May 2020
Committed to the growth of women’s entrepreneurship, the Women’s Enterprise Organizations of Canada works with women’s enterprise support organizations to champion innovation, broaden expertise and enhance collaboration.
WEOC’s members support women entrepreneurs by providing an array of services, including business skills development, access to financing, networking and export opportunities.
Thank You!
Two weeks ago we welcomed women from across Canada to our first virtual symposium: Ready, Set, Get Back to Business. It was a wonderful networking and knowledge sharing opportunity for those who support and advise women entrepreneurs, as well as individual business owners.

Six presentations and panel discussions over three days took a deep dive into topics like Cultivating Customer Loyalty, Moving Forward Through Export and Developing Business Growth Strategies. Based on the feedback we received, it was a rich discussion with many actionable takeaways.

I thank the presenters and panelists for sharing their expertise and experience, and the participants for their insightful comments and questions. I encourage all of you to continue networking using the event app and access resources from our presenters at

I continue to be inspired by the leadership and ingenuity shown by women entrepreneurs in this country, and the empathy and creativity that has gone into supporting them through a time of great change. We wish you all well and look forward to connecting again soon.

Until next time,

Alison Kirkland, CEO
New Business Resilience Service Hotline for Entrepreneurs

Business owners and charities can receive customized financial guidance through a new Business Resilience Service hotline.

125 business advisors from the Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada will staff the phones. They can help with navigating tax regulations, understanding government supports, planning recovery paths and more.

The government has partnered with the Canadian Chamber of Commerce to create the hotline. The hotline is open for the next 30 days, and it’s available from 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. PDT, seven days a week. 

You can call 1-866-989-1080 to access the service.
Be a Part of Research Supporting Female Entrepreneurs - Deadline May 31

Your insight is needed if your business has experienced 20% or greater revenue growth per annum over three years, within the past five years — pre-COVID-19.

The Brookfield Institute for Innovation + Entrepreneurship , under the Women Entrepreneurship Knowledge Hub (WEKH ), is conducting a research project on women entrepreneurs’ high-growth journeys. The findings will shape a report for government, funders and entrepreneurial support organizations.

Participants will take a short online survey and have a phone interview. If you’re interested, sign up by May 31.
Walks, yoga, “Quarantunes” — there are many ways entrepreneurs and business advisors can manage their mental health
The COVID-19 pandemic hasn’t just put a strain on physical health — it’s affected people’s mental states too. In this article, business advisors discuss how they take care of their mental health. They also have tips for those who have no time for self-care.

From Ready, Set, Get Back to Business symposium:   “Try to find some compassion for the people who you’re working with and check in with them.” - Jenifer Horvath, business advisor, Alberta Women Entrepreneurs
(un)Balanced Online Workshop

Juggling working from home, family needs and general life is hard. A two-part online workshop addresses the best practices for balance and the ways to build an inclusive culture.

Tech Manitoba will host (un)Balanced: Building and Sustaining a Culture of Inclusion on June 4 and June 11 via Zoom. Both sessions will run from 12:30 to 2 p.m. CDT for a fee of $20. Half of the proceeds will go to The Shameless Circle Empower Me Fund.

You can register on Tech Manitoba's website.
New App to Support Canadian Female Entrepreneurs

There’s a new app for female entrepreneurs to connect with others in the business community.

Women Entrepreneurship Knowledge Hub (WEKH), in partnership with FWE, has created a sharing platform where users can “ask” and “give.”

The app is just launching; users can explore it and provide feedback.

  • Watch - Our member organization Women Entrepreneurs of Saskatchewan released the Women Entrepreneurship in Saskatchewan report on May 20, which includes national data on women entrepreneurs in Canada. Watch WESK CEO Prabha Mitchell make the announcement here.

  • Stay Up to Date - Our COVID-19 Resources page is updated frequently with articles, informational videos, tools and external links to help businesses succeed during the pandemic. You can find links to the federal government’s programs for businesses and links to banks and work-sharing programs. We have resources for small businesses, manufacturers, non-profits and freelancers. You’ll find resources on business pivoting and planning, funding, wage subsidies, staff management, logistics, export and more.
Stay connected and motivated this month
Businesses across the country may still be closed or slowly re-opening, but WEOC's member organizations are offering events for entrepreneurs to stay connected and keep learning.

Mindful Minute
Stating your intentions is a great way to check in with yourself before you head into a long day, a long meeting, or even an unscheduled morning. Need some help getting started? WEOC's Alison Kirkland shared this list of prompts during the Ready, Set, Get Back to Business symposium:

Thought Starters:

  • What matters most to you
  • What would you like to build, create, or nurture
  • What would you like to let go of
  • Who would you like to forgive in your life
  • How do you feel when you are your happiest self
  • What makes you proud
  • What word(s) would you like to align yourself with
  • What fears would you like to release
  • What are you grateful for

Pivoting and Resetting for the Future
As a business owner, are you nimble enough to pivot when necessary and take advantage of opportunities when they appear? During the Ready, Set, Get Back to Business symposium, May 12-14, entrepreneurs Pina Romolo, Piccola Cucina , and Alicia Soulier, SalonScale Technology Inc. (photo) , shared insights into how they have successfully pivoted their businesses:

  • Make your brand known.
  • Pay attention to what’s going on in the world.
  • Give people what they need, not what they want.
  • Ask for help when you need it.
  • Become financially literate.
  • Realize that it’s okay to make mistakes.
  • Take care of yourself. 

From Ready, Set, Get Back to Business symposium:  “Self-care is so important. You cannot pour from a half-filled cup.” - Alicia Soulier

Have you changed how you offer your products and services because of the COVID-19 pandemic?
I was already in the process of making major changes
Instagram Spotlight
Each month we profile a favourite post from a Canadian woman entrepreneur/organization, this month we highlight Women's Enterprise Centre Manitoba
"Summer is coming. Have you signed up for  @chaeban_ice_cream 's oh-so-sweet pint subscription program?⁠"

When Winnipeg's Chaeban Ice Cream closed its doors to customers because of COVID-19 restrictions, its owners, Joseph Chaeban and Zainab Ali, pivoted their year-old business and created a subscription ice cream delivery service. Sweet!

200-207 Donald Street
Winnipeg, Manitoba
R3C 1M5