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Innovation, Business and Rural Development
March 21, 2012

The following statement was given today in the House of Assembly by the Honourable Keith Hutchings, Minister of Innovation, Business and Rural Development:

Partnership Contributes to Business Growth

Mr. Speaker, in Newfoundland and Labrador, women-led businesses are standing tall. They are at the forefront of any number of industries and driving business activity in all regions of Newfoundland and Labrador.

As exciting as this progress has been, we – as a government – firmly believe that the opportunities on the horizon for women-led businesses are even greater.

With supplier development opportunities attached to large industrial projects, as well as increasing access to supply chains of larger corporations and public sector organizations with supplier diversity policies, the prospects for business success are growing larger.

To help support women entrepreneurs, the Provincial Government – through the Department of Innovation, Business and Rural Development – has formed a valuable and outcome-focused partnership with the Newfoundland and Labrador Organization of Women Entrepreneurs.

In recent years, we have jointly led export development initiatives and hosted supplier development workshops. Together, we are also implementing Business Connections, which is a program designed to assist women business owners expand their operations. The program provides entrepreneurs with greater access to growth industries in this province and supplier diversity and export opportunities in international markets.

Our shared goal is to create an environment where women-led businesses can excel and flourish.

This partnership achieves that goal. It provides women entrepreneurs and business professionals with insights into how they can best identify target audiences and new export markets, as well as build entrepreneurial skills and marketing capabilities.

The response among women-led businesses to Business Connections has been extremely positive. Recent events throughout Newfoundland and Labrador have attracted more than 70 women who have left with valuable information and are taking steps to expand their business interests. Many of these entrepreneurs will go on to complete the entire training program.

Mr. Speaker, the collective sum of this activity is that women entrepreneurs will continue to grow and prosper and further contribute to the economic vibrancy of Newfoundland and Labrador.

2012 03 21             2:10 p.m.

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