What We Offer > MENTORING

Growth Peer Mentorship for Women Business Owners

Connect with other women entrepreneurs to gain support for your business.

Peer Groups for growth-minded women

As a business owner, you know it’s a challenge to grow your business while keeping balance in your life. You have hard-earned experience and networks; at the same time, you’re entering new territory as you scale operations, build a team and enter new markets. You’re not alone!

For 15 years, WeBC has offered an award-winning mentorship program for new women business owners in BC. Now, we’re expanding our proven Peer Mentoring Model™ to support women entrepreneurs across Canada who have their sights set on business growth!

Thanks to funding from the Women Entrepreneurship Strategy, we’re collaborating with The Forum, Société de développement économique de la Colombie-Britannique (SDECB), and the Women’s Enterprise Organizations of Canada (WEOC) to offer Growth Peer Mentoring Groups across Canada in both English and French.

About the WeBC Peer Mentoring Model™

Peer Groups offer feedback and fresh perspectives on your business challenges and growth opportunities, using a solution-based approach. Sessions are guided by a Mentor who is an experienced entrepreneur, and the Mentees use action learning to problem-solve in real time.


Peer groups allow you to:

  • Learn from the insights and diverse experiences of a group.
  • Explore alternative solutions or approaches you may not get to on your own.
  • Shorten the learning curve by benefiting from other women’s knowledge.
  • Overcome the overwhelm of increased responsibility and risk as you grow.
  • Extend your network: Need new talent, a new supplier? Tap your peer group for referrals.

Program details

All applicants must:

  1. Actively operate a business in Canada that is generating revenue
  2. Be focused on growing your business
  3. Identify as a woman, and over the age of 19

*Please note that ‘pre-startups’ are not eligible for the mentoring program; however, you can seek professional guidance from our Business Advisors.

Application process:

  • Peer Groups will be available across Canada.
    • English-speaking groups in BC will be hosted by WeBC.
    • French-speaking groups across Canada will be hosted by SDECB.
    • English-speaking groups outside of BC will be hosted by The Forum.
  • We screen all applicants to ensure each group includes non-competing businesses with complementary needs and goals.
  • Unsuccessful applicants will stay on our program waitlist and will be notified when the next intake opens.

Program cost:

Due to grant funding from the Women Entrepreneurship Strategy, the program is FREE to all participants in 2023/24!

Please note: As there are limited spaces for this program, all participants must commit to attending all sessions. Registrants who miss more than 25% of sessions will be charged an administrative fee of $150.

Upcoming groups:

  • BC English-Speaking Group, hosted by WeBC
    • 2024 Winter/Spring Cohort | 7 Sessions | 11am to 12:30pm PT
      • March 14 | Introduction: Getting to Know You
      • March 21 | Marketing: Make Your Marketing Matter
      • March 28 | Financial: Beyond the Numbers
      • April 4 | Operations: Inputs to Outputs
      • April 11 | Human Resources: The Key to Business Success
      • April 18 | Negotiation: Harness Your Skills to Effectively Negotiate
      • April 25 | Mindset: The Final Frontier for Success
    • Intake is closed and we’re in the process of responding to all applicants. Join the waitlist for future intakes >>>
  • French-Speaking Group, hosted by SDECB
    • 2024 Winter/Spring Cohort – Details coming soon!
  • English-Speaking Group outside of BC, hosted by The Forum
    • 2024 Winter/Spring Cohort:
      • Group 1: Tuesdays at 11am to 1pm EST from February 13 – April 16
      • Group 2: Wednesdays at 1pm to 3pm EST from February 14 – April 17
      • Group 3: Wednesdays at 5pm to 7pm EST from February 14 – April 17
    • Application are closed. Join the waitlist for future intakes >>>

Stay in the Loop

Join our waitlist to be notified when the next intake opens.

 

STAY IN THE LOOP

Frequently Asked Questions - Peer Groups

In a Peer Mentoring group, you get the experience of your mentor, and you also benefit from the diverse viewpoints of the other group members.

There might be a woman who runs a marketing firm but needs guidance with her financials. And in her group, we would place a bookkeeper with years of experience in financial management who needs help growing her business on social media.

This means they’ll both work with the experienced mentor, and they can also provide another layer of help for each other in the areas where they’re strong.

