My odyssey started ten days ago and took me first to hot and humid Florida and the WBENC conference with the Canadian WEConnect delegation. I joined 3500 other individuals seeking to make connections between women entrepreneurs and corporations/government agencies seeking to diversify their supply chains. My job was to proudly accompany some of Manitoba's finest women entrepreneurs as they presented their expertise and product innovation to procurement executives representing some of the largest markets in North America. Our Saskatchewan colleague, Jade Gritzfeld has aptly captured the flavour of the WBENC conference in her blog series.
From any perspective, the conference was a grand success for the Canadian delegation. The women business owners who attended have already made invaluable contacts that will bring exciting new business opportunities. Some of these connections will take time coming to fruition, but well worthwhile once they do. Other meetings and discussions have had immediate and spectacular results.
For me, the event was incredibly valuable. Not only did I see, for the first time, the size and scope of this diversity initiative, but was even more aware of the need to prepare our clients to attend this event in future. I am more determined than ever to put our WECM resources behind the development of our growth-oriented women-owned businesses. There is so much opportunity out there for Manitoba women entrepreneurs. Working together, I believe that we can be even more successful in future in helping to build the capacity of our clients to be able to take advantage of these extraordinary diversity initiatives.
Now I've switched gears and am in New York City at a conference that serves highly successful women business owners. I'm hoping to network with this select group to see what I can bring back to the Centre in the way of knowledge and ideas for critical success factors that we can incorporate into our training and advisory activities. I’m just dashing off to the first roundtable now. More anon....