In­creas­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties for women en­trepreneurs

The Compass - - ORTHTE -

The provin­cial gov­ern­ment and the New­found­land and Labrador Or­ga­ni­za­tion of Women En­trepreneurs (NLOWE) are join­ing forces to help women-led busi­nesses cap­i­tal­ize on new busi­ness op­por­tu­ni­ties.

Gov­ern­ment is in­vest­ing $320,000 to help NLOWE de­liver busi­ness con­nec­tions to po­ten­tial and ex­ist­ing women en­trepreneurs through­out the province.

NLOWE will use the gov­ern­ment money to develop train­ing ma­te­ri­als and mod­ules that will be de­liv­ered to women busi­ness own­ers.

The or­ga­ni­za­tion, which has helped women start more than 800 busi­nesses and cre­ate over 1,700 new jobs, will em­ploy two co-or­di­na­tors — one based in St. John’s and the other in Cor­ner Brook — to de­liver province-wide train­ing pro­grams. It will also work with small and medium-sized en­ter­prises to tar­get new op­por­tu­ni­ties and address labour mar­ket re­quire­ments.

“ This fund­ing will en­able NLOWE to bet­ter tar­get the train­ing needs of women en­trepreneurs as they seek to be­come in­volved in the growth in­dus­tries in this province, par­tic­u­larly oil and gas,” said Karen Nof­tall, pres­i­dent of NLOWE’s board of direc­tors.

“Our goal is to in­crease the busi­ness skills of these women so that they can part­ner with and sell to other busi­nesses that in turn sup­ply a va­ri­ety of prod­ucts and ser­vices to these growth in­dus­tries,” Nof­tall said. “ In this way, women en­trepreneurs can be­come an in­te­gral part of their sup­ply chains and thus, important con­trib­u­tors to the provin­cial econ­omy,” she added.

Anne Whe­lan, pres­i­dent and CEO of Care­Givers and BrenKir In­dus­trial Sup­ply said: “Hav­ing a col­lab­o­ra­tive net­work that in­cludes in­dus­try, NLOWE and the provin­cial gov­ern­ment all work­ing to­gether to ad­vance op­por­tu­ni­ties for women en­trepreneurs is es­sen­tial for the develop- ment of strong busi­nesses.

“ Trade mis­sions, and sup­plier de­vel­op­ment and di­ver­sity ini­tia­tives are all mak­ing a real dif­fer­ence,” Whe­lan said, point­ing out, “we have miles to go, but we are mak­ing real progress.

“ This is a time of ex­cep­tional growth in New­found­land and Labrador, which is lead­ing to re­ward­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties for lo­cal busi­nesses,” saidIn­no­va­tion, Trade and Ru­ral De­vel­op­ment Min­is­terSu­san Sul­li­van.

Sul­li­van said the ini­tia­tive will help link com­pa­nies with spe­cific op­por­tu­ni­ties.

“It is a ven­ture that will help bol­ster the province’s econ­omy and strengthen its work­force,” Sul­li­van sug­gested.

The ini­tia­tive was funded through the Work­place Skills En­hance­ment Pro­gram.

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