The PEI Business Women's Association 2020 Symposium is the premier event for women in business in PEI. Due to the ongoing public health restrictions associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 Symposium has been rescheduled to Tuesday, October 6 at the Florence Simmons Hall, located on the Charlottetown campus of Holland College
This one-day annual event attracts a full spectrum of women in business from across the Island including start-up entrepreneurs, established business owners, mid-career business professionals, urban and rural entrepreneurs, newcomers launching their businesses, and students.
We are currently seeking proposals for Symposium keynote speakers and workshop leaders.
Please complete the online form at this link to submit your proposal.
Deadline for submissions is Friday, May 15, 2020.
Lucky Bee Homestead is a small farm in Murray Harbour North owned and operated by Sabine & Michael Schoenknecht. They manufacture authentic German food like mustard, low sugar jam, glazed almonds, as well as bread and soups.
Michael and Sabine bought their “little piece of heaven” in early spring 2013 when they moved to the Island. They both grew up in families where the tradition was to grow and preserve food for winter. They were making jams, pickles, sauerkraut and canned all vegetables coming from their garden. “There is nothing better than to open a glass of jam or veggies in the middle of winter - bringing the summer back into the house!” Sabine explains: “I didn't really like my job as a cashier and I wanted to provide some healthy food for the people.” They started on a part-time basis 3 years ago but have been operating it on a full-time basis for the past 2 years.
“We use as many natural or organic ingredients in our products as possible, we treat our animals and our land with respect, and being sustainable and green is our top priority.”
Cooking was always a big part of Sabine’s life. She is a trained chef and hospitality specialist who worked in many different high-end restaurants, hotels and cruise ships. She also a degree as a hotel & restaurant business economist. Michael joined her passion and is now the creative part of their little enterprise.
Covid-19 has affected the business in a big way. “Our main work is to travel to different shows and promote our mustard off Island - people need to try the difference to pay the higher price for it. So not be able to do that, it is difficult to promote that side of business and sell the product. We are starting again making bread, soups and other comfort food to gain revenue and maybe not be forced to use any government help. This situation taught me again, I was a big believer in that before, that we have to focus on buy local and not be dependent on foreign companies. Everybody should have a little garden to provide them self with some food - or know how to cook and bake.”
They sold soup during the first year of business, and recently reintroduced them to their product line. The business has shifted more focus towards social media. It already had an online shop established prior to COVID-19 pandemic, so it was more of a matter of adjusting to offer more items for delivery locally and re-introducing items that they used to sell as a means of increasing revenues. The business has seen a significant increase in local sales and the local community has been very supportive They are offering delivery for orders over $30 from Summerside to Montague. Delivery will be on Saturdays.
When asked what their biggest challenges related to the pandemic have been Sabine said “The health regulations (which are necessary), the pricing of the products, getting into stores on and off the Island. Hard work and education - networking.”
And when asked about successes she shared “Within a year we managed to get into 20 shops off-Island and several on the Island which are mostly seasonal. We’ve been in the news last year in Nova Scotia, and we were featured in several magazines like Saltscapes and Salty. Success is also the smile on the face of people who try our mustard and other products.”
Lucky Bee Homestead
Sabine & Michael Schoenknecht
PEI Business Women’s Association
Business Development and Membership Officer
PEI Business Women’s Association is seeking a professional and qualified team player as its Business Development and Membership Officer. The Officer will design and coordinate a comprehensive business advisory program to better serve our PEIBWA members across the Island. The Officer will also build and strengthen PEIBWA membership in a variety of sectors including women in trades, technology, and STEM fields; students; newcomers; indigenous women, women with disabilities; and women in rural areas.
Reporting to the Executive Director, these are the responsibilities of this position:
Formal Education and Experience:
This position will be based in the Charlottetown office, but will coordinate the program across the province. The Officer will be expected to travel throughout the province at times and extended hours of work may be required. Other duties may be assigned by the Executive Director.
Qualified applicants should forward an electronic resume and cover letter to Margaret Magner, Executive Director, PEI Business Women’s Association HERE. For more information, send an email in confidence to email@example.com with “Business Development and Membership Officer” in the subject line.
DEADLINE FOR APPLICATIONS IS WEDNESDAY, APRIL 22, 2020.
Thank you to all that apply; however, only those that are selected for an interview will be contacted.
Your PEIBWA team is continuing to work on your behalf while the COVID-19 pandemic continues. We are meeting electronically each morning, sharing information, and brainstorming new ways to better serve you.
Our physical office spaces continue to be closed, but we are eager to connect with you by telephone or online. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 902-892-6040 to leave a voicemail message which will be returned promptly. You can reach Shelley Jessop, Manager of our Rural Women's Business Centre at email@example.com or on her cell at 902-213-7902.
