Her Own Boss! Self-employment to Bridge Settlement and Economic Security is funded by Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) and will take place from October 2019 to March 2021. Her Own Boss! is an action-research project that examines systemic barriers and best practices that impact visible minority newcomer women’s awareness, access, and use of community resources.
The second project, Advancing Gender Equality by Building WEC’s Capacity (CAP), is a WEC project funded by Department for Women and Gender Equality (WAGE) from April 1, 2019, to March 31, 2023.
Reflecting on WEC’s 2019 experiences with these two national projects, we are reminded that existing organizations that intersect with women can really benefit from a partnership with a national organization like WEC. Our partnerships in these two projects have created new synergies resulting in new connections, new thinking and different service delivery options that benefit both women and women-oriented organizations. One project has connected new clients, underrepresented women, to existing organizations. This is great! The more women who get connected with existing services and have good experiences, the more confident they will be in getting the word out so other women can connect successfully with resources. With our capacity-building project, WEC has helped an existing women’s organization get connected to free resources. It has so far helped the board and management to start focusing on the future, developing a strategic plan and writing policies that improve legislative compliance, organizational consistency and long-term sustainability. I personally feel that local organizations who partner with organizations outside of their community are viewed differently by local stakeholders. Yes, WEC can help organizations access new networks, resources and sometimes even funding. But I think part of the real value is that people sometimes undervalue local organizations and sometimes partnering with an outside group can help shine a light on the real value that local organizations offer community.