Even if you don’t have a business just yet or you’re starting to think about one, you can bring your questions to the class and network with lots of impressive ladies who will help you during your journey.
-Immigrant Women Entrepreneur Program (IWEP) participant
Anyone who owns their own business or is thinking of starting one knows that entrepreneurship comes with risks. Entrepreneurs must constantly overcome a fear of failure, get comfortable with unknowns and what-ifs, and invest significant time, resources, and energy. But, there’s something special about being an entrepreneur, too.
Immigrants in Nova Scotia have moved here to start new lives, and their drive to succeed is incredibly strong – so, despite its risks, the rewards of entrepreneurship are immense. Entrepreneurship offers immigrants opportunities to shape their own futures, giving them autonomy, flexibility, and gratification, while also connecting them to communities of like-minded people.
ISANS Business Development Services help immigrant entrepreneurs succeed on their journey to entrepreneurship in Nova Scotia. We offer comprehensive support for every stage of a business’s lifespan so that entrepreneurs can grow and make their mark on the Nova Scotian economy, and our Immigrant Women Entrepreneur Program (IWEP) is a wonderful example of the benefits our services offer. By connecting immigrant women entrepreneurs in Nova Scotia with a wide range of resources and the women-led business community, IWEP helps enhance their skills, gain hands-on knowledge of starting and running a business, access training and one-on-one counselling, and grow their business and professional relationships.
To flourish as entrepreneurs, immigrant women need safe and unbiased spaces to be creative and explore their ideas. This year, IWEP offered these spaces through sessions and networking events such as IWEP graduate reunions, Immigrant Women Entrepreneur Network events, as well as Entrepreneurship Cafés. These events enabled women entrepreneurs to connect with past IWEP graduates, successful immigrant entrepreneurs, and many community partners such as the Centre for Women in Business, Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, and BNI Nova Scotia, among others.
Because of IWEP’s support this year, immigrant women in many sectors – from the food and service industry, to crafting and jewelry, to professional services and coaching – have applied the knowledge they acquired in the program to adeptly adjust to the demands of the pandemic, redefining their strategies, building social media presence, and launching online stores.
All of our organizational values are reflected in our business development work, but the spirit of innovation – so akin to the entrepreneurial drive – is most present, inspiring creativity, flexibility, responsiveness, and a desire to continually seek new opportunities.