Ukrainian businesswomen learned more about women entrepreneurship development in Canada

Canada-Ukraine Trade and Investment Support Project (CUTIS) in collaboration with the Canada-Ukraine Chamber of Commerce, the Kyiv Chamber of Commerce and the Conference Board of Canada held a free workshop “Supporting Women Entrepreneurs: The Canadian Experience”.

Keynote speaker: Alison Kirkland, Director, Communications and Client Services Women’s Enterprise Centre of Manitoba (Canada).

Nearly 50 businesswomen and CEOs, public and NGO sector representatives, media visited the event.

Emma Turos, Managing Director of the Canada-Ukraine Chamber of Commerce Office in Ukraine, and Lyudmyla Sizikova, First Vice-President of the Kyiv Chamber of Commerce delivered welcome speeches in which they addressed challenges women entrepreneurs face in Ukraine and all over the world.

During the event, the following issues were discussed:

  • Issues for women entrepreneurs (Сompetence and credibility, Management capacity, Systemic barriers, Information, and Training)
  • Organizations providing support and Networking opportunities
  • Best practices and Success factors

According to Alison Kirkland, Women’s Enterprise Centre of Manitoba (Canada) provided services for women’s businesses for more than 25 years.

‘The situation is changing, society and attitudes toward businessmen are changing, however, women’s businesses still need additional help. By this time, even in Canada, the competence of women as professionals or their managerial skills/capacity still may be questioned. Especially in areas such as law, finance, investments, etc.,’ Alison Kirkland said.

It’s an interesting fact that in North America women set up startups twice as often as men. Nevertheless, the main problem is that women do not develop/scale their businesses on par with men.

‘Export is a big challenge for businesses. Therefore, we help our clients to develop the export potential of their businesses. Exporting companies get higher profits, pay more taxes, and pay higher salaries to their employees. That is why export development is valuable and profitable not only for the businesses themselves but also for the communities where these businesses operate,’ Alison Kirkland said.

To help small women entrepreneurs, Women’s Enterprise Centre of Manitoba provide the following services:

  • Business loads (to start, scale or buy a business)
  • Business advice (for entrepreneurs in all stages)
  • Skills training (on subjects pivotal to business success)
  • Mentoring programs (supporting business growth)
  • Supportive community (to raise the profile of women entrepreneurs)

You can find out more about Allison Kirkland’s experience, women’s organizations and chambers of commerce in Canada, as well as her advice on developing women’s entrepreneurship following the link (video).

You can download the presentation here.