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

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

November 2020

Financial Understanding Bootcamp for Indigenous Women Entrepreneurs

November 25 @ 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm

One of the biggest challenges in starting and growing your business is the understanding of financial statements, yet they can make or break your business! Women’s Enterprise Centre has partnered with Creative Spirit Solutions to present a four-week series specifically created for Indigenous women entrepreneurs who want to understand their business financials. This Financial Understanding Bootcamp is designed for both start-up and existing businesses. We’ll look at your current personal finances, and then build achievable financial goals for your business.…

Find out more »

Marketing and Branding for Indigenous Businesses

November 26 @ 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Webinar Canada

How to Incorporate First Nations Art in Branding COURSE DESCRIPTION Storytelling has always held a special place in Indigenous culture. At its most basic level, branding is storytelling. It allows a business owner to communicate exactly what their business is, and why a customer should be interested in it. Join us for this informative webinar and learn the foundations of branding and marketing, with a focus on Indigenous businesses. From visuals and colours, to logos and design tools, attendees will…

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