When Edith Moody thought about starting a translation and linguistics business, she wasn’t sure where to begin. But a program offered through the Consulate of Mexico in Leamington helped teach her the fundamentals.
Now the successful pilot program that helped launch three businesses will partner with Windsor’s Small Business and Entrepreneurship Center in the hopes of helping even more women start small businesses in Windsor and Essex County.
In a partnership inked Monday, the Consulate of Mexico in Leamington and the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Center will expand the women’s entrepreneurship program started last year to include resources and mentorship from Windsor’s small-business community.
“We quickly learned that we wanted to do more to ensure the success of these women,” said Sabrina DeMarco, executive director of the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Centre.
“We ensure that they have mentorship and the wraparound supports they need and they’re integrated into the surrounding business community and get easy access to the suite of programs available through the Entrepreneurship Centre.”
The program, initially launched in October 2021 by the consulate, specifically targeted Mexican women in Essex County looking to develop or build their small businesses.
Consul Vanessa Calva Ruiz said the program not only helps women build their business, but through this new partnership, it will connect them with more resources and the business community in Windsor and Essex County.
Ruiz said that when most people think about the Mexican population in Leamington and Essex County, they think about migrant workers – but as a consulate, their job is to help support the entire diverse Mexican and Mexican-Canadian population in the region.
“Windsor Essex has a business potential that I’ve that I’ve been pleasantly rediscovering every time that I have meetings, or I go out and talk to people,” Ruiz said.
“I think that it’s important that Mexicans can contribute with their own ideas and experience to that side of Windsor Essex, not only the work that agricultural workers do, but now with more.”
The program is provided in partnership with the Thunderbird School of Global Management at the University of Arizona and the Consulate of Mexico in Phoenix. Topics in the first round of the program included business foundations like planning, marketing, pricing and management.
“They teach you the basics to direct your business,” Moody said, noting she started Seamless Spanish Linguistic Solutions last year. “I had no idea where to start and now I have a really nice business plan developed, and that’s a plan I’m going to use. It’s everything you have to have.”
By partnering with the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Centre, last year’s pilot program will expand to provide more resources, workshops and connections to bolster female entrepreneurship across Windsor and Essex County.
“Women can sometimes encounter – I don’t want to say barriers – but they have a harder time in their professional objectives because of different factors,” Ruiz said. “We certainly don’t want a lack of information to be one of them.”