As we bid farewell to 2020, part of me is relieved to put behind the year of the Black Swan that swooped in on us and changed our lives irrevocably. We look ahead to 2021, with hope and optimism, recognizing that our small businesses continue to be challenged as we work together on economic recovery.
Conforming to the guidelines set out by the Government of Saskatchewan is imperative, to ensure that we can welcome 2021 with some semblance of normalcy. The Open Letter to the People of Saskatchewan, a message from WESK, along with 33 other local organizations, was intended to reflect our support for our government’s plan, while recognizing that safety of our citizens is paramount and survival of our small businesses is essential.
We applaud our members and women entrepreneurs in our province for their resilience and grit in navigating these uncertain times. Our entrepreneurs and small businesses need our support now more than ever. Let us commit to shopping local, spending our money locally, and supporting small businesses in our communities recover and grow.
Through this devastating year, WESK remained unwavering in its commitment to support women entrepreneurs and our community in the rebound from COVID-19. The ideology of “business as usual” was even more pivotal during this crisis to ensure women entrepreneurs received the resources, programs and services required to sustain their businesses. While the organization pivoted to deliver all programs and services virtually with minimum disruption, several new initiatives were also undertaken:
- The Saskatchewan Advisory Committee completed their work with the release of a final report of recommendations entitled “Enabling Scale in Saskatchewan” on July 29th ;
- The virtual launch of our newest program, The Exchange, with 7 cohorts of female entrepreneurs; and
- The virtual launch of our second year of Founders Table, province-wide this time around, with double the number of participants.
Stay tuned for exciting announcements in 2021 regarding:
- Recommendations from the Enabling Scale in Saskatchewan report; and
- Building a more inclusive organization.
Lastly, I would like to thank my team, who are committed, passionate and driven. I am grateful to work with a purpose-driven group who are focused on making a difference and rising to the challenges created by this extraordinary year. I would also like to recognize our board for their guidance and engagement as the organization adapted and pivoted to remain agile. Lastly, I want to express sincere appreciation to, and acknowledgement of our funders, partners and friends who support our mandate and stand resolutely with us and women entrepreneurs in our province.
Wishing you all a restful, peaceful and above all a healthy holiday season. May you and your loved ones have time to create new memories and new dreams with a renewed hope for the year ahead.
Stay well and stay safe,
CEO of WESK