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Moving the Needle – Closing the Gender Entrepreneurship Gap

WESK and the Government of Saskatchewan announce the members of the newly created Saskatchewan Advisory Committee


September 13, 2019

Saskatoon, Saskatchewan – Today, twelve prominent entrepreneurs and business professionals from the province were announced as representatives to the newly formed Saskatchewan Advisory Committee, whose work will shape and influence the business climate in our province for women entrepreneurs.

Prabha Mitchell, CEO of Women Entrepreneurs of Saskatchewan (WESK) commented that it was a historic day for Saskatchewan and highlighted that, “Women contribute $148 billion to the Canadian economy, according to a 2011 study.”

“Advancing gender equality in the creation of economic activity has the potential to add another $150 to 420 billion to the economy by 2026”, said Mitchell, “and supporting women entrepreneurship is not limited to a gender equity issue, but is part of a strong economic policy.”

The Saskatchewan Advisory Committee Members are:

Al-Katib, Murad
President and CEO, AGT Food and Ingredients Inc..

Buettner, Adele
Founder and President, AgriBiz Communications Corp

Clark, Eric
COO and Partner, PFM Capital Inc.

Dubreuil, Janis
Partner, Allan Construction 

Hardy, JoeAnne
President and Partner, WBM Technologies Inc.

Hrudka, Christine
Pharmacy Owner; Chair, Canadian Pharmacists Association

Ivey, Adrienne
Co-owner, Evergreen Cattle Co.; Owner, View from the Ranch Porch 

Mielke, Rachel
CEO and Founder, Hillberg & Berk

Parent, Kimberly
Owner, Saskatoon Salsa Dance Company

Soulier, Alicia
Founder, SalonScale Technology Inc.; Owner, Capelli Salon Studio Inc.

Vandenhurk, Natasha
CEO, Three Farmers Foods Inc.

Weimer, Mary
Chief Member Experience Officer, Conexus Credit Union


The Saskatchewan Advisory Committee will draw on new and existing evidence, utilizing the expertise of the committee members to advise on the development of strategy, policy and action to close the gender entrepreneurship gap. The committee will also serve as an advocate on behalf of women entrepreneurs in Saskatchewan.

Minister of Advanced Education, Minister Responsible for Innovation Saskatchewan, Minister Responsible for Status of Women Office Tina Beaudry-Mellor was on hand for the announcement stating, “Our economy depends on the success of female entrepreneurs in Saskatchewan. This committee focuses on making sure they have every opportunity to expand their business by identifying and addressing obstacles that prevent them from scaling up.”

“It is a privilege to be collaborating with this incredible group of people to address the gender entrepreneurship gap – many of the effects of which I have experienced in building and scaling my own business,” said Rachel Mielke, CEO and Founder, Hillberg & Berk. “I’m proud that we are undertaking this effort in Saskatchewan, and I am confident that we have the individuals, leaders, and communities here to support female entrepreneurs, and thus contribute to what makes us thrive as a province.”

“While such an initiative encompasses diversity, inclusion and equity; let’s not lose sight of its impact on profitability and economic growth in our province,” concluded Mitchell.

The Saskatchewan Advisory Committee has been created and funded through a partnership between the Government of Saskatchewan, specifically the Status of Women Office and WESK and will continue over the course of the next 8 months.

WESK is a non-profit organization that works with Saskatchewan women to assist them with starting, buying or expanding a business and to achieve their entrepreneurial goals.

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For more information and interviews with Prabha Mitchell and Committee Spokespersons, contact:

Josie Fries

Marketing Coordinator,WESK

Phone:       306-477-6286

Email:        jfries@wesk.rbdemo.site


For biographical information and photos of the Saskatchewan Advisory Committee members please visit the webpage: https://wesk.ca/sk-advisory-committee/ 

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