Women in Business 2021

WeBC supports Kootenay women’s businesses

WeBC has opened a digital pop-up shop to celebrate women entrepreneurs’ success

As shoppers search for the perfect gift this holiday season, WeBC is making it easy to spend locally with a new virtual pop-up shop.

#WeShopBC, features over 450 women-led businesses based in British Columbia, including Rossland enterprises.

WeBC, previously Women’s Enterprise Centre, is a non-profit organization that supports B.C.-based small business owners to access startup and growth capital, business expertise, training and regionally-based mentors.

As part of WeBC’s efforts to propel and celebrate women entrepreneurs, the organization has opened a digital pop-up shop to allow shoppers to search women-owned businesses, browsing products and services that they can buy directly.

“At WeBC, we’re connected with thousands of talented women entrepreneurs across the province, and the holiday season is one of the most important times of year for these small businesses,” said Melanie Rupp, senior director, loans & advisory services for WeBC.

“We want to encourage shoppers to spend locally by making it as easy as possible to discover and support women-owned businesses in their community.”

Rossland businesses that are featured on the WeBC site include Infinity Physio Centre owned and operated by Erin Meggait, veterinarian Dr. Elaine Klemmensen’s Evolve Leadership Coaching and Consulting, and Bombshack, a unique candy and age 5-plus clothing store, billed the ‘one stop big-kid shop.’

The contributions of women entrepreneurs are essential to the health of all B.C. communities with nearly 70 per cent of women-owned businesses integrating social impact and 63 percent focused on sustainability. When communities support women business owners, everyone benefits.

Love & Lemons Life Essentials in Castlegar is also one of the WeBC shops. The Canadian wellness brand offers premium essential oil products and aromatherapy services, made from plant-based products, which are safe, pure ingredients committed to ethical sourcing and sustainable practices.

“Supporting our local businesses is allowing not only the business to grow, but also the community,” said Marie-Pier Dionne, founder and CEO of Love & Lemons Life Essentials.

“After the fires and the floods, it feels like small businesses need all the support.

“Why buy anywhere else, when we have everything we need locally? Communities need us as much as we need them.”

In response to B.C.’s state of emergency, Love & Lemons will give a portion of their sales to Mamas for Mamas to help communities affected by flooding.

With more than180,000 women entrepreneurs in B.C., women make up nearly 40 percent of all business owners.

It’s imperative for communities to support women-owned businesses because entrepreneurship can provide pathways for addressing inequalities in the labour force for immigrant women, Indigenous women, women in rural and remote communities and women who require greater flexibility.

The #WeShopBC pop-up shop is open from Nov. 16, 2021, to Jan. 3, 2022.

Many of the businesses featured on the site are also providing special offers and discounts to B.C. shoppers as a thank you for supporting local.

All women entrepreneurs in B.C. are encouraged to register their business by November 30 for free on the #WeShopBC pop-up shop and to explore the many programs and services offered by WeBC to support them in their business development.

Visit #WeShopBC at we-bc.ca/WEshopBC. Learn more about WeBC at we-bc.ca.

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