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The Women in Business Initiative builds relationships with the business community in order to offer a variety of programs and services in pursuit of objectives such as: (1) strengthening the management capabilities and business development skills of women business owners; (2) improving access to business support services and capital for new and existing businesses; (3) encouraging the involvement of women business owners in knowledge based industries and in expanding to international markets; (4) providing opportunities to learn more about productivity and innovation improvements; (5) facilitating networking activities on a provincial, Atlantic and national level; and (6) recognizing women business owners in their communities.

The programs and services below are accessible to New Brunswick women entrepreneurs. For more information on one or more of these options, please contact a Development Officer near you.

Starting a Business

Guide for starting a business

The Women in Business Initiative (WBI) in New Brunswick makes this Guide for starting a business available to assist potential women entrepreneurs through the planning stages of establishing a new business. Please take note that this is a guide, and businesses in different sectors have different considerations when starting a new operation, especially with respect to required licenses and permits. This guide/booklet will provide you with information and contacts to help you with steps and regulations for starting a business.

Canada Business Network

For starting a business, the Women in Business Initiative (WBI) in New Brunswick recommends taking a look at Canada Business Network for any relevant information about what to think before starting your business: checklists and guides for starting, business planning, financing, naming your new business, registering, permits, licences and regulations, employees, payroll and taxes, choosing and setting up a location, etc.

Business advice, information and support

The cornerstone of the Women in Business Initiative, this service relies on development officers located throughout the New Brunswick territory. Under the direction of the New Brunswick Association of CBDCs, these officers meet with clients on a regular basis to discuss their business. This can include answering questions or explaining different options available to them regarding programs or financing available, to strategies to help them adopt new management skills.

Networking activities

Considered as the ultimate development tool, networking is a core component of the Women in Business Initiative (WBI) – New Brunswick. Throughout the province, development officers hold networking activities, recognition activities, and presentations to partners. Each year, more than a 1,000 attendees register for one or more networking activities, thereby reinforcing the need expressed by women in business for this type of events. That is why it is so important to build strong relationships with women working in the business community and to follow the WBI – New Brunswick to keep up to date on upcoming activities.

Contribution to Recognition and Networking Event

Also, read an inspirational speech by Diane Giard, a high-ranking woman at National Bank, as part of a luncheon in Moncton with women entrepreneurs from across New Brunswick.

Click here to access the video of speech

Click here to access the transcript of speech

Consulting Advisory Services (CAS) Program

The Women in Business Initiative Program offers an external consultant's private expertise to answer certain specific needs expressed by women in terms of business management. These Consulting Advisory Services consist of an expert consultant sharing and transferring knowledge to customer. These services are provided to women entrepreneurs who own at least 50% of a business located in the province of New Brunswick and are based on a needs assessment in order to provide a customized service to the business.

Business Management and Skills Development (BMSD) Program

The program builds upon existing resources and utilizes existing infrastructures to provide a series of courses or sessions targeting women business owners. It focuses on addressing women entrepreneurs' specific needs such as management skills, leadership skills, financial management, expanding markets, trade and e-commerce/technology, and any other skills that can provide women business owners with growth opportunities.
In addition to the training sessions provided by the Women in Business Initiative, small to medium-sized business owners can access affordable and practical training workshops on business management through ProfitLearn. To view the schedule of workshops available near you, see the ProfitLearn workshop schedule.

Mastermind Group Program

The Women in Business Initiative brings together women who combine their business expertise. Mastermind groups allow a small circle of women to unite their strengths to help each woman reach her objectives. According to the size of the business and the revenues recorded, it is possible for New Brunswick women entrepreneurs to take part in a Mastermind group. Below are three Mastermind groups that may suit your needs, while considering the size of your business.
  • Try-Angle
    Led by the Women in Business Initiative, this group of women meets regularly over a nine-month period to share ideas, views, information and resources in order to reach each other's respective objectives. A strategic and non-competitive alliance aiming to form a collective mind where all members can progress beyond their limits. This Mastermind group called  "Try-Angle" is the product of a structured commitment by a small group of women who mutually support each other by addressing topics such as management skills, decision thresholds, effectiveness, confidence, leadership and company profitability.

“I was in business as a Solopreneur for only 6 months before joining the Moncton Mastermind Group, and was seeking a clear direction and felt I needed to connect with other entrepreneurs facing the same issues. Since connecting with the other business owners of the group, I have received honest feedback, monthly goals to achieve, and a sense of community. I look forward to each monthly meeting and I treat it as a time to prepare myself for the next month,” said Dawn Daigle-Simpson, woman entrepreneur.

“Without a doubt, connecting with a diverse group of female entrepreneurs in a meaningful way on a consistent basis has been the most important aspect of participating in the Try-Angle MasterMind Group. This group has been a safe space to both admit to moments of struggle and celebrate moments of success. It has helped to break the feeling of isolation that often accompanies being a "solopreneur". It has helped me connect to new resources and expand my confidence in sharing ideas with other professionals. If you have the opportunity to participate in a Try-Angle Group in your area, I would encourage you to say yes!,” said Tina Antle, woman entrepreneur.

