On June 14th, the Newfoundland and Labrador Organization of Women Entrepreneurs (NLOWE) is releasing an economic action plan tilted, Unleashing The Potential of Women: An Economic Action Plan for Newfoundland and Labrador

For twenty years NLOWE have been supporting and encouraging women entrepreneurs all over the province. NLOWE has Business Advisors working in every region of the province who will travel to meet with women entrepreneurs and provide free training on starting a new business or growing an existing one.

“We at NLOWE believe that supporting the professional advancement of women is an economic imperative,” says NLOWE CEO Paula Sheppard. “The action plan will serve to engage every member of the community in contributing to the economic growth and impact of women.”

NLOWE argues that women are currently the fastest-growing economic force in the country. The organization backs that claim up with a quote from The Canadian Taskforce for Women’s Business Growth, who say “a 20 percent increase in total revenues among majority female-owned enterprises will contribute an additional $2 billion per annum to the Canadian economy.”

NLOWE also points to the Catalyst Bottom Line study, which found, “…companies with more women board directors outperform those with the fewest by 66% return on invested capital, 53% return on equity, and 42% return on sales.” NLOWE believe that bolstering the number of women in business in the province will ultimately boost our economy.

NLOWE’s new women’s economic action plan was developed out of a series of economic forums held in November 2016. These sessions were held in five different regions across the province and attended by 250 people, including; government representatives, community leaders, and women in business.

Attendees discussed barriers faced by business women, ways to up the number of businesses owned by women in the province, and how to increase the number of women in senior leadership positions in our province’s businesses.

The action plan developed out of these sessions outlines concrete steps that private sector organizations, governments, public institutions, and individuals can take to increase the number of women business owners in the province and to help women in business move into leadership roles.

Attendees identified more than twenty common barriers faced by business women in the province. The action plan addresses the top five barriers discussed in each session.

Some of NLOWE’s solutions for addressing these problems include, “…creating more business supports and resources, promoting the benefits of diversity, increasing the number of mentors and role models, and supporting better work-family balance.”

A digital copy of the full report will be available to the public on June 14th here: https://www.nlowe.org/actionplan/