September 2018

Message from the Chair 
As we look forward to the programs and projects that will carry out the government’s pledge to women’s entrepreneurship in Canada as reflected in in the February 2018 budget, we are mindful that we still need to involve many aspects of the ecosystem not yet reflected on our membership list. In recognition of the collaborative methods women use to start and grow their businesses, WEOC is dedicated to absolute inclusivity within our membership.

Many of your organizations have taken advantage of the free membership offered last year. You will be glad to know that we are extending that courtesy to anyone who is currently a member or who becomes a member in this fiscal quarter. We believe that the opportunities that will open for all of us in the near term will enable us to maintain that free membership through at least the next six to nine months if not longer.

Membership brings benefits. WEOC is currently in discussions at a number of levels that will enable us to continue to bring all of our voices together and achieve greater reach and amplification than any of us could alone. We continue communicating with our members about new programs, projects, links, resources, opportunities and important events. There are some beautiful plans in play for us to be an even greater resource for our members everywhere -- look for future correspondence to tell you more. If you are an organization that supports women entrepreneurs in any significant way, you are welcome to join WEOC as a supporting member. Please go to the WEOC website and submit an application.

I look forward to seeing our numbers grow in the coming months!

In this issue: 
  • WEOC blog: Ecosystem effectiveness: Collaboration
  • Monthly feature: WEOC member organizations
  • BWIT Trade Mission to Europe
  • WEOC is now on LinkedIn!
  • Sponsored blog: Microsoft Virtual Open Source Conference
  • Upcoming events
WEOC and its member organizations are building Canada's economy by helping women entrepreneurs through all phases of their business cycle, whether they're just starting out or looking to grow and scale operations nationally or internationally.

Please share these resources with your members.
From the WEOC blog
Ecosystem Effectiveness: Collaboration
When an issue gains traction in the public eye, it can propel lots of people to take action. And, sometimes, all those separate initiatives can benefit from being more coordinated. Gender equality initiatives are a great example of this.

The Women’s Enterprise Organizations of Canada (WEOC) believes that collaboration enables us to provide stronger support for women entrepreneurs and their business growth.

While the market-based approach is to compete, the key players in the  entrepreneurial ecosystem  need to work together. There is a more progressive way: namely, collaboration.

There are many benefits to collaboration – both for ourselves and for our clients – because united organizations:
  • Complement each other’s offerings to fill gaps in service delivery and ensure members and/or clients are well supported.
  • Connect with new segments of the market that they might not reach otherwise.
  • Facilitate faster referrals.
  • Spend less time building their foundation and more time innovating.
  • Leverage the memberships, partnerships and credibility they already have.
  • Create a bigger impact for their common goal.
  • Limit confusion for members/clients and allow them to connect with the resource that best serves their need.
  • Create joint initiatives.
Monthly feature: WEOC member organizations
Newfoundland and Labrador Organization of Women Entrepreneurs: Providing peer support
Newfoundland and Labrador Organization of Women Entrepreneurs (NLOWE) has been helping women business owners for over 20 years. NLOWE provides services to support female entrepreneurs start, grow and advance their businesses through workshops, business advising, and peer support.

Throughout the year NLOWE offers a variety of business skills training and development workshops, conferences and networking events to help its members achieve their goals and cultivate their potential. It is through these events that women business owners develop successful partnerships, gain mentors and improve on strategic planning for their businesses.

Along with these events, NLOWE also provides programs such as Mastermind, where like-minded individuals come together in a non-competitive environment and focus on member accomplishments through facilitated peer advising. For those who cannot attend Mastermind sessions due to geographical location, NLOWE offers a program through video conferencing called Boost. Boost provides an energizing mix of learning, advising, and mentoring to its members.

NLOWE recognizes the importance of peer support groups, as it’s proven to create an environment where individuals can offer and receive advice and guidance. NLOWE will continue to support female entrepreneurs and explore every avenue to help them start, grow and advance in business.
Women's Enterprise Centre of Manitoba: Women on Boards
Women’s business support organizations are active in the role of promoting women in leadership at many levels. Women on Boards, a partnership between Manitoba Status of Women Secretariat and the Women’s Enterprise Centre of Manitoba is a ‘one-stop-shop’ to bring together women with various skills and expertise and the boards that need them.

The complexity of situations that confront boards and the speed at which the business
environment changes mean that there is not just one answer to a question or one way to approach a challenge.

Varying perspectives result when board members of different genders, ages, cultural
backgrounds, geography, expertise and experience tackle the issues that face an organization.

