We are living in unprecedented times from the onset of the pandemic to the enormous burden–on small businesses to reinvent and remerge. It is a consistent onslaught of a million bytes of data and information in every moment, urging business owners to make decisions, be nimble, agile and pivot.
The question that our women-owned businesses in our province are contending with is – how do we remain relevant? How do we pivot? How do we emerge successfully? These are the very fundamental queries that WESK is contending with.
“A Brand is worthless if it doesn’t CONNECT with the right audiences in a RELEVANT way”.
We are expanding our horizons, becoming more inclusive and building momentum. To continue to be relevant and inclusive to you throughout your entire entrepreneurial journey, we will be launching THREE new membership packages in early April. That’s two additional options than before, so you can find your perfect fit for the stage you are at.
I am excited to share with you, for the first time ever, our three new membership packages:
A. The Pioneer: She is the first
- Ideal if you have an idea or are thinking about entrepreneurship.
B. The Trailblazer:She is proving it’s possible.
- Ideal if you are starting a business and want continual support from WESK throughout your journey.
C. The Changemaker:She is making a difference.
- Ideal if you have an established business that you want to take to the next level. WESK will help you scale and make meaningful connections.
From pioneer to changemaker, entrepreneurs receive support from business advisors, access to financing, exclusive programming discounts, and essential business networking connections.
Many of you may recall that in July of 2020, WESK and the Saskatchewan Advisory Committee released a report with 10 recommendations on how Saskatchewan can affect change and close the gender entrepreneurship gap. Over the course of the last 7 months, WESK, our Team, has worked relentlessly to advance four of these recommendations.
First, the creation of the Saskatchewan Women Entrepreneurship Charter will call upon organizations to increase their support of women-owned businesses and work towards closing the gender entrepreneurship gap. This is a necessary and significant stride in the right direction, empowering organizations to adopt and adapt practices to be more inclusive. The Charter affirms a commitment to advance women entrepreneurship and build connections through four defining principles:
- Procure with her
- Amplify her voice
- Share skills with her
- Shatter a ceiling
Second, the development of Brand Identity to celebrate local Saskatchewan women entrepreneurs. This brand identity consists of two components:
- Women-Owned Saskatchewan Business: Not only will majority woman-owned businesses have access to utilize a unique “Women-Owned Saskatchewan Business” brand identity, but they will also have the opportunity to be showcased through our Woman-Owned Saskatchewan Business Database. This database will be accessed by our Saskatchewan Women Entrepreneurship Charter Champions, prominent, influential organizations, who are committed to closing the gender entrepreneurship gap and publicly to all those dedicated to continuing to support local.
- For organizations or businesses that are not majority women-owned, the “Supporter of Women-Owned Saskatchewan Businesses” was created to allow advocates of women entrepreneurs to show their support.
As part of the brand identity, WESK will be launching a campaign focused on showcasing and elevating our Saskatchewan women entrepreneurs. These features will highlight various woman entrepreneurs that have signed on to the brand identity as an official woman-owned business
Last, but not least is the development of the revolutionary WESK digital entrepreneurship hub, an innovative, pioneer and trailblazing initiative for WESK. This hub will provide seamless access to services, resources, and more. Through the Hub, entrepreneurs can take our quiz/audit to define needs, then navigate the Hub in a seamless manner to access the most relevant resources.
While all these initiatives will be officially launching on April 7th, I encourage you to stay connected as we start to unveil more exciting details in the coming weeks.
As we continue to navigate through the pandemic, we recognize the growing void for many of not being able to: connect in person, share a laugh in person, see the twinkle and passion in the other’s eye as you swap stories about business/personal lives. However, we cast our sight to the horizon with much optimism, primarily because of the vaccine.
To transition from this extraordinary world of isolation and virtual reality to the more normal world of in-person gatherings and networking, WESK is hosting a safe “COVID-conscious” hybrid approach to our annual business conference. This conference has been rebranded this year as the WESK Summit and WESK Summit Gala. The hybrid approach will allow entrepreneurs and business professionals from across Saskatchewan to join us.
In-person and Livestream tickets are now on sale. If you have not done so, I encourage you to purchase your preferred ticket type and join us in May.
To all that stand with us, by us and support us in moving the needle on closing the gender entrepreneurship gap – thank you for your belief, your courage and faith in POSSIBILITIES.
The future belongs to people and organizations that see POSSIBILITIES before they become obvious (great words spoken by Ted Levitt, American economist, and Harvard Professor). At WESK, we remain committed to supporting you in discerning these possibilities and turning them into reality
Stay safe and I look forward to seeing you in person in the near future.
Chief Executive Officer, WESK