Updated: Aug 2, 2022
By Jennifer Bessell, NLOWE CEO
How far does $125 go these days? Not very far.
A tank of gas and maybe a car wash. Some groceries. New shoes perhaps?
At NLOWE, we are the exception. Here $125 provides tremendous value for a woman entrepreneur.
We deliberately keep our membership fees accessible to ensure that women entrepreneurs have the opportunity to join our community. And it is a community first and foremost. A place of belonging where we support one another, network, celebrate our accomplishments, and learn together as we navigate the challenging waters of success in business.
So why become a member? There are so many answers to this question that it’s hard to know what to highlight first. I think it can be summed up in one word: access. As a woman business owner member, you can participate in everything that NLOWE has to offer.
You can run for NLOWE’s Board of Directors, enjoy significant member discounts on many of our activities, including our Entrepreneur of the Year Gala Event and our annual conference, qualify for members-only programming such as the Mastermind Program, and enjoy the resources provided in the members-only section of our website. This includes the opportunity to watch many of our virtual offerings on-demand—making professional development an activity that you can fit into your schedule.
If you attend either the conference or the Entrepreneur of the Year Gala event, the NLOWE membership pays for itself when you consider the cost difference between the member and non-member rates. It just makes good business sense.
Personally, I think the most compelling reason to become a member of NLOWE as a woman entrepreneur is to demonstrate a commitment to improving the business space and entrepreneurship experience for all women. NLOWE works diligently to address many of the barriers that exist for women in business. The support of our membership magnifies our voice as we address these issues. We have many members who have been with NLOWE almost since the beginning. As we celebrate twenty-five years, I want to take a moment to thank these women for their ongoing commitment to women entrepreneurs in Newfoundland and Labrador. You know who you are and you are incredible!
Inclusivity is so important. Yet there seems to be a misconception that only a woman business owner may be a member of NLOWE. That is not the case.
While it is accurate that currently only a woman business owner may sit on the board of directors or participate in certain programs designed exclusively for women in business, the reality is that we have an associate membership available that offers many of the same benefits and discounts as the woman business owner membership. We welcome our champions to the table and hope to see more of them come to NLOWE to demonstrate their commitment to improving the business landscape for women in Newfoundland and Labrador.
And yes, men are welcome!
We welcome men to participate as associate members in our community. We need our champions! I recently attended an event and was chatting with a colleague. He was surprised to learn that he could be an NLOWE member. This conversation highlighted for me that we have some work to do. We want everyone who is passionate about women in business to be a part of our community.
We are adding new member benefits regularly as we listen to our members and respond to what they indicate they need. This spring, NLOWE launched its digital library. It may be accessed through the Resource Library section of the website. This library contains business tips, fact sheets, and numerous templates to assist with business planning and development. We are very excited to add this benefit and we look forward to feedback from the membership. Please take a moment to check it out.
In June, our headquarters relocated to 58 Glencoe Drive in Mount Pearl. On June 23, NLOWE held its AGM in the new space and hosted an office-warming networking event. Thanks to everyone who attended. It was wonderful to see many of you again and catch up.
At the AGM, we welcomed Caroline Watton as our new chair for a two-year term. A partner and business lawyer with McInnes Cooper, Caroline specializes in a wide range of corporate transactions, including reorganization, mergers and acquisitions, commercial leasing, corporate governance, and shareholder matters.
I want to thank Denise Goodyear for her successful two-year term as chair. Both fellow board members and staff appreciated Denise’s dedication and leadership. She has been integral to the organization’s growth and success; we will undoubtedly miss her.
In the fall, we have some exciting activities planned. This includes a series of one-day symposiums on business recovery and growth. Stay tuned for more details as they become available. We now look forward to getting back to the in-person networking and business supports that offer incredible value for our members.
At NLOWE, we are very proud to offer so much value for the modest membership fee. Now more than ever, I think we all enjoy a good bargain!
Jennifer Bessell is the Chief Executive Officer at NLOWE. Jennifer is also the current Vice-Chair of the Women’s Enterprise Organizations of Canada (WEOC), a volunteer with Junior Achievement of NL, a board member with Women in Science and Engineering Newfoundland and Labrador (WISE-NL), and a member of the Women Presidents Organization (WPO). Jennifer is passionate about lifelong learning and helping others achieve success in their professional endeavours. She considers coaching and mentoring a responsibility of leadership. Jennifer is driven to help women and youth realize their potential and be successful in their journey as entrepreneurs.