Provincial funding supports B.C.'s women entrepreneurs
Economy, Families Friday, November 30, 2012 2:50 PM

VANCOUVER - Women throughout B.C. will continue to have access to a mentorship program designed to enhance entrepreneurial skills and increase participating businesses' long-term success and growth, announced Minister of State for Small Business Naomi Yamamoto.

The B.C. government is providing $100,000 funding through its Building Skills for Small Business fund to the Women's Enterprise Centre (WEC) toward its Taking the Leap to Entrepreneurship Mentoring Program. The program was implemented in 2007 as a five-year project and funding announced today will support the final year.

The Taking the Leap to Entrepreneurship Mentoring Program provides one-on-one mentoring, peer mentoring groups and mentor advisory forums. Graduates of the program can more confidently handle the challenges of running a business, as the program provides business development skills, teaches participants to achieve work/life balance, and directs them to business resources.

Women make up more than 37 per cent of self-employed people in B.C.; the second-highest rate in the country and the WEC is a leading business resource centre for women who are starting, purchasing or growing a small business in B.C.


Minister of State for Small Business Naomi Yamamoto -

"Women entrepreneurs are one of the fastest growing segments of the Canadian economy and represent a growing economic force. Getting started is the most important step, and through mentoring and sharing knowledge to help guide the success of each individual, we become more successful as a province as a whole."

CEO of Women's Enterprise Centre Laurel Douglas -

"Over the last five years, with funding from the Province of British Columbia, the Women's Enterprise Centre Taking the Leap to Entrepreneurship Mentoring Program has been able to develop a network of 150 women business mentors who have mentored more than 1,000 women business owners in communities all over the province - from Abbotsford to Ymir and Dawson Creek to Pender Island. We are thrilled to be able to continue this worthwhile program."

Quick Facts:

  • B.C. continues to foster an entrepreneurship culture, including the declaration of October as Small Business Month and supporting programs that expose youth to business training, preparing them to become the entrepreneurs of tomorrow.
  • Government has eliminated more than 152,000 regulations since 2001 to support small business growth - a red-tape reduction of over 42 per cent.
  • As part of our commitment to regulatory reform, the B.C. government has brought in BizPaL - an online tool to help small businesses find information on the permits and licences needed from three levels of government for business startup and operation. As of March 2012, BizPaL is available in 110 B.C. communities.
  • B.C. has one of the lowest small-business corporate income tax rates in Canada at 2.5 per cent - a reduction of 44 per cent since 2001.
  • Since 2002, the small business corporate income tax threshold (below which small businesses pay the lower rate of tax) has been increased from $200,000 to $500,000.
  • Budget 2012 increased the Small Business Venture Capital tax credit budget to $33 million annually, including a new $3 million allocated specifically for direct investments in eligible new corporations that are less than two years old.
  • Government created a permanent Small Business Roundtable in 2005, giving small businesses a voice in government. The roundtable has hosted 48 consultations in all regions of the province to engage over 960 small business owners.

Learn More:

Share your thoughts on the B.C. Small Business Accord in an online survey on the BC Jobs Plan website at:

For more information on the Small Business Roundtable, visit:


Media Relations
Government Communications and Public Engagement
Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training
250 356-8177

See More Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training Stories

See more from the Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training


Watch the BC Government's latest videos on YouTube

Sound Bites

Listen to the BC Government's latest audio clips