PEI

Women's group gets $500K for new rural business centre

The federal and provincial governments announced funding Wednesday for the P.E.I. Business Women's Association to create a business centre in rural Prince County.

The P.E.I. Business Women's Association has 450 members

The centre will help create a thriving rural business environment, says Margaret Magner. (Tom Steepe/CBC)

The federal and provincial governments announced funding Wednesday for the P.E.I. Business Women's Association to create a business centre in rural Prince County.

The association will redevelop existing space in Central Bedeque to provide programming and career-building resources for women business owners and professionals.

"Not only will it expand our capacity in West Prince to Central Queens to build partnerships, offer training, promote networking and mentoring, and establish co-working space and advisory services, it will advance local women entrepreneurs and their ability to create a thriving rural business environment," said Margaret Magner, executive director of the association, in a news release.

The centre will receive $311,040 in startup funding from the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, and $187,920 from the province.

ACOA noted fewer than 16 per cent of small- and medium-sized businesses in Canada are majority women-owned.

2,500 square feet of existing space will be redeveloped within the Wm. Callbeck Centre. (Tom Steepe/CBC)

"It's a challenge sometimes when it comes to accessibility," Magner said. "I've met a lot of wonderful women in Tignish for instance and O'Leary, and it takes them two hours to get into Charlottetown and then two hours to go home and leave their business behind.

"We can't expect to travel like that. We're here to serve them, so we're getting on the road to go where they are, to hear what their needs are and to deliver on it."

The organization currently has a membership of 450 women.

More P.E.I. news

With files from Tom Steepe

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