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New virtual holiday pop-up shop supports Kootenay women-owned businesses

As shoppers search for the perfect gift this holiday season, WeBC is making it easy to spend locally with a new virtual pop-up shop, #WeShopBC, featuring over 450 women-led businesses based in British Columbia. 

WeBC, previously Women’s Enterprise Centre, is a non-profit organization that supports B.C.-based small business owners to access startup and growth capital, business expertise, training and regionally-based mentors. As part of WeBC’s efforts to propel and celebrate women entrepreneurs, the organization has opened a digital pop-up shop to allow shoppers to search women-owned businesses, browsing products and services they can buy directly from local businesses. 

“At WeBC, we’re connected with thousands of talented women entrepreneurs across the province, and the holiday season is one of the most important times of year for these small businesses,” says Melanie Rupp, Senior Director, Loans & Advisory Services for WeBC. “We want to encourage shoppers to spend locally by making it as easy as possible to discover and support women-owned businesses in their community.”

The contributions of women entrepreneurs are essential to the health of all B.C. communities with nearly 70 percent of women-owned businesses integrating social impact and 63 percent focussed on sustainability. When communities support women business owners, everyone benefits. 

The #WeShopBC site features local businesses in a wide range of industries and from every region of B.C., including Kootenay businesses Bumble Tree in Cranbrook, Sail Nelson in Nelson and Love & Lemons Life Essentials in Castlegar. 

Love & Lemons Life Essentials is a Canadian wellness brand that offers premium essential oil products and aromatherapy services. They are proud to offer plant-based products, made with safe, pure ingredients through their commitment to ethical sourcing and sustainable practices. 

“Supporting our local businesses is allowing not only the business to grow, but also the community. After the fires and the floods, it feels like small businesses need all the support. Why buy where else, when we have everything we need locally? Communities need us as much as we need them,” says Marie-Pier Dionne, founder and CEO of Love & Lemons Life Essentials. 

Dionne ensures that her business gives back as much as it receives from its community. In response to B.C.’s state of emergency, Love & Lemons will give a portion of their sales to Mamas for Mamas to help communities affected by flooding. 

With over 180,000 women entrepreneurs in B.C., women make up nearly 40 percent of all business owners. It’s imperative for communities to support women-owned businesses because entrepreneurship can provide pathways for addressing inequalities in the labour force for immigrant women, Indigenous women, women in rural and remote communities and women who require greater flexibility. 

The #WeShopBC pop-up shop is open from November 16, 2021 to January 3, 2022. Many of the businesses featured on the site are also providing special offers and discounts to B.C. shoppers as a thank you for supporting local. 

All women entrepreneurs in B.C. are encouraged to register their business by November 30 for free on the #WeShopBC pop-up shop and to explore the many programs and services offered by WeBC to support them in their business development. 

Visit #WeShopBC at we-bc.ca/WEshopBC

Learn more about WeBC at we-bc.ca