5 Island women get micro-grants

The PEI Business Women’s Association announced the five recipients of its new micro-grants in Summerside Tuesday.

'We are able to directly support Island women to follow their dreams of business success'

PEI's Women in Business 2016 micro-grant recipients were announced Tuesday in Summerside. (PEIBWA/Twitter)

The PEI Business Women's Association announced the recipients of its new micro-grants in Summerside Tuesday.

The grants of up to $500 each are to help new and established women entrepreneurs, and include business skills support. The association gives the entrepreneurs 75 per cent up front and the rest after they complete a final report.

"By creating the PEIBWA Micro-Grant, we are able to directly support Island women to follow their dreams of business success," said Mary Jane Webster, president of the association. 

The successful grant recipients for 2016 are:

  • Patricia Bourque of Patricia Bourque Photography.
  • Cassandra Goodwin of Vital Natural Medicine.
  • Sharon Keller, owner of Bounce! Hair Studio.
  • Danielle Rafuse of Little Indie Co.
  • Darlene Ramsay, a personal grocery shopper.

Grants doubled 

This year, the association said in a written release, the grants were sponsored by community partners, including the City of Summerside, as well as anonymous private donors.

Sharon Keller of Bounce! Hair studio is converting this 1972 camper into a mobile hair salon. (Submitted by Bounce! Hair Studio)

"We are able to offer five micro-grants this first round, more than doubling what we were originally able to offer," said Hannah Bell, the association's executive director. 

The group received more than 20 applications which were judged by an independent advisory panel. 

"We were thrilled by the applications that we received and cannot wait to see what the recipients do next."

Little Indie Co. 

Danielle Rafuse's Georgetown, P.E.I., boutique features Island artisanal accessories, jewelry, bath and body products, candles, paper products and more.

Vital Natural Medicine 

Cassandra Goodwin runs a naturopathic medical clinic dedicated to helping women and families in Stratford, P.E.I.

Patricia Bourque Photography 

Patricia Bourque offers photography services for special events as well as portraits and has created handmade greeting cards and prints that are based on Mi'kmaq culture.

Bounce! Hair Studio

Sharon Keller plans to convert a 1973 camper into a mobile hair salon for weddings and other parties. 

Personal grocery shopping

Darlene Ramsay plans to set up a personal grocery shopping business to help seniors save money on their groceries so they can eat healthier. She'll also visit her clients regularly to keep tabs on them and provide company.