Jan. 28, 2016
HALIFAX, NS – Business women in rural Nova Scotia will have a virtual seat at the table during the CWB’s Women, Business & Breakfast next month, thanks to the integration of live distance learning technology at Mount Saint Vincent University.
For the first time in the CWB’s 24-year history, members and clients in rural Nova Scotia will be able to fully participate without having to make the trip into Halifax.
The first virtual participants will be the Valley Women’s Business Network (VWBN), which has about a dozen members who will be taking part in the breakfast on February 4. It will be done using the video conferencing program Blackboard Collaborate, allowing them to interact with fellow entrepreneurs on camera, and ask questions during facilitated business discussions through a table-top audio device.
This breakfast will feature special guest Esther Amoako, a Kumvana Fellow with Engineers Without Borders from Ghana. She will bring global insight to a discussion on best practices in overcoming and leveraging gender issues in business development.
Between 30 and 40 CWB members typically register for the breakfast, which was recently moved from The Meadows to the Seton Academic Centre, MSVU, to make room for the growing number of participants. Sponsored by TD Bank, CWB members attend for free.
CWB Executive Director Tanya Priske said the relocation of the CWB office from The Meadows to the new Margaret Norrie McCain Centre last spring has made technology that much more accessible to her team.
“Being in the heart of the MSVU campus lends itself to greater collaboration with technology experts, business faculty and researchers,” says Priske, who says a major focus of discussion has been on finding economical ways to bring key services to the CWB’s 368 members, and several hundred clients across the province.
“Accommodating the needs of rural business owners has always been a priority, as well as a challenge,” says Priske, who started her career at the CWB as a field officer serving business owners in Northeastern Nova Scotia. “Through the years, we have worked on the ground and have piloted different modes of delivery, but as a non-profit, cost is always a factor.”
The other issue was finding a simple and widely accessible online delivery method. With the program they have chosen, participants will only have to click a link to join in.
“Women have told us, time and again, that entrepreneurial support and services in rural Nova Scotia is something they need in order to grow,” she says. “The One Nova Scotia report clearly identified that our rural regions are facing a serious economic and population decline unless we bring some new growth drivers to the table, so this is our response.
Lori Cox, President of VWBN and owner of Windsor-based Red Dragon Marketing Inc. calls the breakfast a “synergistic and collaborative opportunity.”
“By working with the CWB, we are also working to remove geographic barriers and connect with like-minded business women across Nova Scotia to expand their networks, collaborate and learn.”
Currently celebrating their 15th anniversary, the VWBN’s mandate is to support, educate and promote women in business in the Annapolis Valley. Monthly meetings host speakers on business and personal development. The meetings and other events provide a forum for meeting other women in business, exchanging ideas and promoting one another’s businesses in a relaxed and welcoming atmosphere. New members and visitors are welcome, whether they are business owners or employees, established in business or just starting out.
For more information, visit http://www.vwbn.ca/