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Executive Council
Innovation, Business and Rural Development
March 26, 2012

Workshop Helps Inuit Women Develop Business Skills

Inuit women from Nunatsiavut had an opportunity to explore their entrepreneurial skills and interest in business at a workshop held in Hopedale last week, so that they may avail of emerging opportunities in Labrador.

The Women’s Policy Office, in partnership with the Department of Innovation, Business and Rural Development and the Newfoundland and Labrador Organization of Women Entrepreneurs, hosted the one-day business development workshop on March 21.

“Our government remains committed to advancing the status of women in our Aboriginal communities,” said the Honourable Charlene Johnson, Minister Responsible for the Status of Women. “According to the Newfoundland and Labrador Organization of Women Entrepreneurs, over seven per cent of women-owned businesses in our province are owned by Aboriginal women. Through workshops like this, we hope to increase the number of Aboriginal women in business and advance the economic independence of Inuit women.”

The day included presentations by two prominent female Inuit business leaders, Hilda Broomfield Letemplier and Patty Pottle. Hilda Broomfield Letemplier owns Pressure Pipe Steel Fabrication in Happy Valley-Goose Bay and has been involved in numerous industrial projects in Labrador, including Voisey’s Bay. Patty Pottle is the owner/operator of Amaguk Inn and D. J. Gift Shop Ltd. in Hopedale. They provided encouragement, shared their experience as Inuit women in business, discussed the obstacles they face, and explained how they became the successful business women they are today.

“Creating an environment where entrepreneurs are able to start or grow a business is a central element of our approach to economic and business development,” said the Honourable Keith Hutchings, Minister of Innovation, Business and Rural Development. “Through workshops of this nature we have the platform to create awareness of available tools and resources that support business development and widen the door to greater business success.”

Inuit women from Postville, Makkovik, Hopedale and Rigolet attended the workshop and expressed that they learned a great deal about business opportunities and they would be interested in participating in future workshops.

“The workshop was very informative and very well presented,” said Teena Flowers, Executive Director of the Selma Onalik Shelter, who was a participant in the workshop. “It also offered a great opportunity to meet other women from the Nunatsiavut communities who are interested in business.”

The workshop was offered through the Inuit Women’s Capacity Building Program, an initiative of the Women’s Policy Office, which identifies and addresses the barriers Inuit women face to accessing Provincial Government programs and services. It provides them with the information they need to make a positive difference in their own lives, the lives of their families and the well-being of their communities.

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Media contacts:

Tracey Boland
Communications Specialist
Women’s Policy Office
709-729-6225, 693-7938
Scott Barfoot
Director of Communications
Department of Innovation,
Business and Rural Development
709-729-4570, 690-6290

Teena Flowers
Executive Director
Selma Onalik Shelter

2012 03 26                            10:15 a.m.

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