Over the last quarter, summer has come to a close, and autumn is now upon us. This month, WESK was pleased to welcome back WESK Meets, Shaken with a Twist, and Uncorked as in-person events. The excitement to engage in-person with peers and colleagues was evident through the laughter, the energy, and the conversations. Yes, we have missed being in person, however, as we navigate through this transition, we will continue to provide a hybrid model for all our events.
WESK recently wrapped up its 26th Annual General Meeting. I extend our appreciation to all our members for attending, whether it was in-person or virtually. Participation at these events is always encouraged as we value your voice and consider it crucial for the continued success of WESK. If you haven’t yet, I encourage you to take the opportunity to read our Annual Report.
Our new Charter Champion initiative continues to demonstrate success and great uptake. We currently have 42 Charter Champions, including the recent signing of one of Saskatchewan’s largest crown corporations, SaskPower. WESK’s Saskatchewan Women Entrepreneurship Charter is an initiative launched by WESK to address the gender entrepreneurship gap in our province. Organizations who have signed on to the Charter have committed to establishing targets that increase their engagement with women-owned Saskatchewan businesses.
In July, WESK and Economic Development Regina (EDR) signed an MOU to foster continued growth in recognizing the major economic contributions made by women entrepreneurs in the province. The agreement leverages key initiatives, including our “Supporter of Women-Owned Saskatchewan Business” brand. Together, we have pledged to develop a strategy to execute recommendations made by the provincially mandated and WESK-led Saskatchewan Advisory Committee on the Gender Entrepreneurship Gap.
Last year, WESK introduced The Exchange, a program designed for women entrepreneurs to scale up their businesses, learn from seasoned experts, and exchange knowledge and lessons learned along the way. After a successful first year, we are poised to launch year two of the program, with 65 women across seven cohorts. I am pleased to report that The Exchange Retreat, which occurred on September 16th, was attended by over 65 women. With regular meetings for this program beginning in October, I am looking forward to welcoming our new and returning participants this year.
While we experience a renewed sense of hope and optimism that the worst is behind us, we all recognize the clash of personal choices, beliefs and ideologies are creating a tenuous environment. To rebuild our economy and our community from the pandemic, we need to come together again and exercise safety and understanding.
Prabha Mitchell, CEO, WESK