Rosalind Lockyer has dedicated most of her working lifetime towards supporting gender equality and building sustainable livelihoods for thousands of women. Important to her work as founder of PARO Centre for Women’s Enterprise and co-founder of the national group, the Women’s Economic Council (WEC), she has been supporting women challenged by the intersection of sexism, ageism, poverty, racism, and disability. As part of this work, she has assisted entrepreneurs and organizations, whether businesses, non-profits or social enterprise, with business development, fund and policy development, organization management, evaluation, human resources, strategic planning, leadership and public relations. Her shining achievement as founding Executive Director of PARO Centre for Women’s Enterprise, has been inspiring and growing a unique, sustainable model of women-centred community economic development based on the grassroots development of “North America’s largest and strongest peer lending network” supporting over 130 Circles’ across Northern and Eastern Ontario. Recognized for her notable efforts in building PARO Centre for Women’s Enterprise, since 1995, Rosalind has been called, “one of the most remarkable social entrepreneurs in the world” by the Office of Social Enterprise, MEDEI, Ontario government (for more info see, page 27, IMPACT). Rosalind was recently appointed to the Gender Equality Network of Canada (GENC) supported by the Department for Women and Gender Equality (WAGE) and the Canadian Women’s Foundation. GENC has a three-year mandate to advance gender equality in Canada. Also, she is the first board member from Ontario to sit on the national association of Women’s Enterprise Organizations of Canada (WEOC). Rosalind has received several awards over the years for her dedication, innovation, and work with women.
PARO is focused on:
- Women’s equality (information, training etc.)
- Women’s financial security
- Business start-up and growth (customized for women)
- Community economic development (CED) (information, training etc.) ● Social enterprise (information, training etc.)
- Micro finance, Peer Lending Circles, Leadership, Policy and advocacy