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FCC’s Women Entrepreneurs Summit coincided with International Women’s Day

Posted on 10 March 2022 by Ryan Dahlman

Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Just in time for International Women’s Day, Farm Credit Canada is looking to celebrate women and their achievements in the world of business, and help them develop the tools to achieve even more.

FCC’s Women Entrepreneurs Summit is set for March 8th, which Host and Business Advisor Patti Durand said was deliberately chosen for the significance of the date.

“It’s about recognizing the women that are already involved,” said Durand. “There is an incredible diversity of really inspiring female champions in the agriculture and agri-food business. And so we want to celebrate the achievements and provide an opportunity to connect and build some professional and personal growth. Though I think that the door is always open to welcome more.”

The overarching theme is to “empower the leader within,” said Durand, including inspiring more women to enter the fray or to bolster those who have already taken their first steps.

“The event is around taking care of yourself as a woman in business. And so there’s thoughts about communication, about managing finances, about building resiliency,” said Durand. “And so, if someone wants to come and be inspired, and be reminded of their passion, and feel encouraged for the work they do, this is the event for them.”

The event is taking place virtually, and those interested are encouraged to pre-register, as it does have an interactive component. However, those unable to attend on the day of the event but do not want to miss the message will also have access to a recording of the summit if registered.

Speakers for the event include keynote Bruce Sellery, business journalist and author, on gaining clarity on financial priorities and gaining confidence when talking about money. 

Other Speakers include FCC Business Advisor Andrea De Groot on communication, and Dr.  Resiliency and Workplace Wellness Expert Robyne Hanley-Dafoe, who will be working with attendees on dealing with uncertainty and stress as women entrepreneurs.

“Degroot is a teammate of mine, she and I work independently, but certainly shoulder to shoulder in terms of helping Farm Families in Transition,” said Durand. “She has a real passion around farm family communication and business communication, which can sometimes fall on the woman’s shoulders in terms of mending wounds and building fences, building relationships. And so she’s going to talk about some ways to improve communication.”

“Especially in the last 24 months of this really exceptional, unpredictable period of time in history, when we can come back and know that we are coming from a solid place in terms of being resilient. That is what Dr. Robyne Hanley-Dafo is going to speak to and equip our listeners,” said Durand.

The speakers were chosen partially to help carve out time for women in business to help make time for themselves, something not commonly done by business people, said Durand.

“I think at the end of the day, in a time when women are not always the first thought of in the agriculture industry, but that is shifting. And we want to place them as the theme and

celebrate that, in this particular event,” said Durand. “As a female entrepreneur in agribusiness myself, it’s something that I am really excited and inspired by over the last 25 years that I’ve been in this industry. It continues to grow, it continues to be creative and have different approaches. That really comes with having both men and women involved in business. And it’s been really fruitful.”

Those interested in attending can pre-register on the FCC website, in order to both participate and have access to the recording following the live virtual event. Durand notes that it is important to do so, as access to the recording can allow for some flexibility in the case of already busy schedules getting in the way of attendance.

“You never know what’s gonna come up, right? Like you can have great intentions. And so it just allows some flexibility. And like I said, pre-registering is key. Because of the nature of the interactive events, you can’t you won’t be able to go and link at that moment,” said Durand. “But at the end of the day, we are so proud to serve the agriculture and agribusiness industry at Farm Credit Canada. And this is one way that we can acknowledge and show our appreciation. And so we hope to see everybody there.”

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