February 20, 2017 (Ottawa, ON) – The Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC) is pleased to announce that 116 Aboriginal women and gender diverse have now registered for the 4th annual Aboriginal Women’s Business Entrepreneurship (AWBEN) Conference. Taking place in Thunder Bay, Ontario March 1st through March 2nd, 2017, participants will be challenged and empowered to explore and develop their entrepreneurial skills.
Funded by Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (AANDC) since 2012, the AWBEN program addresses the unique challenges facing Aboriginal women and gender diverse in starting their own businesses. AWBEN promotes learning, growth, and networking in a culturally supportive environment, with a focus on sustainable initiatives driven by community leadership.
“AWBEN recognizes that Indigenous women and gender diverse bring unique skills, tenacity, and a strong point of view to the world of business,” observes NWAC Interim President Francyne D. Joe. “Although there is only space for 100 registrants, this is a free event and not everyone who wants to attend will be able to make it. I encourage all current and aspiring Aboriginal women and gender diverse entrepreneurs to register so that AWBEN can show the AANDC, the Ontario Federation of Indigenous Friendship Centres (OFIFC), and other potential sources of funding that Indigenous women and gender diverse want and need programs that support and accelerate their careers. I’d also like to thank event sponsors, Resolute Forest Products and the Bank of Montreal.”
The AWBEN Conference agenda for March 2nd features exciting panelists as well as keynote speakers Patrice Mousseau, Founder of Satya Organics, and actress Ashley Callingbull, Mrs. Universe 2015. “I hope to see a full room all as I make the opening address,” continued Ms. Joe, “this is a chance for Aboriginal women and gender diverseto get inspired, make connections, and exercise their skills alongside their peers.”