Since 2001, EMBERS Ventures’ Vancouver has helped over 750 entrepreneurs build, grow and operate their own small businesses. This is done through three main programs: EMBERS Build A Business ProgramEMBERS Grow A Business Program, and EMBERS EI Sponsored Self Employment Program.

We caught up with a group of female entrepreneurs who launched a business support team after their EMBERS Ventures Self-Employment program wrapped up.

Members include:

  • Ann Wong, a financial planner who also sells insurance
  • Lorna Boschman, recipient of the Vancouver Mayor’s Art Award in 2016 in film and new media, who wants to create video content for community organizations through her business EastVan Digital Stories
  • Claire Roberts, a multidisciplinary artist and owner of Nouscentric who went from traditional visual arts to the video game industry
  • Sasha Poirier, who hopes to grow her event planning company Cake and Champagne Events
  • Roberta McDonald, a professional writer

Ann and Sasha created the group with the idea that they could all support each other, and hold each other accountable.

“Group meetings are really helpful,” says Sasha. “As an entrepreneur, you’re by yourself a lot and it’s very lonely. It’s great to have the support of eight incredible women. I think we are all super powerful, very smart and very dedicated.”

According to Roberta, the group helps with business and personal growth.

“These women help me gain confidence,” says Roberta. “Writing is a solitary practice and you can lose your gusto and confidence. Being among this group is huge for me because I get to check in and see that I’m making progress.”

In addition to support, they also share their hard skills. Roberta helped Sasha write content for her website, while Lorna and Roberta have worked together to submit a proposal. Meanwhile, Claire helped Sasha with photos for her event planning business.

From inspiration to tips and tricks, these women bring out the best in each other.

“Every week I leave the group meetings with new ideas,” says Lorna.

As a group of all female entrepreneurs, Roberta says they have a deep level of trust and comfort.

“I’ve had some unfortunate run-ins with male colleagues. With that taken out of the mix, we can focus on what we want to accomplish without having to deal with the male competition stuff.”

As the group continues to support each other, we look forward to seeing their progress!