We encourage you to stay in touch with our upcoming news and events through our social media channels (Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn) and our weekly e-newsletter which you may subscribe to at this link.
Megalee Carpentry and Renovations
Jennifer Luce has worked in the construction industry for many years as an apprentice carpenter and is now a Red Seal carpenter. Jennifer Pellerin has a Bachelor’s in Business Administration and has worked in both sales and management roles. In 2019, inspired by other women who are in business for themselves, they decided to take the leap and start their own company - and Megalee Carpentry and Renovations was born!
”We aspire to be role models for other women, especially ones looking to enter the trades or other male-dominated industries,” says Pellerin. Taking that first leap of faith into starting our own business was scary. Having a lot of people behind us and supporting us as mentors, customers, or as cheerleaders have been instrumental in our successes.”
In 2019 Jennifer and Jennifer were awarded the “Brewing for Better Balance Fund” sponsored by PEIBWA member Samuels Coffee House in Summerside. They received $2000 they used to purchase power tools and for which they are “forever grateful” to the fund’s contributors. In return, they plan to help support the fund in the coming years.
Megalee does a variety of construction and renovation work. Their services include (but are not limited to) renovations, new builds, decks, door replacements, window replacements, sheds, outdoor furniture (tables/chairs/planters), soffit/facia repair, and siding.
“When doing renovations, especially on older homes, there are usually a few surprises," explains Pellerin. "However, after running into them time and time again, they are no longer unexpected, and we are well prepared to tackle them!”
“As an all-women crew we try to set ourselves apart by giving people a different experience than what they are used to. Some customers have expressed they feel more comfortable having women working in their home. Other customers have said they feel that their needs and worries are being heard. We have many customers who are single women who don’t have anyone “handy” in their lives. We have customers who are men, who may be handy but just want the job done and don’t want to waste their weekends doing it themselves. We want to help people, not judge them," says Luce.
Megalee has enjoyed what the partners call an “excellent” first year in operation, and they credit their success to their “awesome customers and contacts within the industry.” They have been gearing up for the busy Spring season, but impact of the COVID1-19 has resulted in’s a very unpredictable time for the young company.
"We were hoping to have a head start this year compared to last year when we started in April, so it’s not quite going as we had hoped," Pellerin says. "We are currently finishing up a siding job on a new build. We are fortunate to have a project where there are no other people on site at the moment so we can continue to work for now. However, we have had to put our upcoming projects on hold and are no longer making house calls to meet with customers about their projects. We are still taking phone calls and email requests for estimates. We are making a list of first come first serve so we can go to them as soon as we have the all-clear!"
Megalee Carpentry and Renovations
Jennifer Luce and Jennifer Pellerin
The PEI Business Women’s Association would like to thank Lori Robinson of Eric C. Robinson Inc. for her generous support of PEIBWA’s Rural Women’s Business Centre and rural women in PEI. Thanks to Robinson’s sponsorship, we are able to offer a private office space at our Centre in Central Bedeque for free from January 1 to March 31, 2020.
The private office space will be available to be booked in two to three hour time slots, from Monday to Friday, between 9:00 am and 4:00 pm. It can accommodate up to six people comfortably.
“This new space is a wonderful addition to the programs and services being offered at PEIBWA’s Rural Women’s Business Centre,” says Shelley Jessop, manager of the Centre. “We are very grateful for Lori Robinon’s generosity.”
Individuals or groups interested in booking the space should contact Shelley Jessop at firstname.lastname@example.org or 902-887-3171.
*La version française suit*
Centre to increase accessibility to professional and business resources for rural Island women in the central Queens to west Prince regions
The PEI Business Women’s Association’s new Rural Women’s Business Centre, located in Central Bedeque, is officially open.
The Centre held its Grand Opening on November 12, 2019, welcoming partner organizations and members to tour the redeveloped space in the Wm Callbeck Centre. The Centre, which will complement the programs and services currently run out of the organization’s office in Charlottetown, will predominantly serve women in the central Queens to west Prince regions.
“As the only business women’s association in the province with an Island-wide mandate, we look forward to further extending our programs and services. The Centre will be a place for women to find the support and inspiration they need to succeed in their business endeavours, whether they’re start-up entrepreneurs, established business owners, mid-career business professionals or students. We look forward to welcoming women into the Centre and supporting them in achieving entrepreneurial and professional success,” says Margaret Magner, Executive Director, PEI Women’s Business Association.
The Centre’s programs and services are being designed to respond to the business and professional needs of rural women in PEI, at every stage of their career and business. As such, an advisory group of women from central Queens to west Prince Counties is helping to guide the development of the Centre and the services offered, including: a bright and comfortable co-working space; training sessions and workshops; inspiring guest speakers; networking events; business advising and assistance; and access to technology to participate in PEI and regional events remotely from the Centre.
