Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training, Economy Sector, Vancouver Coast & Mountains Region, Vancouver Island / Coast Region

Women entrepreneurs flourish in B.C.

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Economy Thursday, March 8, 2012 2:30 PM


VICTORIA - In celebration of International Women’s Day on March 8, 2012, the Province of British Columbia would like to recognize women in business.

In 2010, over 36 per cent of self-employed British Columbians were women. This was slightly higher than the national average of 35 per cent and the second-highest rate among the provinces.

Organizations like the Women’s Enterprise Centre (WEC), Wired Women Network, Women’s Business Network, Community Futures and Small Business BC are instrumental in helping women entrepreneurs launch successful businesses. For example, in 2010-11, WEC provided mentoring opportunities to 202 women in their first three years in business and handed out $1.7 million in loans, helping to create 115 jobs.

As part of ‘Canada Starts Here: The BC Jobs Plan,’ the Province is working to create a healthy, stable business environment for small-business owners and entrepreneurs by reducing red tape and expanding programs such as the Small Business Venture Capital Program tax credit.

Small business makes up 98 per cent of all businesses in B.C., employing over a million British Columbians.

Quotes:

Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Innovation Pat Bell -

“Jobs and families are our government’s top priorities, and I am proud to encourage women entrepreneurs to continue the great work they’re doing, contributing to economic growth and job creation in B.C.”

Women’s Enterprise Centre CEO Laurel Douglas -

“Investing in women entrepreneurs is one of the best ways to generate economic development in B.C. We encourage women entrepreneurs to grow their sales by expanding their markets and accessing corporate and government contracts. We also help them start and grow their business through business loans, business advisory services, mentoring and training in all aspects of running a business.”

Learn more:

To find out more about the Women’s Enterprise Centre, visit: www.womensenterprise.ca

To find out more about Small Business BC, visit: www.smallbusinessbc.ca

A backgrounder follows.

Contacts:

Sheldon Johnson
Public Affairs Officer
Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Innovation
250 213-5811

Alpana Sharma
Communications Coordinator
Women’s Enterprise Centre
1 800-643-7014 ext 201

BACKGROUNDER

Profiles of women entrepreneurs in B.C.

Kalpna Solanki, FX-Foods Inc., Burnaby - Kalpna Solanki of FX-Foods produces Martin’s Marvelous gluten free crackers, which are now sold in over 200 stores across Canada and the U.S. The Women’s Enterprise Centre has recently assisted Solanki with a bridge loan to help finance a trade mission to Dubai and India to explore these markets.

Toni DesRosiers, Abeego Designs Inc., Victoria - DesRosiers has developed a unique product that replaces plastic food wrap. Using muslin cloth, beeswax and resins, this environmentally friendly product is now exported to the U.S. Abeego is also exploring other emerging markets.

Cindy Hamilton, Mom’s Grilled Cheese Truck, Vancouver - Hamilton’s business, Mom’s Grilled Cheese Truck, is located on the northeast corner of the Vancouver Art Gallery. Her food truck provides freshly made soups, chilli and gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches to tourists and the downtown workforce.

Moyra Rodger, Magnify Digital, Vancouver
- Magnify Digital Inc. specializes in online marketing and digital strategy, creating powerful and innovative consumer connections through social media networks, interactive content, blogs, mobile apps and more. Magnify Digital increases business productivity by licensing a marketing tool to other companies to assist with their online marketing programs.

Contacts:

Sheldon Johnson
Public Affairs Officer
Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Innovation
250 213-5811

Alpana Sharma
Communications Coordinator
Women’s Enterprise Centre
1 800-643-7014 ext 201

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