FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – Over 100 women business owners around BC will receive mentoring from Women’s Enterprise Centre (WEC) this year, opening the door for a backlog of applicants who want to gain skills and insights from an experienced entrepreneur. Thanks to financial support from the BC Ministry of Jobs, Trade and Technology, WEC has announced it will continue its award-winning mentoring program for 2018-19.
Women’s Enterprise Centre receives regular requests from women who want to connect with a mentor or a Business Advisor who can support them as they start and grow their business. This renewed funding will allow Women’s Enterprise Centre to address that demand by training more mentors through multiple intakes for the program over the next year.
“WEC mentoring programs are a key part of the entrepreneurial ecosystem in BC. Mentorship is a proven strategy to help entrepreneurs overcome the uncertainties of business ownership, create a sounding board and improve their skills and confidence,” says Laurel Douglas, CEO of Women’s Enterprise Centre. “Over half of our participants stay in touch long-term, which shows the value of the networks they create.”
This year’s mentoring program will include three programs: One-to-One Mentoring, Financial Fitness Peer Mentoring, and the Taking the Stage® program.
- The One-to-One Mentoring program matches a woman in the early stages of business with a seasoned business owner for a six-month mentoring relationship.
- Financial Fitness Peer Mentoring Groups are led by volunteer Chartered Professional Accountants to help mentees make confident financial decisions and work together to gain feedback on their challenges with a solution-based approach.
- Taking the Stage® is a powerful leadership development program used by large corporations such as Microsoft and Johnson & Johnson, and it is available to women business owners and women working in non-profit organizations in BC at a fraction of the cost thanks in part to sponsorship from The Humphrey Group.
Since 2007, over 900 women have received mentoring from Women’s Enterprise Centre, of which 95% are still in business after five years. Thanks to WEC’s volunteer network, over 150 experienced entrepreneurs and professionals have shared their knowledge with new entrepreneurs as mentors.
According to one past mentee, “As a solopreneur working from home, my business life and efforts have seemed like “shots in the dark” without any feedback. The group was critical to help me know that I’m not on some wild and meandering path and that others have had similar questions. I became clear about what stage I was actually at in my business, as well as where I want to go. This was an empowering move!”
Schedules and communities for the mentoring program intakes and sessions will be posted at wec.ca/Mentor. To be notified of news about the programs, visit wec.ca/eBlasts.
WEC is also seeking experienced business owners – women and men – who would like to learn valuable facilitation skills and give back to their community by becoming a mentor. To learn more, visit wec.ca/Mentor.
CEO, Women’s Enterprise Centre
About Women’s Enterprise Centre
Women’s Enterprise Centre is the leading full-service business resource for BC women who are starting and scaling their own business. We provide business loans up to $150K, business skills training, personalized business advice, mentoring, practical resources and a supportive community to help women business owners gain the skills, mindset, financing and networks they need to realize their business potential.