Our latest Enterprising Women Program success story:
'ĎThe Enterprising Women (EW) Program offered me a community, education and the support I needed to achieve my business goals. I moved to the Greater Saint John Area from Toronto to escape the high cost of living and I wanted to take my passion and experience as a belly dance teacher and performer with me to Saint John so I launched my own business: LUNA Belly Dance. I danced a lot in Toronto both professionally and within the arts communities for over 8 years and when I think of how hard I worked in the industry to earn opportunities and experiences, itís really no wonder I was finding it difficult to break into a new city.
I was accepted into the Enterprising Women program in the Fall of 2017. I hoped the course would help improve my skills as a small business owner in the areas of financial literacy, asset building and goal setting, to move forward. Enterprising Women did all of that and more. The program enabled and empowered me. I was introduced to local women who had started their own business, faced similar challenges, and prevailed. I was moved and inspired through their stories, and more so because many of these guests were graduates of the EW program.
Our instructor provided us with the resources and confidence to take our business to the next level. We attended networking events, watched inspiring films about women in business and attended a panel discussion. My favourite part however, was connecting with my fellow Enterprising Women participants. Between casual focus groups, feedback in class, and trying each othersí products and services, I immediately gained a new group of friends and cheerleaders, and I was more than delighted to reciprocate the encouragement.
Best of all I started to rent the wellness room in the Social Enterprise Hub to teach my classes. In September I had one class and then I expanded to teach two nights a week in January. I could not be happier to be a customer, and to be evidence of businesses being helped by the Saint John Community Loan Fund. I love being able to give back in this small way and work in a building that changes the lives of so many entrepreneurs. They are truly making a positive impact by fostering a thriving ecosystem of economic development and business community in Saint John.
The Saint John Community Loan Fund and its Enterprising Women program is an asset to the community for its ability to invigorate businesses for women that want to achieve financial independence, and to bring business ideas to life. For this, I am so thankful and such a big supporter of this phenomenal program and organization.íí
-Kaleena Lawless, LUNA Belly Dance
For more success stories, check-out our Success Stories page!