The insights shared and the questions asked of the CEO result in better decision making which in turn, yields better organizational performance.
Women Entrepreneurs of Saskatchewan: New program to empower Indigenous women in business
WESK wants all Saskatchewan entrepreneurs to have an equal opportunity to succeed. We’ve launched the Indigenous Women Entrepreneurs Program to help make it happen!

As part of our mission to empower entrepreneurial women in Saskatchewan to succeed at all stages of business, WESK is thrilled to launch the Indigenous Women Entrepreneurs Program!

Our goals with this multi-phased project, which completes in March 2020, is to create a best practices model to assist Indigenous women to start and grow businesses, employ people in their communities and fuel economic growth.

Investing more than $300,000 from Western Economic Diversification Canada and other sources, and in collaboration with our Advisory Council partners, WESK hosted Indigenous entrepreneurship forums in Saskatoon, Regina, Fort Qu’Appelle and Onion Lake in March 2018.

With powerful input from Indigenous women, organizations, communities, chiefs, elders and other leaders, together we are developing culturally relevant training, business advising and financing to foster entrepreneurship for all .
Business Women in International Trade (BWIT)
BWIT Trade Mission to Europe November 7 - 10, 2018
Do you support women-led business owners looking for market access opportunities in Europe and who are interested in learning how to navigate and access global supply chains with their German and British counterparts? Join the Canadian Business Women’s Trade Mission to Germany and U.K. 
  • High-calibre networking
  • Business-to business matchmaking
  • Inspired programming
  • Government of Canada support

Target Sectors
Multi-sectoral, including Information & Communications Technologies, Cleantech, Automotive, Infrastructure, Consumer Products, Agri-foods, Professional and other services*

*Please note that it is possible to sign up for either one or both components of the trade mission, and the identified target sectors and markets are not exhaustive.

Program Elements
Hamburg and Stuttgart, Germany – November 4-7, 2018
Unique events held in partnership with the German Businesswomen’s Association (VdU) and the Embassy of Canada in Berlin. Content designed for women-owned businesses in multiple sectors, from Canada and key regions of Germany, to open opportunities for B2B and improve access to global value chains.

London, United Kingdom – November 7-10, 2018
Includes attending the WEConnect International Europe’s annual conference to network with procurement specialists from leading corporations, multinationals and government agencies, as well as women business leaders from the U.K. and Europe.

Potential participants can contact  for more information and to register.
WEOC is on LinkedIn!
WEOC is now on LinkedIn!
We're thrilled to share that WEOC is now present and active on the world's largest professional networking platform -- LinkedIn. Please make sure to follow us there, share stories and help WEOC contribute to conversations that build ecosystems to support women entrepreneurs.
Sponsored blog
Microsoft Open Source virtual conference
Thursday, September 13, 2018 | 9:30 AM to 5:00 PM EST

The Open Source Virtual Conference is a one day online conference featuring technical learning sessions to help you lead innovation at your organization leveraging open source technology. 

Join us in the morning for a keynote featuring John Gossman and Gabe Monroy providing insights into how Microsoft has embraced Open Source both with its own technology and our commitment to the Open Source Community.

Following the keynote, we will be focused on ensuring you are set up on Azure for the remainder of the day to be able to follow along with demos throughout the 14 sessions available.

Speakers from across the community and the Microsoft ecosystem are bringing three tracks with 14 sessions for you to choose from:
  • OSS for Developers
  • OSS for IT Professionals
  • OSS for Data Developers

During breaks connect with Microsoft Partners in the Lounge to learn more about how to accelerate Open Source projects within your own organization!

Register now to hear from the Open Source Community and begin learning the latest technologies.
Upcoming events
Women of Influence
September 2018
Toronto and Calgary | Learn more
Microsoft Open Source Virtual Conference
September 13, 2018  
Online | Learn more
Startup Canadian Export Challenge
September & October 2018
Locations across Canada | Learn more
WBE Canada Annual Conference
September 26-27, 2018  
Toronto | Learn more
BWIT Trade Mission to Europe
November 4-10 2018
Germany and UK | Learn more
WE for SHE
November 16, 2018  
Vancouver | Learn more
WEOC Board

Sandra Altner , Women's Enterprise Centre of Manitoba
Paula Sheppard , Newfoundland and Labrador Organization of Women Entrepreneurs
Laurel Douglas , Women's Enterprise Centre of British Columbia
Marcela Mandeville , Alberta Women Entrepreneurs
Ruth Vachon , Réseau des Femmes d’affaires du Québec
Prabha Mitchell , Women Entrepreneurs of Saskatchewan    
Want to become a member of WEOC? Interested in resources for women entrepreneurs and women entrepreneur support organizations? Find these and much more at our website: 
Have an idea or suggestion for the WEOC newsletter? Contact us.