FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Saskatoon, SK – Women Entrepreneurs of Saskatchewan (WESK) was pleased to announce the recipients of their six entrepreneur awards at tonight’s WESK Summit Gala. The WESK Summit Gala follows Women Entrepreneurs Week, which, as proclaimed by the Government of Saskatchewan, runs from May 15 through May 21, 2022. In alignment with Women Entrepreneurs Week, the WESK Summit Gala provides an opportunity to not only recognize awards finalists and recipients, but also to applaud and showcase all of Saskatchewan’s women entrepreneurs.
“The opportunities for women entrepreneurs in Saskatchewan are vast,” says WESK CEO, Prabha Ramaswamy. “Our six entrepreneur awards are an occasion to celebrate the women who are breaking down barriers in our province. We are proud to honour our recipient’s achievements as they continue to make an impact on Saskatchewan’s economy.”
Awards were presented in the following categories: Community Involvement, Indigenous Entrepreneur, Innovation, Resilience, Growth & Expansion and Celebration of Achievement.
The 2022 recipients are:
Celebration of Achievement Award Recipient: Andrea Hansen, Sutton Benefits & Pension
Community Involvement Award Recipient: Charmaine Panko, Panko Collaborative Law and Mediation
Growth & Expansion Award Recipient: Jolene Watson, Clarity Coaching & Development
Indigenous Entrepreneur Award Recipient: Leanne Bellegarde, Akawe Technologies
Innovation Award Recipient: Christine Beck, Waggle Mail
Resilience Award Recipient: Marian and Amanda Perrot, 1st Choice Graphics
“Congratulations to our award recipients for this well-deserved recognition. As a testament to their skill, ingenuity, and vision we present them with these awards. These women have demonstrated an outstanding commitment to the business community in Saskatchewan,” says Ramaswamy.
Additionally, WESK will be holding the annual WESK Summit on Thursday, May 26. This is the first in-person event since the rebrand of WESK’s traditional and long-standing Small Business Conference. The WESK Summit features two dynamic keynote speakers and six engaging workshops.
- Women entrepreneurs are major contributors to economic growth and job creation. In 2019, women entrepreneurs contributed $23.1 billion to the Saskatchewan economy and created 191,836 jobs (Women Entrepreneurs in Saskatchewan Economic Statistics, 2020).
- Women-owned businesses have a greater propensity for job creation. These businesses are contributing 26% of total GDP and employing approximately 33% of the Saskatchewan workforce (Women Entrepreneurs in Saskatchewan Economic Statistics, 2020).
- Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, women-owned businesses in Saskatchewan were 10% more likely to remain open compared to the national average. They also had a greater likelihood reopening after a temporary shutdown (Women Entrepreneurs in Saskatchewan, 2021).
- Women in Saskatchewan are starting businesses at a greater rate than the national average. From 2018 to 2020, Saskatchewan’s growth rate was 1.7% compared to the national average of 1.4% (Women Entrepreneurs in Saskatchewan, 2021).
WESK is a non-profit, membership-based organization that provides business advisory; start-up, purchase and expansion lending; mentoring and networking and learning and training opportunities. WESK is supported by Prairies Economic Development Canada.
2. WESK Summit
Josie Fries, Marketing Advisor, WESK
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