YORKTON - Women Entrepreneurs Week is being marked May 14 to 20 in Saskatchewan.
"So many women have contributed their entrepreneurial vision to our province," Minister Responsible for the Status of Women Laura Ross said in a recent government release. "Their success has helped shape our economy and our future, and the number of women business owners keeps growing. Women Entrepreneurs of Saskatchewan has been supporting women on this journey for many years and our Government is proud to proclaim Women Entrepreneurs of Saskatchewan Week."
Juanita Polegi, executive director of the Yorkton Chamber of Commerce said the minister was on point.
“I agree fully with Minister Ross’s statement that the success of women entrepreneurs shapes our economy and our future,” she told Yorkton This Week. “Currently, of the 16 Directors on the Board of the Yorkton Chamber, 11 of them are women and nine of those are business owners, including our current president. These women, and the many others who are business owners in and around Yorkton, are contributing to the growth of our local economy.”
Randy Goulden the lone woman on Yorkton Council and president of SUMA said women are certainly playing their role provincially.
“In our province, almost 99 per cent of businesses are small and account for 24 per cent of Saskatchewan’s GDP. Women entrepreneurs play vital roles in the creation of this economic growth,” she told YTW. “We know that if we all work together to empower women entrepreneurs, this province and country will continue to show this continued robust growth.”
Women Entrepreneurs of Saskatchewan (WESK) is a non-profit dedicated to helping women start, grow, and scale their businesses. They offer a wide range of services, and ultimately, look to connect like-minded professionals and empower female entrepreneurs of every age, stage and culture.
"Women entrepreneurs are a vital part of Saskatchewan's business landscape," Women Entrepreneurs of Saskatchewan Chief Executive Officer Miriam Johnson said in the provincial release. "By encouraging collaboration amongst all organizations interested in progressing women entrepreneurs, we can help close the gender gap and promote economic growth in our province."
To help businesses and individuals in finding and supporting women entrepreneurs, WESK hosts a Saskatchewan women-owned business database that currently holds more than six hundred business listings. For more information or to register in the database, visit https://wesk.ca/women-owned-business-database
There are several other programs that are available for women entrepreneurs ready to take their business to the next step. The SK Startup Institute helps entrepreneurs with the first steps in creating their business. Innovation Saskatchewan's Saskatchewan Technology Startup Incentive encourages investment in early-stage technology startups via tax credits. The Scale Up for Entrepreneurs initiative provides eligible entrepreneurs with training, skills and knowledge to grow their business.
The Government of Saskatchewan also offers a range of incentives and supports for businesses to ensure the province fosters a competitive business climate. For information on incentives and supports, visit saskatchewan.ca/invest