PEI Business Women’s Association (PEIBWA) is a not-for-profit organization that empowers PEI women in business, both entrepreneurs and business professionals. PEIBWA supports, inspires, and helps its members succeed with a number of services and programs for women entrepreneurs and business professionals across the Island.
Women entrepreneurs and business professionals benefit significantly from mentoring, whether they are starting a business or wish their business to grow. Several formal and informal mentoring activities are in place across the Island. Women entrepreneurs and business professionals who are self-employed rarely have access to the types of mentoring available to employees of larger organizations, however.
Additionally, no good evidence is available to suggest what a formal mentoring program should look like that will meet the needs of Island women. PEI women’s experiences as mentors or mentees remain anecdotal. For example, we know that women entrepreneurs living in rural areas face different challenges from those in urban settings. How a mentoring program should address these challenges is not clear. Similarly, women of different ages and ethnicities, as well as newcomers, may have particular wants and needs concerning mentoring.
PEIBWA received Status of Women Canada funding for a multi-year pilot project (2014 to 2017) to develop and test a developmental business mentoring model for PEI women entrepreneurs and business professionals. The pilots will run throughout 2016 in rural and urban PEI. A thorough evaluation of the pilots will be conducted by a third party.
We are looking for women who want to start a business or expand an existing one to be involved as mentees. Similarly, we are looking for experienced men or women entrepreneurs and business professionals to be mentors during this pilot project. We are asking for a six-month commitment. For the mentor, that’s a commitment of two hours per month.
This is what PEIBWA will do over the course of the project:
- Partner with organizations and individuals currently involved in mentoring (formal or informal).
- Involve those who are interested in working collaboratively with PEIBWA on this project.
- Identify best practices by a) listening to women’s stories about experiences with mentoring as well as what women would like to see in a formal mentoring program and b) evaluating relevant published research.
- Select model(s) and develop the tools and resources required for mentor and mentee orientation and support.
- Conduct four 3-month pilots: eastern rural PEI, western rural PEI, Summerside, and Charlottetown.
- Evaluate the pilots to learn from participants’ and community partners’ experiences.
- Finalize the mentoring model(s).
For further information, or to express interest in working with us on this exciting project, please contact
Virginia (Ginny) McGowan, Project Manager – Mentoring Project
Tel: (902) 892-6040 / Cell: (902) 330-2013 / Email: firstname.lastname@example.org