Amanda Homeniuk, owner of Vernon’s Kaleco, is one of 450 women whose businesses are featured on WeBC’s new virtual pop-up shop, which is open until Jan. 3, 2022. (Submitted photo)

Amanda Homeniuk, owner of Vernon’s Kaleco, is one of 450 women whose businesses are featured on WeBC’s new virtual pop-up shop, which is open until Jan. 3, 2022. (Submitted photo)

New virtual pop-up shop boosts Okanagan women in business

The online shop features more than 450 women-led businesses in B.C.

A non-profit organization is making it easy to shop local with a new virtual pop-up shop featuring more than 450 women-led businesses in B.C.

WeBC, previously the Women’s Enterprise Centre, supports B.C.-based small business owners to access startup and growth capital, business expertise, training and regionally based mentors. The organization has opened a digital holiday pop-up shop to allow shoppers to search women-owned businesses with ease, browsing products and services they can buy locally.

“At WeBC, we’re connected with thousands of talented women entrepreneurs across the province, and the holiday season is one of the most important times of year for these small businesses,” said Melanie Rupp, senior director of loans and advisory services for WeBC. “We want to encourage shoppers to spend locally by making it as easy as possible to discover and support women-owned businesses in their community.”

The WeShopBC site features local businesses in a wide range of industries and from every region of B.C., including Taste of the Okanagan in Kelowna, Townships and Tales in Vernon and Kaleco in Vernon.

“The community are my customers, so they directly support my business when they choose to shop locally. It’s a symbiotic relationship — when they support me, I can continue to bring in new and exciting products that align with our shared values: eco-friendly, ethically made clothing and gifts,” said Amanda Homeniuk, owner of Kaleco. “There have been so many obstacles this year with COVID, fires, and supply chain issues. More than ever, local businesses need our help to stay open.”

The #WeShopBC pop-up shop is open until Jan. 3, 2022. Many of the businesses featured on the site are also providing special offers and discounts to B.C. shoppers as a thank-you for shopping local.

Women entrepreneurs in B.C. are encouraged to register their business by Nov. 30 for free on the #WeShopBC pop-up shop website and to explore the programs and services offered to them by WeBC.

To access the virtual pop-up shop, visit we-bc.ca.

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Brendan Shykora
Reporter, Vernon Morning Star
Email me at Brendan.Shykora@vernonmorningstar.com
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