Building Opportunities for Women in Business

News release

New Rural Women’s Business Centre in Central Bedeque to become valuable business support system

June 26, 2019 – Central Bedeque, PE – Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

Since 1993, the Prince Edward Island Business Women’s Association (PEIBWA) has been improving opportunities for business women at all career stages through education, professional development and advisory services. The Government of Canada understands the value of diverse and fair representation in the workforce, and advancing gender equity in the business world boosts economic outcomes for all.

That is why the governments of Canada and Prince Edward Island support PEIBWA’s plan to establish a new Rural Women’s Business Centre. Centrally located in PEI to best serve rural entrepreneurs, the organization will redevelop existing space in Central Bedeque to provide increased programming and career building resources for women business owners and professionals in rural PEI.

The Honourable Wayne Easter, Member of Parliament for Malpeque, on behalf of the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA), along with the Honourable Jamie Fox, PEI Minister of Fisheries and Communities, joined members of PEIBWA to make the announcement today.

The Government of Canada is making smart investments that will create good, middle-class jobs in our country. It is helping Atlantic Canadian communities access the tools they need to create sustainable economic growth. Support for this project is one way the Government of Canada is working to achieve its Atlantic Growth Strategy outcome of long-term economic prosperity in the region.


The Government of Canada has a goal to double the number of majority women-owned businesses by 2025; I am pleased to announce this support to the PEI Business Women’s Association to help create this new innovative and collaborative co-working space. For more than two decades, PEIBWA has been an essential resource for our business community with its programming offered to professional and business women across the Island. This new business centre will continue the tremendous work they have thus far accomplished.”

  • The Honourable Wayne Easter, Member of Parliament for Malpeque

“I applaud the Prince Edward Island Business Women's Association for this exciting new initiative to address the special needs and challenges of rural women entrepreneurs. As one of the most rural provinces in Canada, supporting and encouraging rural women will help to grow the economy.”

  • The Honourable Jamie Fox, PEI Minister of Fisheries and Communities

“As the only business women’s association in the province with an Island-wide mandate, we’re thrilled to launch the Rural Women’s Business Centre in Central Bedeque. Not only will it expand our capacity in West Prince to Central Queens to build partnerships, offer training, promote networking and mentoring, and establish co-working space and advisory services, it will advance local women entrepreneurs and their ability to create a thriving rural business environment.”

  • Margaret Magner, Executive Director, PEI Women’s Business Association

Quick facts

  • The PEI Business Women's Association (PEIBWA) is a non-profit organization managed by a volunteer Board of Directors. PEIBWA has thrived as a member-based, not-for-profit organization educating, empowering, and inspiring PEI women to succeed in their business endeavours for the past 26 years.

  • PEIBWA has a membership of 450 women entrepreneurs and business professionals.

  • The Government of Canada through ACOA’s Regional Economic Growth through Innovation (REGI) program will provide a contribution of $311,040 to PEIBWA to create the new business centre.

  • The Government of Prince Edward Island will contribute $187,920.

  • Less than 16% of small and medium-sized businesses in Canada are majority women-owned.


Jana Parker Smith
Communications Manager
Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

Wayne MacKinnon
Senior Communications Officer
Department of Fisheries and Communities

Margaret Magner
Executive Director

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