WeBC to receive continued funding from the WES Ecosystem Fund
Kelowna, BC – WeBC receives $2.89 million in funding to expand support for women entrepreneurs from the Government of Canada’s Ministry of International Trade, Export Promotion, Small Business and Economic Development. The funding will allow WeBC to extend existing programs to facilitate the sustained growth of women business owners in British Columbia.
WeBC’s funding will support a new growth-focused mentorship program for women five years or more in business, as well as entrepreneurship training and mentorship for women in select universities across Canada. Additionally, new skills development programs will be established that encourage women to develop a growth mindset early on to better leverage financing and networks in later stages of business.
“We’re grateful to the government for acknowledging our track record and allowing us to continue the impactful work of the last four years.” says Shauna Harper, WeBC CEO. “We’re proud to provide the space for women entrepreneurs to foster valuable relationships with each other and generate opportunities to pass on knowledge as we continue to build our communities.”
Working with a network of partners, WeBC will deliver on-demand and live skills development, business advising, mentoring, and network building through the “Capital, Community, Capacity (C3) Project,” an initiative to support the deliberate and sustained growth of women business owners. The C3 Project, which will be offered in both official languages, will run April 1, 2023, to March 31, 2025, with programs targeted to begin in June 2023.
The funding was announced on International Women’s Day, March 8, 2023, by the Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of International Trade, Export Promotion, Small Business and Economic Development.
“This International Women’s Day, we’re celebrating the incredible talent and achievements of women and the concrete action our government is taking to make sure every woman counts. Time and again, Canadian women have proven themselves to be hard-working and dedicated entrepreneurs, yet many still face barriers to achieving their entrepreneurship dreams. Today’s announcement marks another big step toward ending gender bias and helping women from all walks of life bring their talents and skills to market for the benefit of all Canadians.” – The Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of International Trade, Export Promotion, Small Business and Economic Development
- 97 percent of mentees report feeling confident in their business after participating in the WeBC mentoring program, compared to 58 percent prior to entering the program.
- 95 percent of women who participated in the WeBC mentorship program during the pandemic are still in business today.
- 68 percent of past mentees report offering new products and services, 57 percent expand to new markets, and 55 percent report an increase in their social impact.
- Over half of women entrepreneurs who participate in the mentorship program have created new jobs in their community.
WeBC is a not-for-profit that has been supporting women business owners across the province since 1995. Working with regional partners, they’ve provided thousands of entrepreneurs with business loans and expertise, training, resources, and peer network support to help businesses grow and thrive. WeBC is supported by Pacific Economic Development Canada. Learn more at we-bc.ca
Chaunda Honkonen | Marketing & Communications Manager
250.868.3454 ext. 104