Laurel Douglas, CEO
Laurel Douglas is the CEO of Women’s Enterprise Centre (WEC). WEC is a non-profit organization devoted to helping BC women launch, lead and scale their own businesses. Under Laurel’s leadership since 2004, WEC has become recognized as one of the leading business resources for women entrepreneurs in BC and a best practice internationally. WEC provides business loans up to $150,000, advisory services, skills training, mentoring and resources to women who are starting or growing their own business from its three offices in Kelowna, Vancouver and Victoria.
Laurel spent the first 20 years of her career in the financial services and technology sectors in Canada, France, Germany and the UK. Over the years, Laurel developed a passion for empowering women to their business success. She settled in BC in the mid 90’s and chose economic development as her vocation.
Laurel was appointed to the Board of Governors of the Justice Institute of BC in December 2019. She has served on the board of the Central Okanagan Economic Development Commission since 2003. She is a founding member of the National Taskforce on Women’s Business Growth and Women’s Enterprise Organizations of Canada. Committed to the future of BC’s post-secondary education, she also sits on UBCO’s External Advisory Committee, and completed a six-year term on the provincial Degree Quality Assessment Board.
Laurel is often asked to present on the topics of women’s leadership and entrepreneurship, and was one of two Canadian presenters at the 2011 APEC Summit in San Francisco which she attended as part of the Canadian delegation. Laurel has received several awards recognizing her contributions to economic development and small business in BC, including the EDABC and Small Business BC.
She was one of 100 people worldwide recognized in 2011 for their efforts in advancing the economic empowerment of women from the international organization, TIAW. In 2015 she was honoured with the Wendy McDonald Community Catalyst Award from the Women’s Leadership Circle of the Vancouver Board of Trade. In 2019, she was named one of BC Business Magazine’s most influential women in finance.