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Queen's University and KEDCO announce first cohort of rural mentorship program

Nine rural, women-led businesses become first members of new program.

Queen’s University and Kingston Economic Development Corporation announced today the names of nine rural, women-led businesses that will make up the first cohort of the Rural Mentorship Program.

The three-month Rural Mentorship Program is part of the WE-CAN Project at Queen’s University, supported with over $3-million in funding from the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario) through the Women Entrepreneurship Strategy (WES). The program will be delivered by Kingston Economic Development Corporation and led by Claire Bouvier, Small Business Advisor at Kingston Economic Development Corporation.

Designed to provide one-on-one mentorship for rural women entrepreneurs in the Kingston region, the program is tailored to address their specific business goals to help them build and expand their rural enterprises.

"Queen’s is honoured to receive WES funding from the federal government which is enabling the university to design and deliver numerous programs and services, in collaboration with several partners, to support women entrepreneurs from underrepresented groups. The Rural Mentorship Program is supporting women who are building rural-based businesses and who face unique challenges, such as isolation, lack of networks, and limited access to resources,” says Janice Mady, Director, Research and Innovation Partnerships, Queen’s University.

Participating companies:

  • Afiya Beauty (Quinte West) – produces holistic health and clean beauty products for a variety of skin types.
  • Chewmarks (Kingston Region) – meets the branding needs of tenacious entrepreneurs who need clarity and direction in their business.
  • Evolution Group (Gananoque) – provides executive coaching and training to support leaders and teams to build winning organizations. 
  • Handy Fairies (Amherst Island) – provides comprehensive, high quality, and reliable cleaning solutions in the Kingston region.
  • Haymaker’s Coffee Co. (Wolfe Island) – roasts single origin, microlot coffee in their barn on Wolfe Island.
  • House of Three (Inverary) – provides a full range of architectural design services for custom homes, small commercial buildings, tenant fit-ups, and renovations.
  • Parks Creek Retreat (Roslin) - a four-season getaway with luxury amenities in a beautifully natural setting. Specializes in private getaways, corporate retreats, wellness retreats, intimate weddings and elopements. 
  • Ready to Root (Kingston Region) empowering adventure seekers with convenience kits for intimacy on-the-go.
  • Skippers Takeout and Catering (Kingston Region) – provides food services for takeout, delivery, and catering.