Mentorship for Inuit Women
Mentorship for Inuit women is a project for women building a business who need some extra support and advice. Pauktuutit understands it can be very difficult if you don’t know any business people or if you’re starting a new type of business in your community and you don’t have anyone to go to for help. Over the next three years, Pauktuutit will be developing a mentorship program to connect women in the beginning stages of business with successful and experienced mentors. The mentor might have a specific skill, lots of hands-on experience or be able to provide a boost of motivation when you’re challenged.
Pauktuutit is currently in year one of the project, where we are assessing the mentorship needs of each region of Inuit Nunangat in order to develop a program that meets your needs. Starting this fall, Pauktuutit will be running the program in each region to test the mentorship program and gather feedback. In the final year of the project, we will finalize the mentorship program and share it with all interested partners and organizations.
Stay tuned for more information as we move through the project and to find out how you can get involved!
About the Project
Funded through Status of Women Canada, Pauktuutit is undertaking a three-year project to develop an Inuit and gender-specific mentorship model to support Inuit women to develop and expand their businesses. With guidance from professional and entrepreneurial women, partners and stakeholders in the Inuit regions of Canada, the mentorship model will support Inuit women through increased access to training, enhanced professional development and greater opportunities for peer support.
Pauktuutit Inuit Women of Canada is committed to helping women escape the harsh cycle of poverty by advancing economic development through the promotion of entrepreneurship. Former research conducted by Pauktuutit reveals that Inuit women wanting to start businesses commonly experience several barriers such as the following:
- Lack of initial and long-term business counselling services;
- Insufficient support networks for women in small business;
- Inadequate access to information about small business development; and,
- Difficulties accessing startup credit and capital.
To overcome these challenges, Pauktuutit found that Inuit women who are starting or growing a business are more successful when they have a contact or mentor who is in business. The mentorship program, therefore, will establish mentor relationships with the aim of connecting participants with individuals with expertise and experience in their business sector to support their access to business skills, technology, networks and finance.
Under the guidance of a regionally representative advisory committee, the three year project is comprised of the following stages:
- Year one will focus primarily on engaging partners, conducting a needs assessment and developing a model mentorship program adapted to the needs of each Inuit region.
- The second year will involve piloting the mentorship program in the four Inuit regions.
- The final year will focus on finalizing the mentorship model, as well as producing and distributing the final mentorship program materials to partners and stakeholders across the North.