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Powell River Women in Business host first workshop of 2023

Organization helps empower and educate owners of small businesses and startups
MONTHLY MEET-UP: [From left] Powell River Women in Business executive member Nicole Quigley, Creekside Crossing Campground owner Cheri Simmons, and WIB executive members Jennifer Konopelski and Karina Inkster were in attendance at one of the organization’s recent monthly meetings.

Entrepreneurship and business innovation is nothing new in the rugged, semi-remote qathet region.

However, in the past few years there has been a noticeable uptick in the number of women who have or are starting businesses here. What is it about the region that has attracted the pioneer spirit?

Vegan personal trainer Karina Inkster thinks it’s because more and more businesses—especially since the COVID-19 pandemic–are becoming location independent.

“So we are seeing folks being able to choose where they live, like the Sunshine Coast, and still run their business,” said Inkster. “This means more diverse businesses, and people who run them living in one place.”

Powell River Women in Business (WIB) has played a big role in empowering women and non-binary folks to get started as small business owners. As a member-driven nonprofit organization that began in 2007, WIB believes women helping women in business is a smart strategy that benefits the community as a whole.

For those looking to find their vision, the Vision Board Workshop is the first WIB event of 2023.

Cynthia Owen, owner of Beyond the Story Coaching and WIB’s treasurer, will lead the workshop and help participants envision what they want their work life and personal life to look like. The workshop takes place from 6 to 8 pm on Tuesday, January 17.

AfterGlow Hair Lounge owner Holly Barnes is a WIB member and has been nominated in “Best of Powell River” for the past five years.

“Powell River is an incredibly inclusive community, and I find that the residents are always interested in participating in fundraising events when we [WIB] have hosted them,” said Barnes. “Starting a business is much easier now that we have more residents. I opened my business back in 2011, and it was a little trickier then. I have always felt supported, however, having more salon guests makes life and business much easier.”

WIB provides workshops, bursaries and mentorship for women who are starting, wanting to start or have already started a business.

Inkster recently became a member.

“WIB has been a fantastic platform for networking, supporting local, women-owned small businesses,” she said, “and also operating as a presenter/educator for other business owners’ skills, for example, workshops on social media marketing, investing, and more.”

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