Kingston Economic Development is pleased to launch four new programs to support women entrepreneurs in Kingston and the surrounding region. The programs are part of the Queen’s University WE-CAN women entrepreneurship strategy funded through FedDev Ontario.

The programs are focused on supporting new business, business growth and creating a community that will encourage ongoing skill development.

At this time, all programs will be offered through virtual platforms.   

Hire Yourself

The goal of the Hire Yourself program is to bring like-minded women together who have diverse international skills and want to learn how to open a business in Canada. This program will provide a personalized and fun, two-week orientation available to women new to Canada less than 10 years who are interested in starting a business in Kingston and the surrounding  area. The purpose of the program is to support women new to Canada in starting their own business, learning to become an entrepreneur, and supporting each other in the launch of their business. The two-week in-person program will be delivered twice a year by Chéla Breckon, founder of With Chéla Inc. in partnership with Kingston Economic Development. 

During the Hire Yourself Program, you can expect to learn about:

  1. Your skills, talents and motivation to learn about business
  2. Choosing or refining a business idea that has market value
  3. Understanding how to plan for starting or growing the business
  4. Common business terms and concepts for running a business
  5. How to market your business online and in the community
  6. How to pitch yourself to customers and business associates
  7. Government reporting rules for owners and employers
  8. Ownership and company structures
  9. How to refine and build the most valuable offer for your customers
  10. Which resources are available to you to start or grow your business for financing and learning 

We also offer tailored one-on-one coaching after the two week program to ensure you have the tools to make the next steps. 

First Intake: Closed

Second Intake: Closed

Third Intake: Accepting applications now! Deadline - April 19

Apply Now!


Rural Mentorship

The Rural Mentorship program will provide dedicated mentorship tailored to support the individual business challenges of the participating rural, women entrepreneurs. The suite of mentors will include regional business leaders and service providers selected for their specific expertise and experience. This program will break down the geographic barriers and develop a long-lasting mentorship and mastermind outreach series to support business growth. There will be two intakes per year delivered by Claire Bouvier, FEiST in partnership with Kingston Economic Development.

Intake 1: Closed

Intake 2: Closed

Intake 3: Underway


Fast Track Exporting

The Fast Track Exporting program will provide dedicated business coaching with Peng-Sang Cau for women entrepreneurs who are seeking opportunities to scale their business through export opportunities. The business consultation will be complimented with workshops and events hosted by Kingston Economic Development focused on export, accessing new markets and international growth.    

Ongoing Intake



The LEAD (Leadership Excellence and Development) program will engage C-Suite Women executives, and women in senior leadership positions within the Kingston Region. The LEAD program is designed to encourage business growth and development through expertise and shared experience. The goal is to create a network of creative, professional women focused on improving opportunities for women in business through networking, new connections, educational workshops, but most importantly setting the agenda to raise the bar. This program will be facilitated by Judith Pineault and Kingston Economic Development.

First Intake: Closed

Second Intake: Closed


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Queen's University WE-CAN


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