As the year draws to a close, I would like to wish you and your loved ones a happy and healthy holiday season. I hope you can find some time to rest, reflect, and look ahead to the new year with much optimism and hope. While we may not experience “normalcy” in the same manner as pre-pandemic times, and as we adapt to a “new normal”, I feel confident that we will revive the spirit of community engagement and activities in a safe and responsible manner.
While the aftermath of the pandemic continues to impact our everyday lives, often causing fatigue and exhaustion, I am proud that women entrepreneurs in our province remain resilient; 47% of our businesses stayed fully open through the pandemic compared to 37% of women-owned businesses nationally (Women Entrepreneurs in Saskatchewan Report, 2021). We are so fortunate to live and work in a community that is unflinching in its support of small business while remaining vigilant about health and safety.
Throughout the uncertainty of this past year, my team at WESK stayed the course and once again, displayed an unwavering commitment to serving and supporting women entrepreneurs in our province. All programs and services were delivered with no disruption and WESK continued to advance its strategic priorities, some of which emerged from the Saskatchewan Advisory Committee work.
I would like to acknowledge the funding support provided by PrairiesCan that makes all the undertakings at WESK possible. I am grateful for this support and for our partnership with PrairiesCan.
We were also very fortunate that the Government of Saskatchewan recognized the economic contributions of women entrepreneurs in our province through the release of the Women Entrepreneurs in Saskatchewan Report and committed to investing in supporting women entrepreneurs scale their businesses.
As I cast my sights to 2022, I hope that every woman entrepreneur will adopt the Saskatchewan women-owned business brand identity to celebrate their achievements and foster connections. Further, I anticipate that many more organizations will commit to signing the Women Entrepreneurship Charter and intentionally increase engagement and support of women-owned businesses through the execution of the four guiding principles.
Once again, I am deeply grateful for: the commitment of the WESK team, the guidance from the Board of Directors, and the steadfast support of our partners. Our purpose and mission is to remain responsive to, and advocate on behalf of our woman entrepreneurs. I would like to express my deepest appreciation for our members, I can not thank them enough for helping us create this resilient and supportive community.
May the peace and joy of the holidays be with you today and throughout the new year. I hope you have a wonderful holiday season!
CEO of WESK