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Coastal Women in Business

Empowering Connections: Coastal Women in Business Unite and Strengthen Community


May 17, 2024

When professional women come together to connect, network, and support each other, they create a collective force that not only bolsters all involved, but also enriches the fabric of their community.

In qathet this dynamic is exemplified in Coastal Women in Business (CWIB), which was established in 2008 and has been uniting professional women in a wide array of businesses and careers ever since.

“Coastal Women in Business is dedicated to empowering women and engaging with our community,” says Board Director Cheri Lynn Wilson. “Our aim is to bring local women together, not only for the enjoyable events we host but also for more educational ones.”

Welcoming Diversity

The organization is not only for business owners, but also welcomes women of diverse backgrounds who are working in varied careers and job sectors. It’s all about making community connections and learning and growing together.

“Women supporting other women is invaluable,” Cheri says. “With a deep understanding of each other, women can offer unique mentorship, guidance, and support.”

A Tangible Boost

One important CWIB initiative is the bursary program. Two $500 bursaries, donated by First Credit Union, are available each year to members of CWIB through an application process. Members can apply for a wide range of expenses, including education, coaching, memberships or equipment relevant to their business.

Alice Ward-Cameron, also a CWIB Board Director, was a bursary recipient when she first started her business, Alice’s Fresh Pasta. She used her bursary to purchase equipment that allowed her to improve the efficiency and production capacity of her business.

“I had just started my business and receiving $500 was extremely helpful,” she says. “I was touched that a business like First Credit Union wanted to help someone who was just starting out – I felt supported by the community and that meant a lot.”

Caitlin Bryant is Impact Manager at First Credit Union.

“CWIB is a powerful organization that connects women in the qathet region in a number of ways,” she says. “From supporting small businesses to providing educational growth opportunities and forging new connections and friendships, we are pleased to be able to help support such an impactful community organization.”

The Power of Community

Both Cheri and Alice joined CWIB to reconnect with the community after returning from time away.

“I wanted to meet other women in business and learn and grow with them,” Cheri says. She highlights the organization as a great way to make friends and encourages those seeking professional connections to consider joining.

Alice says CWIB has helped her meet important business connections and customers over the years.

“It introduced me to like-minded individuals, fostering friendships and access to education," she reflects. And the support has been key for her.

“My involvement with CWIB has really helped me stay focused on my business. I have people to talk to when it seems like no one else can understand. Being in business is an interesting path and there’s no guidebook because every business is different, but at CWIB we all support each other and that’s priceless.”

Interested women can become CWIB members by visiting

Written by Emma Levez Larocque