Increasing opportunities for women entrepreneurs
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.