >>
BC Business Service Network
Small Business BC
Small Business BC can assist with everything from business registration to marketing strategy. They offer guided support, one-on-one consulting services, business plan reviews and dozens of free resources designed to save you time and money. Learn more >>
Community Futures Development Corporation of BC
Community Futures is the only organization throughout rural BC with a mandate for small business and community economic development. From its 34 offices throughout rural BC, Community Futures offers a variety of services and tools to help entrepreneurs and small business owners achieve their goals, including business support services, business planning advice, loans and self employment assistance. Learn more >>
Francophone Economic Development Organization
SDECB représente les intérêts du secteur économique de la communauté francophone en favorisant l’épanouissement du milieu des affaires, en valorisant l’entrepreneuriat chez les francophones et en assurant la diffusion de l’information à caractère économique auprès de la communauté. Learn more >>
Aboriginal Business Service Network
The Aboriginal Business Service Network collaborates to provide business support and advisory services to Aboriginal entrepreneurs in BC. Learn more >>
Entrepreneurs with Disabilities Program
The Entrepreneurs with Disabilities Program helps Western Canadians with a disability access a network of business professionals and resources. To access this program:
Partnerships with Women's Business Organizations
Women’s Enterprise Centre works with women’s business networks and women’s organizations throughout BC and Canada to bring entrepreneurs together to learn and network.
We are also co-founder and co-chair of the WEB Alliance of Women’s Business Networks in BC.
WEB Alliance of Women's Business Networks
The WEB Alliance is a consortium of women's business networks in BC that serves as a resource for professional women's groups and women in business and the trades to connect, elevate and educate the business community.