Partner with Us

We can help finance, train and support women entrepreneurs in your community.

We are a non-profit organization devoted to helping BC women launch, lead and scale their own businesses. Funded by Western Economic Diversification Canada, we’re focused on enabling all current and aspiring women entrepreneurs in BC to be full contributors to the economy.

The business case

  • Over 161,000 women own and operate businesses in BC
  • Women are starting businesses at a greater rate than men, but fewer women are building high-growth companies
  • Women-owned businesses generate half the revenues of male-owned businesses, yet their net profit is 89% of male-owned firms

This is the economic gender gap: the gap in economic growth caused by less-than-optimum participation of women in the economy. And it presents an unprecedented opportunity for growth.

Collaborative approach to serving BC women

We partner with local business service providers, associations and women’s business networks to bring our services to communities throughout BC such as yours. We add value to your members and clients by complementing your current offerings with services designed to meet the unique needs of women in business.

Partner with us to support YOUR clients with:

Financing Partnerships

Our business services can help you to increase the competitiveness of local businesses, create jobs, nurture attractive sectors and facilitate new business development.

Access to Small Business Financing

Bundled with free, ongoing business guidance, training and mentoring, our business loans of up to $150k can help women:

  • Start, grow or buy a business
  • Develop new domestic and international markets
  • Enhance productivity and take advantage of growth opportunities

Special considerations for immigrants, youth and Indigenous women may apply.

When should you partner with or refer to us?

You may wish to refer a client to WEC for services when:

  • You want to share the risk with another lender
  • You can’t advance additional funds but they need financing to move forward

Contact Cecilia Mkondiwa, Senior Director, Program Development, to learn more about financing partnerships and referrals.

EXAMPLES OF RECENT LOAN PARTNERSHIPS & REFERRALS

Client Business Name Business Description Referral/Partner
Angela Nagy GreenStep Solutions Sustainability consultant that helps SMEs reduce their environmental impacts and create profitable sustainability strategies. Community Futures
BDC
Cheryl Smith HortyGirl Importer/exporter, manufacturer and wholesaler of living decor. BDC
Inna Shekhtman Red Dog Deli Raw Food Company Inc. Manufacturer and distributor of high-quality raw pet food. Partners for Growth
Lisa Will Stonz Wear Manufacturer of children’s outdoor gear that is sold in more than 400 stores in Canada and exported to the US and Europe. Forum for Women Entrepreneurs (FWE)
Jessica Farrow Honey + Garlic Health Studio Multi-disciplinary health clinic with a focus on delivering wellness in a beautiful space. Futurpreneur Canada
Skills Training & Workshops

Customized Course Partnerships

Women’s Enterprise Centre workshops are an excellent option for busy entrepreneurs who want to develop essential business skills. Created to specifically address women business owners’ learning styles and their desire to connect and collaborate with one another, our workshops are offered across BC.

Our training features:

  • Practical, applicable skills that are 100% relevant to the successful operation of a small business
  • A range of subjects known to be pivotal to small business success
  • Different learning approaches, including live workshops, webinars, teleconferences and self-directed study
Learn More About Training Partnerships

EXAMPLES OF RECENT WORKSHOP PARTNERSHIPS

Workshop Community Partner
Increasing Your Profits Vancouver OSME
Focused Marketing Langley Westminster Savings Credit Union
Stepping Up: Uncover Your True Leadership Potential Fort St. John North Peace Economic Development Commission
6-Part Growing Your Business Series Vancouver Chamber of Learning Network
BC Micro Business Training
Thompson Rivers University
HR for Non-profits Kelowna Vantage Point
Financial Bootcamp: Tax & accounting for Small Business Victoria VIATec
KPMG
Financial Bootcamp for Small Business Cranbrook
Creston
Elkford
Invermere
Trail
2 Community Futures
3 Chambers of Commerce
Kootenay Rockies Innovation Council
College of the Rockies
Kootenay Association for Science & Technology
Events & Sponsorships

Women’s Enterprise Centre, along with our provincial partners, hosts a number of small business events and workshops throughout the year. We also partner with women’s business organizations to host special events for women entrepreneurs.

Contact Sandra Bird, Director, Operations, to explore event partnerships.