The Government of Canada has contributed funding for the Centre through the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency’s Regional Economic Growth through Innovation program, with additional funding from the Government of Prince Edward Island.
Le centre facilitera l'accessibilité aux ressources professionnelles et commerciales pour les femmes des régions rurales de l'Île, de Queens central à Prince-Ouest
Le nouveau Centre d'affaires des femmes rurales de la PEI Business Women's Association, situé à Central Bedeque, est officiellement ouvert.
Le Centre a tenu son ouverture officielle le 12 novembre 2019, accueillant ses organismes partenaires et ses membres pour une visite des locaux réaménagés du Centre Wm Callbeck. Le Centre, qui complémentera les programmes et services actuellement offerts par le bureau de l'organisme à Charlottetown, desservira principalement les femmes des régions de Queens Central et Prince-Ouest.
« En tant que seule association de femmes d'affaires de la province ayant un mandat à l'échelle de l'Île, nous avons hâte d'élargir davantage nos programmes et services. Le Centre sera un endroit où les femmes pourront trouver le soutien et l'inspiration dont elles ont besoin pour réussir dans leurs projets d’affaires, qu'elles soient des entrepreneurs en démarrage, des propriétaires d'entreprise établis, des professionnelles en milieu de carrière ou des étudiantes. Nous avons hâte d'accueillir les femmes au Centre et de les aider à réussir sur le plan entrepreneurial et professionnel, » affirme Margaret Magner, directrice générale de la PEI Women's Business Association.
Les programmes et services du Centre sont conçus pour répondre aux besoins commerciaux et professionnels des femmes rurales de l'Île-du-Prince-Édouard, à toutes les étapes de leur carrière et de leur entreprise. Ainsi, un comité consultatif de femmes des régions de Central Queens et de Prince-Ouest aide à orienter le développement du Centre et des services offerts, y compris : un espace de travail conjoint lumineux et confortable ; des séances de formation et des ateliers ; des conférenciers invités inspirants ; des activités de réseautage ; des conseils et appuis d’affaires; et un accès à la technologie pour participer aux activités régionales et de l'Île-du-Prince-Édouard à distance à partir du Centre.
Le gouvernement du Canada a contribué au financement du Centre dans le cadre du programme Croissance économique régionale par l'innovation de l'Agence de promotion économique du Canada atlantique, avec un financement supplémentaire du gouvernement de l'Île-du-Prince-Édouard.
The PEI Business Women’s Association (PEIBWA) is pleased to announce that it has received a multi-year commitment of $485,000 under the Women Entrepreneurship Strategy (WES), for their contribution to The Atlantic Canadian Women in Business Growth Partnership.
"The PEI Business Women's Association is thrilled to partner with the Centre for Women in Business, the Newfoundland and Labrador Organization of Women Entrepreneurs, and the New Brunswick Association of CBDC's Women in Business Initiative through this multi-year initiative funded by a generous Women Entrepreneurship Strategy investment," says Margaret Magner, PEIBWA Executive Director. "Together, we will share best practices and develop new programs to ensure women entrepreneurs across Atlantic Canada can launch and grow their businesses, and women in the trades, technology and STEM fields, as well as Indigenous women, newcomers, women with disabilities and women in rural areas, have the support, training and mentorship they need to succeed."
In Atlantic Canada, fewer than one in six small and medium-sized enterprises (15%) are majority-owned by women. The WES funding announcement builds on PEIBWA’s recent announcement of funding from both the Government of Canada and the PEI Provincial Government for a new Rural Women’s Business Centre. Together, these initiatives will provide new resources and supports for women business owners and professionals across PEI, so they are able to succeed in their business and career endeavors.
"Two weeks ago, we were pleased to announce federal and provincial funding to establish the Rural Women's Business Centre in Central Bedeque to help serve the needs of PEI's rural business entrepreneurs and professionals," says Miriam Vializ Briggs, PEIBWA President. "With today's Women Entrepreneurship Strategy funding, we will be able to broaden and strengthen our partnerships across Atlantic Canada and promote innovative business resources developed in our province. It's a great day for the business women of PEI and for PEIBWA!"
The PEI Business Women’s Association (PEIBWA) is a member-based not-for-profit organization with a mandate to educate, empower and inspire PEI women to succeed in their business endeavours. Incorporated in 1993, it is the only women’s business association with an Island-wide mandate in the province and has a membership of over 450 women entrepreneurs and business professionals. PEIBWA provides advisory services, training, opportunities for development, and connections with other women in business. www.peibwa.org
Events & Communications Officer