Women Entrepreneurs (General)
WHAT IT IS: The Canadian office of Catalyst, a not-for-profit international research and advisory organization working with businesses and the professions to build inclusive environments and expand opportunities for women at work.
OBJECTIVES: To help companies recruit, retain and advance top talent by formulating and conducting studies on topics such as women’s leadership development, work/life quality and effectiveness, and providing recommendations based on findings.
WHAT YOU GET: Member companies gain access to a range of resources to help them advance women including PDFs of Catalyst research and information specific to employee resource groups; opportunities to participate in regional diversity events; access to the Catalyst library; and informal consultation with specialists about company practices, Catalyst research findings, and advice on diversity strategy.
INFO: Deborah Gillis, Executive Director, Catalyst Canada, Tel: (416) 815-7600, E-mail: email@example.com
Women’s Future Fund
WHAT IT IS: The Women's Future Fund (WFF) is the first and only national women's fundraising federation in Canada. It is a collaboration of nine women's not-for-profit organizations and charities pooling their resources to ensure that all women and girls can enjoy the equality rights that Canada offers. 100% of funds raised go directly to its member organizations. WWF offers a model of collaborative resource-sharing applicable to social justice movements around the world.
OBJECTIVES: To contribute to the growth and sustainability of the women's movement in Canada; to deliver new and greater sources of core funding to national women's organizations; to provide a convenient and cost-effective means for Canadians to support a diversity of organizations contributing to a better quality of life for all women and girls; to encourage public dialogue and impact attitudes about gender equality.
INFO: E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or Tel: 416-516-5500.
CATA (Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance) WIT (Women in Technology) Forum
WHAT IT IS: A community network designed to boost women's participation and advancement in the high-growth technology sector that resulted from a partnership between CATAAlliance, a national influential and entrepreneurial technology alliance committed to growing the global competitiveness of its members, and SpringBoard, a not-for-profit organization that has been successful in preparing and showcasing women-led businesses to investors.
OBJECTIVE: To help women in technology companies advance in their careers and succeed as entrepreneurs through mentoring, networking, professional development and advocacy.
WHAT YOU GET: Networking opportunities in collaboration with community and regional partners, professional development programs such as a Start-up Toolkit and the Springboard Growth Capital workshop and mentoring.
COST: For individuals: CATAAlliance members $75; non-members $95.
INFO: Joanne Stanley, Tel: 613-236-6550, e-mail: email@example.com
Women Entrepreneurs of Canada (WEC)
WHAT IT IS: Founded in 1992, WEC is a not-for-profit business organization for businesses run by women. WEC has been involved in many initiatives over the years that have supported and facilitated the growth of women-owned businesses. Its current mandate is to: provide a forum for growth-oriented women business owners; support and facilitate the growth of women-owned businesses; and create public awareness around business practices and policies that drive growth-oriented businesses.
WHAT YOU GET: Access to its research results through the WEC Think Big! Program which is in partnership with academia; the WEC wiki, a web resource site where women’s organizations, universities, business forums and government share information relevant to women entrepreneurs and where member profiles are posted; print and video content; and special events. Educational opportunities include an online resource gateway to educational events, seminars and e-learning, opportunities for business growth, divided by stage of business.
COST: $100-$300 per year, depending on category of membership.
INFO: Tel: 1-866-207-4439, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.wec.ca
Canadian Association of Women Executives & Entrepreneurs (CAWEE)
WHAT IT IS: A Toronto-based, not-for-profit organization founded in 1976 to provide a forum for businesswomen to develop and expand their businesses and professions, while increasing the overall visibility of women in executive, professional and entrepreneurial roles.
WHAT YOU GET: Monthly meetings with guest speakers, networking events, newsletter, trade shows, workshops and conferences.
COST: $250 full membership fee; $150 for virtual membership. Open to full-time business owners who've operated for at least two years, and to senior managers and executives.
INFO: Tel: (416) 756-0000, e-mail: email@example.com or visit www.cawee.net
Women Presidents' Organization
WHAT IT IS: The New York-based Women Presidents' Organization (WPO), with 54 chapters in the U.S. and Canada, brings together women business owners to talk about business and personal issues of interest. It is different from other women's groups in its use of small, local chapters and professional facilitators who organize meetings and focus the agenda.
WHAT YOU GET: Meetings include speakers and roundtable discussion, addressing members' specific issues. It provides a "think-tank" experience to problem solve with other successful women entrepreneurs, along with the chance to broaden your knowledge and expand your network at the WPO annual national conference.