Peer Mentoring Groups offer women entrepreneurs opportunities to discuss growth challenges that businesses face, and maintain a positive outlook needed for business success.

Groups of women in non-competing businesses meet under the guidance of a Mentor, an experienced entrepreneur who leads the group. The group will:

  • Discuss the challenges of business growth
  • Learn from the experiences of others
  • Provide support to one another
  • Develop new business skills and knowledge

You’ll come with a specific problem or opportunity in mind, then the group will discuss the challenge and brainstorm solutions (guided by the mentor). You’ll develop an action plan, then go out and implement it.

Next time, you’ll come back and report on your progress. Did it work, or was it a flop? How can you adjust your strategy? Was it successful and something your fellow mentee can use in her business?

We interview every woman to make sure we don’t have any competing businesses in each group. We want to create a safe and confidential environment so you feel comfortable sharing!

We find a lot of the challenges that women business owners face – like work/life balance, growing their sales, managing too much demand – transcend industries, and our mentees appreciate the different points of view from different types of business owners.

Every group is led by an established entrepreneur in your community who has been through a lot of the same situations you’re dealing with, and has come out the other side.

The mentor has a knowledge base from her years of running a business, and she’ll share her insights based on her own experiences.

MEET OUR MENTORS

The BC group is led by Dawn McCooey, WeBC Entrepreneur in Residence.

A Mentee is an entrepreneur who is committed to developing her business, achieving business goals, and improving her business skills and knowledge.

Mentees must be willing to:

  • Share business challenges and issues
  • Contribute ideas and experiences to help other Mentees
  • Receive constructive feedback
  • Accept suggestions and advice
  • Open up to new ideas and change
  • Respect the other group members
  • Keep the confidentiality of the group discussions

Peer Mentoring Groups acknowledge women’s preference for learning through the experiences of others. Women can find power and confidence in sharing their concerns with a mentor and peers in a group setting.

Mentees benefit from:

  • Receiving personalized advice
  • Improving their business knowledge
  • Receiving an outside perspective
  • Increased productivity
  • Growing confidence from support regarding business decisions
  • New networks and partnerships within the business community
  • Emotional support
  • Relief from isolation through regular, supportive contact

Successful applicants must:

  • Be actively operating a business in Canada and ready to grow
  • Be a woman over the age of 19

Eligible applicants may be contacted for a brief interview to learn more about their businesses and get more details about participation in the program.

Pre-start-ups are not eligible for the mentoring program; however, you can seek free professional guidance from our Business Advisors.

Due to grant funding from the Women Entrepreneurship Strategy, the program is free to all participants in 2023/24.

Please note: As there are limited spaces for this program, all participants must commit to attending all sessions. Registrants who miss more than 25% of sessions will be charged an administrative fee of $150.

“Participating in the mentoring program for women entrepreneurs has been a transformative experience. The program not only provided invaluable guidance but also created a supportive community of like-minded individuals. Learning key strategies to improve and grow our businesses has been instrumental. I’m incredibly grateful for the insights and encouragement, which have significantly elevated my entrepreneurial journey.”

“I was delighted with the high levels of engagement and sharing of expertise in this unique Peer Mentoring model. No one is excellent at all aspects of business. In groups like these, where one entrepreneur is lacking in skill or knowledge, another has the expertise.

When you take a group of experienced women entrepreneurs and provide an opportunity for real time problem-solving and support, the results are impressive. Based on concrete examples of the learning that took place, business growth was the focus and business growth is my prediction of the final results.”

“As a woman business owner, I found the Mentoring Program to be a useful tool in my Toolbox for business. The opportunity to speak with other women in my field and share knowledge, offer support and learn together, was invaluable. I highly recommend it.”

CLIENT STORIES

Miki Talebi, oomé, Coquitlam

Miki Talebi launched oomé smoked tofu in May 2022 as a celebration of family, and of great tasting food that is ethically produced, locally sourced, and good for the planet.

As Miki grew her business, she was introduced to our Peer Mentoring program.

“I loved the weekly sessions and cherished how we all supported each other on the challenges we faced, cheering each other on and sharing resources.”

Growth Peer Mentoring Program Partners

WeBC, SDEBC, WEOC and The Forum logos

The C3 Project is funded by the Government of Canada’s Women Entrepreneurship Strategy.

Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada   Canada wordmark