Prairie Post (West Edition)
Lethbridge-based Women Entrepreneurs-in-STEM (WESTEM) wins prestigious EDAC award
The Women Entrepreneurs-in-STEM (WESTEM) program, facilitated by Economic Development Lethbridge (EDL), is thrilled to have been recognized by the Economic Developers Association of Canada (EDAC) as the winner of both the Marketing Canada Award in the Social Media/App category and the EDAC Cup 2022 for our podcast “WEcast”.
The EDAC Cup is the “best in show” award presented during the annual national EDAC Conference. The judges consider creativity, uniqueness of approach, effectiveness in achieving objectives, and best practices when choosing a winner. According to the EDAC judges, WEcast showed great ingenuity as it was the first podcast ever submitted for a Marketing Canada Award!
The WESTEM program was launched in July of 2019 and EDL was tasked with offering mentoring, training, and other entrepreneurial supports to women led businesses in southern Alberta. To reach rural/remote areas, a monthly podcast titled WEcast was launched in July of 2021 and so far, has produced 14 unique episodes featuring innovative women leading the way for entrepreneurial success in STEM in the region.
Suzanne Ebelher, WESTEM’s Project Team Lead, recognizes the value in building community.
“Role models and mentors are so important to those facing challenging barriers in mainstream entrepreneurship in Alberta. WESTEM found that by providing a platform for clients from underrepresented backgrounds opportunities to share their stories, other women from southern Alberta reached out to WESTEM saying they felt safe in doing so as they resonated with the stories shared.”
The WEcast podcast was designed to amplify the voices, and tell the stories of self-identified women entrepreneurs, and those who support them, across the rural regions of southern Alberta. A wide array of topics, interviews, and success stories helped to create a fresh episode each month, allowing WEcast to highlight the many ups and downs of women entrepreneurs in the region. These stories and firsthand experiences offered female entrepreneurs in southern Alberta a way to feel part of a community and identify with challenges they may currently be having on their own entrepreneurial journey.
WEcast is available on all major streaming services, anyone, anywhere can download or stream an episode. The reach of WEcast truly is global and helps elevate the work being done by many women led entrepreneurs and professionals in southern Alberta.
EDL initiatives have been recognized by EDAC numerous times over the past 16 years, including:
• 2006 Website – www.chooselethbridge.ca
• 2007 Business Development Publication (Print) – County of Lethbridge Business Investment Profile
• 2009 Advertising (Single Advertisement) – Collaborative Business Parks Promotion
• 2011 Advertising Campaign – Lethbridge Awareness Campaign
• 2012 EDAC RBC National Economic Development Achievement – Tecconnect: An Alberta Centre for New Commerce
• 2013 Promotional Item – EDL Fortune Teller
• 2018 Single Publication (Over 4 Pages) – This is Lethbridge
• 2019 Brand Identity – Lethbridge: Brighter Together
• 2020 Website – www.canadaspremierfoodcorridor.ca