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This Is
Our Journey

Clients, staff, board members, funders, and community partners have all played an important role in the evolution of the Women’s Enterprise Centre of Manitoba.

Our History

In 1994, Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD) conducted research and recognized a gap in the services and financing available to women business owners. It assembled a community-based advisory committee of women entrepreneurs and researchers who helped establish the Women’s Enterprise Centre of Manitoba, the first organization of its kind in Canada.

The Centre’s goal is to help women throughout the province successfully start, operate and grow their own businesses. While we regularly add, assess and revise programs, we continue to deliver the three core services that were in place when our doors opened.

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Why Gender Specific Services?

Research has shown that women in North America are starting businesses at more than twice the rate of men, but most of those businesses aren’t growing at the same rate as those owned by men. While there are many successful women entrepreneurs, gender-specific programs have been proven to help women:

  • Develop competence as a business owner;
  • Overcome systemic barriers present in interactions with accountants, financiers and business counsellors;
  • Enhance their credibility in order to increase their access start-up and expansion capital;
  • Develop their management capacity;
  • Accommodate the many demands on their time. Family responsibilities remain the primary responsibility of women and must be managed in addition to work outside the home;
  • Improve their access to information, contacts, networks and mentors;
  • Grow their enterprises so that they become real assets which can be sold or passed on to a family member.
  • Develop growth-oriented businesses that profoundly impact the economy by creating jobs for themselves and others and make significant contributions to their communities;
  • Learn because training and advising services are crafted with women’s learning and communications styles in mind.
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Our Team

Entrepreneurs, marketers, financial experts, inventory management gurus, lenders, advisors and teachers are just some of the hats that our team wears as we guide, encourage and support our clients in their entrepreneurial journeys.

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Our Board of Directors

Our talented Board of Directors provides governance and policy direction to the Centre. The policies state that at least 60% of the Board must be comprised of individuals who currently own a business or who have had entrepreneurial experience. Professional expertise and rural representation are also very important considerations in the Board selection process.

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Lisa Stone, co-founder and CEO, BlogHer