EXAMPLES OF RECENT EVENT PARTNERSHIPS

Event Community Partner
Catalyst for Growth Kelowna
Victoria
Vancouver
Prince George
Price Rupert
59 partners and sponsors around BC, including:

  • Premier’s Women’s Economic Council
  • Women in BIZ Network
  • Kelowna women in Business
  • Northcoast Women in Business
BC Women Lead Business and Leadership Conference Kelowna BC Women Lead
Northwest Growth Conference Prince Rupert Hecate Straight Employment Development Society
Community Futures Pacific Northwest
Price Rupert & Port Edward EDC
Spark Leadership Conference Fort St. John North Peace Economic Development Commission
Business Advisory Services & Business Plan Reviews

Our team of professional advisors provides guidance to entrepreneurs in all stages of business, including:

As a result of our business services, our clients’ success rate after 5 years is 75% — that’s 50% above the national average.

Affordable Business Plan Reviews

A business plan review from Women’s Enterprise Centre is an effective way to ensure that your female clients have a business plan which is of the standard you require in order to make a lending decision. As lenders ourselves, we know what other lenders and investors need to know to have comfort in making a financing decision.

If you refer a client to us for a business plan review, our Business Advisors will spend up to 3 one-hour sessions with the client and provide both verbal and written feedback, outlining in detail what needs to be done to make their business plan complete.

Access Our Business Workbooks and Free Resources

Our series of Learning Guides and Workbooks can help any entrepreneur gain new business skills without leaving the comfort of their home. If they have questions along the way, our Business Advisors are available to provide additional support. Please contact us for bulk orders of workbooks or resource guides.

In addition we also offer a comprehensive free business resource library, with over 100 publications and multimedia files.

Contact Cecilia Mkondiwa, Senior Director, Program Development, to learn more about business advisory partnerships and referrals.

Export Support

Many women business owners recognize the growth opportunities of importing and exporting, but they’re overwhelmed by the prospect of learning about the rules, regulations, permissions and approvals required.

We offer Import/Export Advisory and Training services to take the fear out of expanding businesses internationally. All of our Import/Export services can be customized or expanded to serve your clients’ precise needs. Our import/export advisory and training services include:

  • Export Advisory Services
  • Import Advisory Services
  • Combined Import/Export Advisory Services
  • Follow-up Advisory Services
  • Workshops

Contact Kath Britton, Director, Business Development, to see how we can work together to help your clients access international markets.

Mentoring Programs & Connections

Mentoring from experienced business owners helps new entrepreneurs to improve their decision-making, build confidence, gain business knowledge, develop a growth mindset and increase productivity. Our award-winning Mentoring Program includes four programming options that can be customized for your clients:

Contact Kerrilee Auger, Skills Development Officer, to explore partnering on a custom mentoring program.

Your Link to the Women’s Entrepreneurial Ecosystem

Proud co-chair of the WEB Alliance

In 2009, Women’s Enterprise Centre co-founded the WEB Alliance of Women’s Business Networks, a consortium of women’s business groups representing over 27,000 women in business throughout BC. The WEB Alliance serves as a resource for professional women’s groups and women in business and the trades to connect, elevate and educate the business community to create change towards better business, stronger communities and an enhanced business culture for women.

National and International linkages

We are proud to be founders of Women’s Enterprise Organizations of Canada. We are a member of the national Taskforce for Women’s Business Growth and provide certification for WBE Canada and WEConnect International.

RECOGNITION

COMMUNITY BUILDING

Over the years we have been recognized for our accomplishments, knowledge of entrepreneurship and small business support
We have been pivotal in starting projects and networks that further the opportunities for women in business across BC and the country
G20 Logo Kelowna Chamber of Commerce Logo Greater Vancouver Board of Trade logo WEB Alliance logo WEOC Logo
SBDC Logo APEC Logo Catalyst for Growth Logo Supplier Diversity Canada logo
BCEDA Logo TIAW Logo PWN Logo Telfer Logo WE FOR SHE Logo

WE FOR SHE NextGen Leaders Program Logo

Let’s work together to support women in business in BC

Contact us today to explore our partnership options!

Business Loans & Advisory Services
Cecilia Mkondiwa
cecilia@womensenterprise.ca

1.800.643.7014 ext. 203
Training & Mentoring
Kerrilee Auger
kerrilee@womensenterprise.ca

1.800.643.7014 ext. 107
Events & Sponsorships
Sandra Bird
sandra@womensenterprise.ca

1.800.643.7014 ext. 101
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