Since 2017, RBC and the Centre for Women in Business (CWB) at Mount Saint Vincent University have been hosting the Alliance of Young Women Entrepreneurs (AYWE) program to increase the number of young women student entrepreneurs at MSVU. Two and a half years in, the program is prepping participants to launch businesses of all sorts – and they are seeking new student participants with business ideas of their own.
The first program of its kind in Canada, AYWE guides young entrepreneurs from the idea stage to the implementation stage of their business. Through mentorship and peer-to-peer advising, students gain the competencies required to become thriving entrepreneurs, and the practical knowledge needed to fast-track their success in the workplace.
Participants from across academic programs
The AYWE program is for female undergraduate and graduate students from any academic program at MSVU and is offered free of charge. There are currently 12 undergraduate and three graduate students enrolled – their areas of academic study span Applied Human Nutrition, Business, Tourism and Hospitality Management, Public Relations, Science, Psychology, Child and Youth Study, and Education. As a diverse group, AYWE participants not only build strong relationships with one another, but they also enhance their critical thinking skills and creativity through collaboration. Students can stay in the AYWE program for the duration of their studies at MSVU.
Program components include leadership coaching, business training, business advisory services, networking opportunities, and membership to the Centre for Women in Business. New this year, the AYWE program also includes a digital skills workshop series covering topics such as social media marketing, google analytics, and search engine optimization (SEO), all of which are becoming imperative skills for successful future entrepreneurs.
Meet student entrepreneur Gurneet Dhami
Gurneet Dhami is a graduate student in Applied Human Nutrition at MSVU, and an AYWE participant. Gurneet has been part of entrepreneurial programming at the University and beyond, including a Food Hackathon at which she and her team developed a winning innovation they called @SecondWaveNS. It’s a sustainably-sourced fertilizer made from lobster waste, intended to help the agriculture industry while promoting Nova Scotia’s vibrant fishing industry.
“AYWE is a program that brings together tangible and intangible resources tailored for students by focusing on students’ opinions and thoughts,” said Gurneet. “I’m thankful for the informative sessions which have provided an educational opportunity beyond my area of study in nutrition.”
Thank you, RBC!
The CWB and MSVU are grateful to RBC for their support of this program. In addition to funding, RBC representatives generously share their expertise, including leading workshops on financial literacy, for example.
“Through learning and networking, the primary goal of the AYWE program is to enable female students to reach their full potential as entrepreneurs,” said Nasil Nam, Business Advisor with the CWB and CWB manager for AYWE. “The Centre for Women in Business is dedicated to growing the number of women entrepreneurs in Atlantic Canada. The AYWE program is a part of the Centre’s effort to plant seeds for bright futures.”
Join the program
The program is accepting new registrations currently. Students interested in joining the AYWE can contact Nasil at 902-457-5527 or Nasil.Nam@msvu.ca.