Support for Indigenous Women Entrepreneurs

We know what it’s like to start and grow a business, which is why we’ve developed programs and training that deliver results. After all, knowledge is the best investment you can make in your business!

At Women’s Enterprise Centre, we work to ensure that Indigenous women entrepreneurs have access to business support and advice to help you reach your business goals.

If you’d like to discuss your business ideas, or get business development information, please send us an email or call 1.800.643.7014 ext. 112. We look forward to connecting with you!

How we support Indigenous women entrepreneurs

With personalized support and guidance, we can help you access various support services offered by WEC and our network of partners, including:

Charlene SanJenko, Founder, PowHerhouse Women’s Leadership Accelerator Inc.
Charlene SanJenko
Founder, PowHerhouse Women’s Leadership Accelerator Inc.
WEC Loan Client

Business loans up to $150k

As a development lender, we exist to help women access the financing they need to succeed in business—so you may qualify for a loan from us, even if you have been turned down by other lenders.

We also offer unsecured loans of up to $50,000 for Indigenous women. All our loans are bundled with complimentary advice, training and mentoring.

Learn more about business loans

Free business advisory support and counselling

Our professional Business Advisors provide complimentary support to address your business goals at any stage—from thinking about starting a business to growing internationally.

Have a business question? Ask an Advisor

Gwen Bridge,
Volunteer Mentor

Mentoring connections

A mentor can provide guidance, support and a fresh point of view from an experienced entrepreneur. We have mentors all over BC and intakes throughout the year.

Learn more about Mentoring

Skills development and resources

We offer a range of workshop topics known to be essential to small business success, such as:

  • Business planning for start-up, expansion, and export
  • Market research
  • Marketing and promotion
  • Financing
  • Operations and expansion strategies
  • Financial and cash-flow management
  • Human resources planning

With our support, you can learn the practical, applicable skills that are relevant for the successful operation of your small business.

PLEASE NOTE: Due to COVID-19, all WEC-hosted training is being delivered via webinar until further notice.

View upcoming training

Shannan Schimmelmann,
Entrepreneur in Residence

Access to other programs

Our team also works closely with non-Indigenous organizations that partner with Indigenous communities and organizations, including all levels of government, financial institutions, and intermediary organizations, to help our clients achieve their objectives within an Indigenous context.

Shannan Schimmelmann is an Entrepreneur in Residence at Women’s Enterprise Centre, and her focus is on supporting women entrepreneurs in Indigenous communities to start and grow businesses.

Through Women’s Enterprise Centre and our network, Shannan can also connect you with the appropriate resources for financing, doing business with the government and exporting to new markets. To get in touch with Shannan, please contact us at inquiry@womensenterprise.ca.


Events and opportunities for Indigenous Women Entrepreneurs

Check out the list below for upcoming training, events and awards for Indigenous women entrepreneurs. You may also view our full calendar of events and training for women entrepreneurs or our upcoming WEC webinars.

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Upcoming Events › Indigenous-Focused Opportunities

June 2021

Indigenous Peoples Day: A Celebration of Small Businesses

June 18 @ 9:00 am - 12:00 pm
Webinar Canada

In advance of National Indigenous Peoples Day on June 21, 2021, let’s celebrate the heritage, diverse cultures and outstanding achievements of First Nations in BC, with a special focus on entrepreneurs and small businesses! This webinar will cover how Indigenous businesses reflect Indigenous worldviews, cultural values, and ways of life. We will play, explore, and share some of our favourite examples. Join Erika Doehring, Gwich’in granddaughter and together we will foster community, celebrate Indigenous peoples and our successes, and highlight…

Find out more »

Indigenous Business and Projects: Inclusive recovery and renewed opportunities for growth

June 24 @ 9:00 am - 10:30 am
Webinar Canada

Indigenous businesses and projects are emerging as key engines for economic recovery. This session will highlight Indigenous-led businesses and projects, their experiences and lessons learned. Learn More or Register

Find out more »

The Path to Truth and Reconciliation

June 24 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Webinar Canada

In June, we celebrate National Indigenous History Month to honour the history, heritage and diversity of Indigenous peoples in Canada. It is also an opportunity to recognize the strength and perseverance of Indigenous communities. Join us for a conversation with Chief Terry Teegee, Regional Chief of the British Columbia Assembly of First Nations, as he addresses the business community to discuss the path to truth and reconciliation. During the event we will also make space to remember and acknowledge the…

Find out more »

The Path to Truth and Reconciliation

June 24 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Webinar Canada

In June, we celebrate National Indigenous History Month to honour the history, heritage and diversity of Indigenous peoples in Canada. It is also an opportunity to recognize the strength and perseverance of Indigenous communities. Join us for a conversation with Chief Terry Teegee, Regional Chief of the British Columbia Assembly of First Nations, as he addresses the business community to discuss the path to truth and reconciliation. During the event we will also make space to remember and acknowledge the…

Find out more »
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