Testimonials from the Accelerate HER PEI pilot program (Winter 2020)

"The Accelerate HER PEI program was very informative and inspiring. Learning to create a goal map and navigate through the various landmarks to ultimately reach my set goal, was truly enlightening. The networking opportunities and resources made available are invaluable in helping women succeed in business." - Mary Lou Mayme, Stratford's Own For Her & Stratford's Own Barbershop  READ MORE HERE

"My experience in the Accelerate HER PEI program was transformative, both for my company and for me personally. I’ve gained knowledge, confidence, and a support network that will help me grow my business and achieve my goals. I highly recommend the program to other women entrepreneurs on PEI." - Nicole St. Denis, High-Fidelity Science Communications

"This program was a game changer for me. I had an idea, but I had no idea how to make it work. This program has taught me so much, and I looked forward each week to our meetings. We had an experienced business woman guiding the program and wonderful speakers and presentations each week that provided invaluable information. I am very excited about putting all the things I learned into action. I am truly grateful for this amazing experience." - Rebecca CowansDown by the Bay Backyard Poultry

"I was fortunate enough to be a part of the Accelerate HER PEI pilot project. If you have an opportunity to do this I would highly recommend it. A great chance to bring your business to the next level." Kelley Lea, Do Duck Inn Cottages

Congratulations to the cohort from the Accelerate HER PEI pilot program who successfully completed the 12-week program on April 7 2021:


Dee Enright – JEBBCA Strategies & Holdings

Thank you to all the mentors, community partners, experts, presenters and sponsors who contributed to making this pilot program such a success! 



The Accelerate HER PEI pilot program was a 12-week program launched in 2020 and led by PEIBWA and the Atlantic Canadian Women in Growth Partnership in collaboration with the Startup Zone. The pilot was broadcast from PEIBWA’s Rural Women’s Business Centre. Participants had the option of participating virtually or in-person. This pilot program served high-potential women business owners, no matter their location in PEI.

Clients benefitted from free access to business support services customized to meet their individual needs. This included weekly group meetings, one-on-one mentorship, peer support, market research and guidance, and a pool of expertise with a variety of businesses and industry leaders.

Program Description

This 12-week pilot program involved accelerator programming and 1-1 mentorship support to learn how to grow your business. The pilot was targeted for businesses in the early growth stage of development, and businesses who may have found themselves taking a new direction.  There was no cost to apply for or participate in the program.

Participants took part in weekly group meetings and interacted with experts for training and feedback, business-building assignments, networking opportunities, and referrals. Participants were also matched with a mentor in their field for individual support throughout. Programming will be delivered both online and in-person at the Rural Women’s Business Centre in Central Bedeque, PEI.


Women-owned, for-profit businesses (defined as being at least 51% owned, managed, or controlled by women), in any sector registered in PEI that had been in continuous operation for at least one (1) year (as of December 2020) were invited to participate in this pilot program.

Preference may have been given to underrepresented populations including but not limited to indigenous women and women of colour, Rural women business owners, women in trades and STEM disciplines, newcomers and women with disabilities, at the discretion of PEIBWA.

Program Activities & Components

  • Two hours per week group learning, broadcast from the Rural Women’s Business Centre in Central Bedeque, PEI
  • Pool of expert presenters to speak on a variety of business topics, based on intake assessment of participants
  • Access to business advisors
  • Peer support and networking with other women business owners
  • Weekly goal-setting and preparatory resources
  • One-on-One matchmaking with an experienced business owner/entrepreneur mentor
  • Bi-weekly one-on-one meetings with assigned mentor
  • Shared workspace & access to program resources and materials

Time Commitment

Project Start: Jan 18, 2021, Project End: April 9, 2021

The Accelerate HER PEI pilot program ran for 12 consecutive weeks, beginning with a two-hour orientation session on Monday, January 18th. The following time commitments were required by participants:

  • (1 hr) interview selection session
  • 12 (2 hr) Weekly accelerator meetings in person or virtual to include orientation, goal-setting, expert presentations, peer support and networking with cohort
  • (1 hr) Bi-weekly one-on-one mentorship meetings with mentor (in person or virtual)
  • (2 hr) Follow-up and evaluation
  • The total dedicated time commitment per participant for group and one-on-one activities/meetings will be approximately 33 hours for this 12-week program.

For more information please contact 

Shelley Jessop, Manager, Rural Women's Business Centre  or 902-887-3171


Rose FitzPatrick, PEI Project Coordinator, ACWGPP or 902-393-0306