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Northern program launched to assist woman, non-binary social entrepreneurs

Participants will study the principles of an inclusive economy and a just recovery
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The COVID-19 pandemic has amplified social inequities across systems posing even greater challenges for entrepreneurs from marginalized communities who already faced barriers to success. This is especially true for woman-identified and non-binary social entrepreneurs, whom are often unable to access what they need from business coaching and support systems to build successful social enterprises.

The latest program offering from WOSEN – Social Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Developers – aims to fill in the gaps left by traditional business support systems by empowering leadership development in coaches, mentors and community leaders. These leaders will in turn be able to support women social entrepreneurs and business owners in their communities with the tools they need to succeed. Ultimately, SEED will help build a future of shared prosperity where women entrepreneurs, and the coaches who support them, can create profitable and sustainable enterprises that create a positive impact.

The first iteration of the SEED program, Rebuilding our Economy for Shared Prosperity, led by WOSEN project lead, Pillar Nonprofit Network launched in Southwestern Ontario on Nov. 6. This four-session program is now being offered to residents of Northern Ontario beginning Feb 26. Register now online.

Throughout the program, participants will study the principles of an inclusive economy and a just recovery. They will also explore how the current business support system operates and how it fails women-led entrepreneurs. The participants will also be invited to consider their own identity, power and privilege and how those factors may impact the communities they support. The series concludes with an overview of helpful practical tools and a plan to stay connected to the network of support.

“The COVID pandemic has reminded us that we are only as strong as our most vulnerable and to build back a better society we need to centre equity,” said Eaman Fahmy, inclusive program designer for Pillar Nonprofit Network. “Through the SEED program, we are taking action to build a more equitable economy by providing the business coaching community with the tools and perspectives required to support women social entrepreneurs. The design and facilitation of the program will allow us to strengthen the women-led entrepreneurship ecosystem.”

After the series concludes, participants will have the opportunity to engage in an online community of practice focused on continuing the conversation around centring equity and inclusion in the support systems for women-identified social entrepreneurs. All participants who complete the series will earn a certificate of completion empowering them to show their capability to carry their knowledge forward to their peers and women they support.