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Celebrating women in business

By Stephen Uhler, The Daily Observer

Nina Spencer was the keynote speaker at the Celebrating Women in Business Event, held Thursday in conjunction with the International Women's Day in the Best Western Pembroke Inn and Conference Centre.Spencer spoke on "Getting Passion Out of Your Profession," and learn to keep loving the entrepreneurial work you do for a living

Nina Spencer was the keynote speaker at the Celebrating Women in Business Event, held Thursday in conjunction with the International Women's Day in the Best Western Pembroke Inn and Conference Centre.Spencer spoke on "Getting Passion Out of Your Profession," and learn to keep loving the entrepreneurial work you do for a living

On International Women's Day, Renfrew County celebrated those women who took the plunge into business.

On Thursday, Enterprise Renfrew County (ERC), in partnership with Renfrew County Community Futures Development Corporation, and sponsored by the Ministry of Economic Development and Growth, held its annual Celebrating Women in Business event, a day-long business seminar which took place at the Best Western Pembroke Inn and Conference Centre.

A total of 80 women, coming from various parts of the county, attended, including local business owners, aspiring entrepreneurs, and members of various non-profit organizations, among others,

Colleen Sadler, ERC business consultant, said Canadian women have been leading the charge into entrepreneurship since the recession.

“Women are fundamental to Canada’s economic prosperity, creating new businesses and new wealth at accelerating rates,” she said.

With just under three million individuals self-employed in Canada in 2017, one million of those are female, according to an analysis of Statistic Canada’s Labour Force Survey estimates. In Ontario alone, the survey estimates 393,800 female entrepreneurs, making up almost 40 per cent of the Canadian female total.

The business seminar featured two dynamic speakers and educators.

Jennifer DeBruin, described as a passionate, experienced entrepreneur and educator with 20 years’ experience, led participants through a dynamic session on “Balance or Burnout,” covering topics such as Taking Inventory, Decision Making, Organization and Time Management and Stress Management.

She talked of setting realistic goals and how to achieve them, while also discussing coping strategies to handle stress and the pressures of running and growing a business, such as the art of how to say “no” when the situation calls for it.

Through DeBruin's understanding of the evolution of self and business, she explained how she created opportunities for her clients to shift their perspective, embrace change as a way to new opportunities and develop innovative strategies to succeed.

Nina Spencer, the keynote speaker, shared tips, techniques and strategies for getting the passion out of your profession, where one learns how to keep loving the entrepreneurial work being done for a

living.

“If there is a good enough reason, you'll find you can do things you may have thought impossible,” she said, adding it is important to know the difference between what is possible and what is not.

Spencer said work is changing all the time, just like life is, but passion for your profession is an option which everyone gets to choose.

“Make your choice adventurous, stranger,” she said, and don't be afraid of making mistakes along the way. “Anything worthwhile is worth doing poorly, at first. Then eventually, you get better.”

Spencer said it was good to have long term goals, but more important to have shorter, incremental improvements, ones which you can measure slow and steady progress.

“Sometimes fast does not mean better,” she said, and stressed the importance of setting and having the truth of a baseline, so you can be honest with yourself in your businesses' progress.

Spencer listed five strategies to help: using positive words, language and thinking in your business communication to protect your passion for your profession, and to communicate to others such as friends, family and clients; acknowledge and declare your professional value and contributions; keep your balance through challenging and

changing times by protecting your sense of humour; practice creativity and shifting perspectives asd a way to hone one's problem solving skills; and nurture your professional relationships and inspire others to do the same.

“If you feel isolated because of your work, get on the phone,” she said, saying the advantage of working for oneself is you get to set your own hours,

Reflecting on the conference being held on International Women's Day, Spencer said this feels like the start of a real renaissance for women in business.

“I'm excited this has come back,” she said. “We're back, and we're moving forward.”

Spencer encouraged this in the room to do the same, to keep moving forward and not look back.

Enterprise Renfrew Count is a non-profit small business enterprise centre funded by the Ontario Government, the County of Renfrew, the Town of Renfrew and the City of Pembroke. Its mandate is to promote and assist small businesses across the County of Renfrew.

SUhler@postmedia.com



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