Women's Program

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Virtual Women’s Entrepreneurship Program 

Northumberland County Program

The Virtual Women’s Entrepreneurship Program is a pilot project offered through the Ontario East Economic Development Commission to five regions including Northumberland County providing an opportunity for women aged 18+ years of age who want to start and run a full-time business within the partner communities.

All Women’s Entrepreneurship Program participants receive virtual training, coaching, mentoring & small business education. In addition, eligible new business start-ups can apply for a $2,000 micro grant.

Program participants also have the opportunity to network and “match-up” to network with participants from Small Business Centre’s across Eastern Ontario offering the pilot Women’s Entrepreneurship Program (Business Advisory Centre DurhamKawartha Lakes Small Business & Entrepreneurship CentrePrescott-Russell Entrepreneurship Centre and Leeds & Grenville Small Business Centre).

Objectives

  • Enhance small business development
  • Help participants identify/implement measurable business development & growth
  • Develop & increase entrepreneurs’ business knowledge through personalized virtual training and networking
  • Promote virtual collaboration among all entrepreneurs
  • Virtual and some face to face business coaching, match making, mentorship & peer best practices will maximize the benefit of network effects to ensure women entrepreneurs have strong support networks
  • Leverage technology to support information exchange and learning opportunities to compensate for lack of density in regions

Eligibility

  • 18+ years of age and reside in Northumberland County
  • Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada
  • New full-time business (less than 6months if registered). A full-time business is defined as a business that operates at least 30 hours per week

Upcoming dates

  • Grant Process: Submit program application by Friday January 29, 2021.
  • Meet virtually with Program Coordinator by Friday February 5, 2021.
  • Online GoForth business training to be completed by: Friday February 19, 2021 (approx.10hours of online business training)
  • Mandatory business planning discussion, peer to peer roundtable, program submission components and remaining requirements info session: Tuesday February 23, 2021 @ 10am-12pm
  • Business planning worksheet & cash flow forecast due by: Tuesday March 2, 2021
  • Grant announcements will be made by: Friday March 12, 2021

*Please note: Due to COVID-19, there will be no face-to-face (in person) meetings until further notice. 

To apply and for further information, please contact Diane Ney by email or phone at 905-372-3329 ext. 6221.

This program is supported by Ontario East and is funded in part by the Government of Canada through the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario.

Regional program information

Ontario East Women’s Entrepreneur (WEP) Program

The Government of Canada is committed to advancing gender equality and women’s economic empowerment and to supporting women entrepreneurs through the Women Entrepreneurship Strategy (WES) announced in 2018.

The Government of Canada WES Ecosystem Fund – Regional Stream provides funding to support the Ontario East Women’s Virtual Entrepreneurship Incubator Pilot Project (known as the Women’s Entrepreneur Program or WEP) 

This pilot project utilizes Business and Entrepreneurship Centre Northumberland’s existing learning tools and resources typically available only in an in-person environment and delivers them in a virtual format so that women in the five key partner regions across Eastern Ontario can access these important business support services.being administered by the Ontario East Economic Development Commission.

The pilot project partners include:

  • Business & Entrepreneurship Centre Northumberland (BECN)
  • Kawartha Lakes Small Business & Entrepreneurship Centre (KLSBEC)
  • Leeds Grenville Small Business Enterprise Centre (LGSBEC)
  • Prescott-Russell Community Development Corporation (PRCDC)
  • Business Advisory Centre Durham (BACD)

Services provided for this pilot project are available to women entrepreneurs within the partners’ catchment areas

A variety of programming is available to strengthen the participant’s entrepreneurial skills through on-line training; on-line workshops; live streaming of BECN’s Small Business Conference, virtual one-on-one discussions with a designated Project Coordinator; and enhance project participant’s access to networking, matchmaking and mentoring via virtual activities. Women Entrepreneurs in Eastern Ontario can be physically isolated, virtual networking, match making, and mentorship will create the efficiency of being able to access assistance at anytime from anywhere. Ultimately this Women’s Virtual Entrepreneurship Incubator Pilot Project will be shared with stakeholders across the province and nation to support women in starting a business and thereby advancing gender equality and supporting and women’s economic empowerment.

FedDev logo . Ontario East Economic Development Logo

Client testimonials

“The WEP has given me the guidance to prepare a clear business plan, have mentorship and a support system, gave education in how to prepare my business and myself for maintaining a successful online business. They have given opportunities to network and made us feel like equals no matter what level of business we are at. If you are thinking entrepreneurship is for you, I recommend the WEP as the benefits are far beyond just an online class, you gain a support system behind of amazing woman with constant encouragement and guidance.”  Suraya of ‘HartaBella Artistry’ –  Athens Township United Counties of Leeds and Grenville

“I am so happy to be part of this amazing program! The grant helped in so many ways and all of the resources are phenomenal. I felt so supported through this entire journey. The best part is that this program is ongoing so the support never goes away. Thank you for this opportunity!” Brianna of ‘Unwrapped’ – Cobourg

“I must say, I am impressed with the program. This program is very helpful to women and provides us with a safe space. The world of business can be intimidating to women, therefore; organizations like this are very necessary. Thank you everyone for the great work!” Candice of Candice Michelle – Durham

 “We wouldn’t have been able to even conceptualize our dreams without the support of the WEP program offered at SDCPR (La Société de développement communautaire de Prescott-Russell). Our concept and our wish lists came together because of their dedication to their clients’ needs. After we opened in February, and was shut down in March (due to Covid-19) the support we received by SDCPR and the programs offered was second to none. SDCPR was very supportive to guide us in the proper direction, through the program and coaching helped pivot our business during a rough time”. Danika and Brigitte of Aventures Ahoy Adventures – Casselman

“The virtual training has been great for me, as I find myself learning at my own speed and not feeling like I am falling behind others. Being able to have virtual meetings with Diane has also been a huge help. Overall, the WEP has really helped me improve on my confidence within myself, so much so that I find I am able to go out of my comfort zone and talk to people who might be potential clients.” Virginia – Kawartha Lakes

Photo Gallery: Womens Program will appear here on the public site.

This program is supported by Ontario East and is funded in part by the Government of Canada through the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario.


Pilot project partners

BACD Logo BECN Logo

KLSBEC Logo    LG Logo

PR Logo