COST: US$1500. Membership is limited to women who run companies with at least $2-million in annual revenue if they produce a product, or $1 million if their business is service oriented. WPO groups are limited to no more than 20 people.
INFO: For more information, contact Marsha Firestone, WPO President, at 212-688-4114, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or, in Canada, Fran Kennedy (Ontario), 519-782-7884, e-mail: email@example.com or Susan Boland (Montreal), 514-938-9527, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.womenpresidentsorg.com
Canadian and African Business Women's Alliance (CAABWA)
WHAT IT IS: CAABWA is a non-profit membership-based private sector organization with the mandate to foster business linkages between Canada and African countries, and particularly to open new avenues of trade and investment for women entrepreneurs. The organization was formed to facilitate the equal participation of African and Canadian women in business initiatives to advance sustainable development.
OBJECTIVE: To strengthen business relations between Canada and Africa; to promote women-owned businesses and optimize their participation in the global economy; to allow increased access to resources, information and finances, export/import opportunities and commercial networks; and to support long-term development of Africa through private sector development.
WHAT YOU GET: Networking opportunities - workshops and events; training - skill-building, knowledge-transfer and train-the-trainer sessions; business matching - linking Canadian and African businesswomen; and internships - nurturing the entrepreneurs of tomorrow.
COST: Individuals/SME $100; Corporate (over 50 people) $250; Students $25
INFO: Tel: 416 221-5501 x 315; e-mail email@example.com
WHAT IT IS: DigitalEve International provides a forum for women in or interested in new media and technology to network, exchange job and business leads, form strategic alliances, mentor and teach, intern and learn the skills to help women succeed in an increasingly technical workplace and world.
WHAT YOU GET: Local meetings, classes and events, job leads and promotional opportunities in the new media industry, local community listservs and Web sites for information exchange, discounts on local and international industry trade shows and events, plus international listservs and newsletters, and access to an international community of women who share your interests.
COST: Membership is free, nominal charge for events
INFO: e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.digitaleve.org
Wired Woman Society
WHAT IT IS: A non-profit Society that creates an open environment that encourages women to explore opportunities in information Technology and to build successful careers that will allow them to play a positive role in the growth and development of the Information age.
WHAT YOU GET: Provides networking opportunities, career resources, community and academic presentations, role-modeling and mentoring, monthly meetings and an award-winning online magazine.
INFO: 604-605-8825, e-mail to email@example.com or visit www.wiredwoman.com
Women's Enterprise Centre
WHAT IT IS: A non-profit organization committed to helping women entrepreneurs in B.C. succeed in business.
WHAT YOU GET: Services include financing, free business counselling, business-to-business linking, workshops, and training opportunities and resources information and referrals.
COST: No membership fee. $75 application fee for financing services.
INFO: 250-868-3454, 1-800-643-7014 (toll-free in B.C.) or
e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.womensenterprise.ca.
Alberta Women Entrepreneurs
WHAT IT IS: A non-profit organization dedicated to helping Alberta women start and expand thriving businesses and to increasing awareness about the contribution women make to the Alberta economy.
WHAT YOU GET: Monthly meetings in cities across the province, workshops, networking opportunities, links to information and resources, business advice and business loans at competitive rates.
COST: No membership fee. Most services are free or have a minimal recovery fee.
INFO: 403-777-4250 (Calgary); 403-422-7784 (Edmonton); 1 800 713-3558 (in Alberta); e-mail to email@example.com or visit www.awebusiness.com.
Women Entrepreneurs of Saskatchewan
WHAT IT IS: A non-profit membership organization, with offices in Saskatoon and Regina, that works with women who are considering a career in business, starting a business, or operating an existing business.
WHAT YOU GET: Networking and mentoring opportunities, business advisory services, lending services, business development workshops and seminars that focus on entrepreneurial skill development and business publications.
COST: Full membership $79.50 annually. Includes membership directory, ad in brochures, reduced rates at trade shows.
INFO: 306-477-7173 (Saskatoon); 306-359-9732 (Regina);or
1 800 879-6331 (in Saskatchewan); e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.womenentrepreneurs.sk.ca
Women Business Owners of Manitoba-Winnipeg Chapter (WBO)
WHAT IT IS: Since 1986, this highly visible network has been encouraging and supporting women entrepreneurship, achievement and success in business. WBO's goals include connecting women business owners, supporting their personal growth, liaising with related organizations and groups, and serving as a voice of influence for women business owners.
