New National Partnership between Women’s Economic Council and the North End Women’s Centre – in the establishment of a Winnipeg based “Cluster-Site Table for Women”

Winnipeg, Manitoba – October 2012 – Establishing new CED enterprises through the establishment of a new service offered by the North End Women’s Centre as a Host Partner will increase local Community Economic Development initiatives and increase women’s economic security according to Executive Director Heather Leeman of North End Women’s Centre and President Valerie Carruthers of Women’s Economic Council.

The Cluster Site Table is a new initiative funded through Status of Women Canada and Canadian Women’s Foundation over a three year period and pilots a unique, new CED model that assists marginalized women and their organizations to establish Co-operatives, Social Enterprises, and Entrepreneurial businesses. It will increase women’s skills and entry into the labour force.

“The concept is to recruit business leadership and other community stakeholders to the North End Women’s Centre table.  Women and women-led organizations will be invited to come to the table to be mentored, advised and supported in the establishment of economic entities” says Valerie Carruthers.

The Winnipeg site is one of four sites being developed in Canada.  One in Vancouver, British Columbia with Host Partners BWSS Battered Women’s Support Services and Common Thread; one in Thunder Bay, Ontario with PARO Women’s Enterprise Centre and one on Bell Island Newfoundland and Labrador with Women Interested in Successful Employment (WISE).

Jessica Hill, National Project Manager, feels this initiative will eventually lead to sustainable social enterprises/businesses and services that will employ women, increase incomes, help positive growth of communities and expand existing women-led businesses across Canada.

Heather Leeman adds that studies indicate that in today’s economy, a higher skilled, local labour force is essential in creating a key competitive factor affecting a local area’s attractiveness for the location and growth of business.  We believe that with the assistance of the local business leadership in Winnipeg this opportunity to employ and support CED business development will be successful. It will further our collaborations in working more effectively as the community focus on women.

The Women’s Economic Council, along with representatives from the four cluster sites, are meeting in Winnipeg October 17/18 at the North End Women’s Centre to plan and organize the establishment of cluster tables across Canada.
To get involved or find out more about the project please contact the following for interviews and/or information.

Valerie Carruthers President, Women’s Economic Council – 709 –739-1375

Heather Leeman Executive Director, North End Women’s Council – 204-594- 0472

Jessica Hill National Manager, Women’s Economic Council – 586-719-1938


Previously posts regarding Women’s Economic Council and BC Cluster on BWSS Ending Violence Blog Empowering Women’s Enterprises and Networks with Women’s Economic Council and Common Thread Cooperative