When Women Help Women, We All Succeed.
As I reflected on my own business, I have started to share my story about the lessons I learnt in my first year. Believe it or not there is enough for an entire book. It was in the winter that I started walking the streets of Halifax and knocking on doors to sell my product and ideas.
I learnt some invaluable lessons. The streets of Nova Scotia are tough terrain for all and finding your place in the market is critical.
Before I go any further, I wish to acknowledge the person who inspired me to write this blog - Polly-Anne Rhuland, Communications Coordinator at AWENS. We sat down on March 24 and shared stories about our businesses and what inspires us to do what we do.
I also want to say special thanks to a young woman who interviewed me for the CWB Spotlight, published on 10 August 2016, and played a role in influencing another woman to give me something I desperately needed recently. Thanks, Kirstin, and Debbie.
Special thanks to Iona, Rosanna and Gail for what you've done to help me succeed in recent months.
In 2013, I mentored a group of women from the Black Business Initiative. We met weekly for several months and shared stories of our dreams, passion, challenges, desire to succeed and how we wanted to define our own destiny. Today, none of us are in the same jobs or positions. This inspirational group of young women have all gone on to do some incredibly courageous things. Becoming a director, managers, took on positions out of the province and made great strides. One even stepped briefly into my former position as a manager at the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission. Their talents are now being recognized and valued. These women are determined and phenomenal. I, in turn, was also mentored by this group of insightful young women. They saw in me what I did not see in myself at the time. On one occasion, they took over the session and built me a business brand. They told me that what I did for them, needed to be shared with other women. They forced me to stretch my imagination to think of what I have in my tool box and how I could reinvent myself. I invited them to share in my success as I aspire each day.
As a result of their action, I stepped outside my comfort zone and into my die zone. I now have a stronger business base for Ashanti Leadership and Professional Development Services. They engaged me at the BBI to run my first "Business Cohort for Women Leadership" training. A leadership program specifically designed to empower women of colour who did not have access to development programs for leadership in business or at their place of work, led by an experienced individual, who had worked in government at a senior management level and who understood their challenges. To date, we have trained a growing number of women, many of whom have gone on to change their careers and have changed jobs, got promoted to management, and have become more confident in their defining of their own destiny. They have also given some credit to the value of attending the Business Cohort for Women Leadership for their professional growth.
Many of us have become personal friends, supporting each other during difficult times and celebrating each other's success on a daily basis. As a result, we are stronger women in our professions, businesses, and communities. We have each other's backs.
These women have also helped me become a better business - woman as I grow into entrepreneurship. Thanks to everyone.
The Business Cohort for Women Leadership programs were sponsored by the Department of Labour and Advanced Education, Workplace Education, in partnership with BBI. Thanks to our Metro Coordinator, Evan Williams, Margo Hampden and Roger Peters, in partnership with the BBI.
I am privileged to be one of the many instructors who partner with the government of Nova Scotia, through the Department of Labour and Advanced Education to help build those essential skills in our workplaces. To help employers build a workforce, and raise our competitive advantage so that we can compete on the global economic platform and sustain our economy.
I have been supported and helped by other women on similar programs hosted by the Centre for Women in Business, notably the Export Sales and Marketing program instructed by my colleague Paula Greene. I am in the company of some of our most successful business- women in the Province who are sharing their knowledge with me so that I can grow my business.
Thanks to the many women out there in our community, those who follow me on social media and share my work. Those who take the time to read my blog, send me a comment and like my messages. You're supporting me and other women in business.
"There is nothing more exciting than to have women supporting, sharing and empowering each other. Because that's where our strength comes from." Ann Divine, 10 August 2016, CWB, spotlight.