WHAT YOU GET: Monthly meetings and special networking events; access to workshops, seminars, conferences, and an on-line directory; a newsletter; and a business listing in the membership directory. It's not all business though. The Annual Golf Tournament is one of WBO's major fundraising events and attracts members and non-members alike for a day of networking and fun.
COST: Regular Membership $185.50
INFO: Tel: (204) 775-7981 (Winnipeg), e-mail to email@example.com or visit www.wbom.mb.ca
Women's Enterprise Centre of Manitoba
WHAT IT IS: Based in Manitoba, the Centre's objective is to encourage and assist women to start or expand businesses.
WHAT YOU GET: Business workshops and seminars, an on-site resource centre, access to business advisors, networking and counselling services, and loans of up to $100,000.
COST: Free business advisory service. Fee for seminars.
INFO: 204-988-1860 or 1 800 203-2343 (in Manitoba); e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.wecm.ca
Company of Women
WHAT IT IS: An organization of women entrepreneurs and business professionals in Southern Ontario created to support and encourage each other and enhance personal growth and business development.
WHAT YOU GET: Monthly dinners with inspirational speakers; trade shows; online and print directories; workshops; promotional opportunities; monthly e-bulletin; group benefits plan, informative website and a quarterly newsletter.
COST: $195 per year.
INFO: Anne Day at (905) 338-1771; e-mail: email@example.com, or visit www.companyofwomen.ca
Réseau des femmes d'affaires du Québec
WHAT IT IS: A Quebec businesswomen's network with a mandate to contribute to the success of businesswomen (entrepreneurs, managers and professionals) by promoting contacts, self-help and a dynamic business network. It has a Montreal head office and regional offices.
WHAT YOU GET: Networking, mentoring, conferences and workshops, and mini-networks called "self-help cells" that meet monthly to exchange information and give advice.
COST: $224.30 annually
INFO: 514-521-2441 or 1 800 332-2683; or e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.rfaq.ca
Prince Edward Island Business Women's Association (PEIBWA)
WHAT IT IS: A non-profit organization formed to assist women in business to succeed by providing services and programs to meet their objectives; support and promote women business owners; provide information and educational opportunities for women business owners; increase community awareness regarding women active in business across the province; and become the recognized voice for women business owners in Prince Edward Island.
WHAT YOU GET: The PEIBWA meets monthly. Guest speakers, seminars, mentoring, symposiums and networking are among the many activities. The organization also partners with the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) to deliver program elements of the Business Women's Initiative, including services tailored to meet the needs of Island women in business.
COST: Membership rates range from $10 to $95, depending on whether you're a student or retired, an individual not associated with a business, a small or large business owner, etc.
INFO: toll-free 1-866-892-6040, email email@example.com or visit www.peibwa.org
Newfoundland & Labrador Organization for Women Entrepreneurs
WHAT IT IS: A not-for-profit organization aimed at promoting and fostering women's success in business in Newfoundland and Labrador. The focus is on women entrepreneurs in the start-up phase. The organization is committed to investigating and promoting financial support options. Regional facilitators link women in rural locations to larger economic areas
WHAT YOU GET: Help in accessing small loans and building credit ratings plus seminars, networking and mentoring activities.
COST: $35 individual; $50-$300 businesses, depending on package selected. Most services offered on a cost-shared basis.
INFO: 709-754-5555, 1-877-754-0555 (Toll-free), e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.nlowe.org.
Women in Film and Television (WIFTI)
WHAT IT IS: With Canadian chapters in Vancouver, Alberta, Toronto and Montreal, Women In Film & Television International (WIFTI) is a global network comprising some 37 chapters worldwide and over 10,000 members dedicated to advancing professional development and achievement for women working in all areas of film, video, and other screen-based media.
OBJECTIVES: Enhance the international visibility of women in the entertainment industry; facilitate and encourage communication and cooperation internationally; develop bold international projects and initiatives; stimulate professional development and global networking opportunities for women; promote and support chapter development; celebrate the achievements of women in all areas of the industry; and encourage diverse and positive representation of women in screen-based media worldwide.
WHAT YOU GET: Biennial International Conferences, International Membership Directory, quarterly newsletters, WIFTI Web site, networking receptions at international film festivals (Berlin, Cannes, MIPCOM, Sundance) and Visiting Members Program (members planning to work in another province or country with a participating chapter are eligible to attend that chapter's activities for a three-month period).
COST: Each chapter sets its own membership fees.
INFO: Toronto tel 416-322-3430, e-mail email@example.com; Vancouver tel 604-685-1152, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org; Alberta e-mail email@example.com; Montreal tel 514-842-8289, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.