Enabling Apparel Entrepreneurship started as a pilot project in 2015 with funding from CIRA’s Community Investment Program. In the workshop, participants learn to use online business and financial tools, marketplaces, sales software and relevant web tools to build their own apparel businesses.
Robin Whitford found herself starting over at 40. A crisis counsellor by training, she helped countless families. But her job took a daily toll on her. She was burned out, depressed, and knew she couldn’t continue doing what she was doing. So, Whitford enrolled in a course at EcoEquitable of Ottawa and found a brand new direction. She learned about digital entrepreneurship and started her own sewing business.
“I don’t have a business background. I could use a computer for work, but I didn’t know how to harness social media for business, use spreadsheets or other business accounting tools,” said Whitford, now 41, and owner of a home-based business called Sew Crazy. “I’ve always been interested in making things and didn’t fully realize I could make a living off of something I had being doing as a hobby. Without having started that program, I never would have been motivated to do the hard work required to start my own business.”
Dozens of women – many of them from multicultural communities – have started over by taking EcoEquitable’s Enabling Apparel Entrepreneurship program.
A workshop that helps women start their own online businesses
Enabling Apparel Entrepreneurship started as a pilot project in 2015 with funding from CIRA’s Community Investment Program. The project has allowed hopeful entrepreneurs to develop their business ideas and grow their digital entrepreneurship skills.
In the workshop, participants learn to use online business and financial tools, marketplaces, sales software and relevant web tools to build their own apparel businesses. Over the course of several weeks, women learn what goes into starting an online business and how to market their products, sell their wares, and do their back office “paperwork” online.
Ladies at EcoEquitable shepherding their visions from idea to product to online business
Celebrating a successful first cohort
Some 30 women in total have graduated from the course so far, and EcoEquitable Inc. hopes to continue running this course in addition to their other programs that aim to equip women with the skills they need to be successful, independent business owners.
On October 26th, 2016, EcoEquitable will be hosting Metamorphosis, a graduation/ fashion show/ night market to celebrate their graduates. The show will be the capstone event for a fantastic first cohort. The event will help Enabling Apparel Entrepreneurship graduates stage a fashion show and run a booth in the night market.
The Community Investment Program: Building a better online Canada
CIRA’s Community Investment Program is helping build a better online Canada one innovative project at a time. Each of the 78 projects supported by the program is working towards achieving a similar goal: improving Canadians’ overall experience with the Internet and enabling them to embrace the opportunities that modern technology provides. These projects range from initiatives like the North Island College Robotics Camps, which provide an opportunity for youth to build up their STEM skills and participate in robotics programming, to creating an online training program and curriculum for replicating Youth Empowering Parents across the country, which engages at-risk youth to teach low-income adults/seniors computer skills and get them connected to the Internet.
For EcoEquitable Inc., their contribution to building a better online Canada has meant enabling women to take charge of their careers and do what they love.
“Success, now, for me is about happiness. I’m doing something that makes me happy every day,” says Robin.
Read more about projects like EcoEquitable’s taking place across Canada with the support of CIRA’s Community Investment Program. To learn more about the Enabling Apparel Entrepreneurship, visit the EcoEquitable website.