International Women’s Day (March 8) is a global day celebrating the political, historical and cultural achievements of women. This day has been celebrated for over 100 years starting in 1911! The message is really two-fold – to not only celebrate women’s contributions to society but also a call to action for accelerating gender parity. This is echoed in this year’s theme from the United Nations: “Gender equality for a sustainable tomorrow” #Breakthebias.
Female entrepreneurship is thriving in our area and women-owned and led businesses have a significant impact on the local economy. Our loan portfolio is made up of almost 50% women entrepreneurs – much higher than the provincial average. Hundreds of other women connect with us on an annual basis outside of our loan clients to learn about entrepreneurship and access tips, tools and resources to grow their business. It is truly inspiring to work with these innovative, creative and engaging entrepreneurs.
This is an exciting time for the community and the planet. According to the UN, “women and girls are effective and powerful leaders and change-makers for climate adaptation and mitigation. They are involved in sustainability initiatives around the world, and their participation and leadership results in more effective climate action.”
To all the wonderful women entrepreneurs and change-makers in our community – we celebrate and applaud you! Take advantage of all of the wonderful educational and networking opportunities available to you as part of this day and beyond. We hope that you take time to connect and reflect on your contributions and achievements as well as the impact that other amazing women have had on the community and beyond.