“I have truly felt that the MasterMind Group has helped me develop & overcome some "new" business challenges as a starting out entrepreneur.  It has offered me a place to share some of my concerns with like-minded people. Being able to help each other with our current obstacles by giving feedback or ideas that perhaps we would not have thought of on our own! As a great team we find a way together to grow from them. We learn from each other!! Without the MasterMind Group I might not have had the courage to do certain things. They have pushed my boundaries and I truly feel that this program is great for the success of any new business owner. I would recommend it being almost a mandatory program for the Self Employed Benefits Program!,” said Karen Casey, woman entrepreneur.

  • GroYourBiz (sales between  $1.5M and 5M)
    Led by GroYourBiz, this Mastermind group brings together women entrepreneurs looking to grow their business while benefiting from the knowledge they can each mutually share. The group meets on a monthly basis and participants commit in a spirit of confidentiality to sharing their knowledge with the group. Qualifying businesses must be active and running, ideally for at least one year.
  • Women Presidents’ Organization (sales of $5M and over)
    Led by the Women Presidents’ Organization, this Mastermind group helps women accelerate their business's growth, competitiveness and financial security through knowledge exchange, in keeping with the spirit of confidentiality.

Get on board!

Are you a woman seeking to create new opportunities or new contacts while developing leadership skills? Or are you a woman seeking to acquire new knowledge while giving back to the community? Joining a board of directors is considered an effective way to open many doors and gain the experience often necessary to fill leadership positions.

Get on board now!
The Women in Business Initiative offers various ways to make it easier for women to access a board of directors in the public sector, the private sector or the community. Here are two potential preliminary steps to follow:

  1. Is becoming a board member meeting a need?
  2. By meeting with a Women in Business Initiative officer, this question can be addressed so that the benefits are explored according to the business needs.
  3. Enroll in a training session
  4. A Women in Business Initiative officer can recommend enrolling in one of the following training sessions:

Intro to Boards is a course aimed at broadening your understanding of boards and the importance of gender diversity, as well as tools to help find the right board for you.

Board Effectiveness for Women is a course aimed at deepening your understanding of boards and your role and responsibilities as a member. Explore the benefits of gender diversity on boards and best practices to promote inclusiveness. Expand your leadership skills by honing your strengths and leveraging opportunities.

For more information on the content of training sessions, you can see a list of LearnSphere Canada Inc. workshops online.

To register for one of these training sessions, contact a Women in Business Initiative development officer.

Openings available for women who wish to join a board of directors

You can view the list of openings with the Government of New Brunswick to serve on agencies, boards and commissions.

To learn more on board benefits for women, you may refer to the document Get on board: A resource for women.

Export your Business

Export NB (LearnSphere)

Whether you are new or just looking at your next export market, the Women in Business Initiative (WBI) in New Brunswick is strongly recommending women business owners to take only five minutes of their time to fill an online diagnostic tool in order to get their Export Continuum. This tool will give you an idea of three typical stages of readiness regarding exports: the Potential Exporter, the New or First Time Exporter, and the Expanding or Diversifying Market.

Women’s Enterprise Organizations of Canada (WEOC)

The WEOC is the first Canada-wide association of professional business support organizations dedicated to the success of women entrepreneurs, and the authority on women’s entrepreneurship in the country. Member organizations operate under provincial mandates and provide an array of services including skills development in critical business management topics, connections to financing and trade development opportunities. When it comes to exports, the Women in Business Initiative (WBI) in New Brunswick sees the greatest benefits for peer-to-peer networking among women business owners and mentoring through business communities across the country.

Women’s Business Enterprises (WBE) Canada

In partnership with WBE Canada, the Women in Business Initiative (WBI) in New Brunswick promotes the certification of businesses that are at least 51% owned, managed and controlled by women. Through WBE Canada, these certified businesses are introduced to opportunities with large corporations and the public sector looking for suppliers. In addition, WBE Canada delivers training, coaching and mentoring programs that ramp up the capacity of women business owners to bid successfully on large procurement opportunities. This support contributes to significant growth for women's businesses.

BDC Productivity Benchmarking Tool

In October 2016, the Canada’s Business Development Bank (BDC) has launched a free Productivity Benchmarking Tool to help business owners to find out in just a few minutes where their company stands compared to other Canadian businesses in the same industry. The Women in Business Initiative (WBI) in New Brunswick strongly encourage all women business owners in the province to take a few minutes of their time, and give it a try. This benchmarking tool is a good start when thinking of exporting to other provinces, and a good way to discover your potential for improvement. The tool offers a detailed and printable report for easy reference.

WEConnect International (Canada)

WEConnect International is a global network that connects women-owned businesses to qualified buyers around the world. The organization has been active in Canada since the beginning of 2008 working with strategic partners, government agencies, corporate members and outstanding women entrepreneurs across the country. The Women in Business Initiative (WBI) in New Brunswick encourages women business owners to get in touch with the Canadian chapter of WEConnect International.

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“We continue to be a huge success, what a pipeline we have created with getting together and exchanging our views, thoughts and goals.  We continue to have a list of names asking to be added to our distribution list and this shows the strength we have in our communities.  I enjoy the time we spend together exchanging ideas and hopes that we can make a difference one woman at a time.”
- Deirdre Rideout

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