Sask. Gov recognizing women entrepreneurs
Saskatchewan's successful businesswomen are being put in the forefront.
© Times-Herald photo by Nathan Frank.
Carrie A. Richardson, owner/operator of Alternate Root Organics looks at a product on Wednesday.
The Saskatchewan Government has proclaimed May 5-11 Women Entrepreneurs Week.
"The reason we are celebrating this week is to show that there is work being done. There are successful women and there are more opportunities in the province," said June Draude, minister responsible for the status of women. "Never before in our province has the time been so right for things to change and women are an important part of what we are doing and they have a distinct set of skills and viewpoints when it comes to business."
According to a report by Industry Canada, 15 per cent of small businesses in the prairies are owned by women. In 2013, more than 34,100 women were self-employed.
Genelle Paytant, the president of the Business Women of Moose Jaw, believes women still need to get closer to being 50 per cent of small business owners, but has seen improvement throughout the decades.
She pointed to an article she read where the author mentioned that 20 to 30 years ago women couldn't ever obtain a loan from the bank without a male co-signer.
"When you think of that, it wasn't that long ago. Look how far we have come in that time period," said Paytant. "Really in the last 30 or 50 years we have come a long way, being able to purchase a loan to buy a home. I think it's something a lot of us take for granted, I know I did, because I didn't realize it was that recent that you couldn't do that."
Draude agrees that the business world has seen a lot of improvement throughout the decades.
"The world is open to them beyond some of the traditonal jobs that are there," Draude said. "Over the past several years women think of themselves as exploring their own skills and knowledge with excitment."
This week will be marked by an annual business conference organized by Women Entrepreneurs of Saskatchewan Inc. The organization has provided more than $29 mllion in loans since 1995, to women who are interested in starting or expanding a business in the province.
According to Payant the Business Women of Moose Jaw have not organized any formal event to celebrate the week, but plan to do so next year.
If you would like to become a member of the Business Women of Moose Jaw contact Payant at 306-631-2528.
Nathan Frank can be reached at 306-691-1263.