BDC launches boot camps for women entrepreneurs

Initiative will focus on providing women entrepreneurs the right tools, advice and networking opportunities to tap into their potential

Mario Toneguzzi: BDC launches boot camps for women entrepreneursThe Business Development Bank of Canada is launching a series of boot camps across the country that will focus on enhancing business skills and financial literacy for women entrepreneurs who have a desire to grow.

The BDC announced its initiative on Monday as part of Canada’s Women Entrepreneurship Strategy. The one-day WE Talk Business boot camps will take place during the fall/winter of 2018-19. Confirmed dates include:

  • Burlington, Ont., Oct. 4
  • Halifax, Oct. 11
  • Winnipeg, Nov. 6
  • Montréal, Nov. 28
  • Calgary, Dec. 4
  • Edmonton, Dec. 6
  • Vaughan, Ont., Jan. 22

Dates for upcoming events in Kelowna and Vancouver will be confirmed soon.

Registration is now open.

“Our WE initiative focuses not only on financing, but on bringing all players together to provide the right tools, advice and networking opportunities so women entrepreneurs can really tap into their potential,” said Laura Didyk, BDC’s vice-president of Alberta south and national lead for the bank’s women entrepreneur strategy.

“We need to do more for women entrepreneurs looking to scale their businesses. Only 16 per cent of all small and medium-sized businesses are majority-owned by women. Through WE Talk Business boot camps and a variety of other initiatives, BDC is working hard to address these challenges and strengthen its commitment to women entrepreneurs.”

BDC said it will tailor some boot camps to the unique needs of women entrepreneurs leading technology firms, as well as Indigenous women entrepreneurs. Events in support of Indigenous women entrepreneurs will take place in Saskatoon (Sept. 18) and Ottawa (Oct. 25).

“Each boot camp will also include a partner roundtable, bringing together key players in each community to discuss issues of common interest. Participants will include Women’s Enterprise Organizations of Canada members, Startup Canada, Futurpreneur and federal partners,” said the bank.

“The boot camps are one of the bank’s many ongoing initiatives supporting women entrepreneurs since 2015. The bank has also committed to a new lending target of $1.4 billion for women-owned businesses over three years, an increase in the size of its Women in Tech Fund from $70 million to $200 million and refinement of its online learning content available to women entrepreneurs. BDC also supports hundreds of learning and networking opportunities for women entrepreneurs across Canada.”

Respected business writer Mario Toneguzzi is a veteran Calgary-based journalist who worked for 35 years for the Calgary Herald in various capacities, including 12 years as a senior business writer.

BDC launches boot camps for women entrepreneurs

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