The Centre for Women in Business (CWB) was established at Mount Saint Vincent University in 1992 and, with the support of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, has been dedicated to supporting women business owners through exposure, connection and learning.
Over the years, the CWB has established a strong connection to Go for the Greens, an organization that provides women of all ages with business growth opportunities, by bringing delegations of women business owners from Atlantic Canada to their annual business development conference and championing international business opportunities and connections. While these opportunities are typically targeted towards established companies, both groups also recognize the impact of exposing students and young women entrepreneurs to these international opportunities.
As a result of COVID-19, Go for the Greens launched a free online mentorship series, titled Focusing on Your Future in the Time of COVID-19. The series was designed to help build leadership skills and inspire young women to dream big and focus on the next steps to realizing their potential as entrepreneurs or a leaders in the business world.
After learning of the upcoming GFTG mentorship series in March, CWB business advisor and student programs manager Natalie Frederick-Wilson knew it was something she wanted to be a part of. She saw in the series a great opportunity for young women entrepreneurs on campus at MSVU. “I was considering mentorship resources for our students and knew the program would be a fit.” Not only did Frederick-Wilson encourage students to participate throughout the summer, she was regularly featured as a guest speaker.
Taking place over three months, the series featured various interviews with women leaders and career experts, giving participants the opportunity to ask questions and make connections with business leaders from some of the most successful companies in the world, like Disney, UPS and FEDEX.
Discussions focused on areas such as networking as a young professional, managing your finances as a student, visioning for your future, and candid discussions on mental health management.
The program provided the opportunity for young women to learn about business, but also to connect on what they’re experiencing now in the face of a global pandemic. Many students have seen their hopes for internships, summer jobs, and other opportunities derailed. “It’s important for these young women not to lose focus on how they can continue to dream big about their future careers,” Cindy Chace, GFTG co-founder said in an interview. “We want to help them continue learning and growing, even during times when they might feel discouraged. We’re here to give them a boost.”
While the mentorship series has now ended, you can watch the sessions on the Go for the Greens YouTube channel. Students who are interested in entrepreneurship are encouraged to learn more about student entrepreneurship programs at Mount Saint Vincent University with the Centre for Women in Business.