When Edith Moody thought of starting a translation and linguistics business, she wasn’t sure where to start. But a program offered through the Mexican Consulate in Leamington helped him learn the basics.
Now, the successful pilot program that helped launch three businesses will partner with the Windsor Small Business and Entrepreneurship Center in hopes of helping more women start small businesses in Windsor and Essex County.
In a partnership signed Monday, the Mexican Consulate in Leamington and the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Center will expand the women’s entrepreneurship program that began last year to include resources and mentorship from Windsor’s small business community.
“We quickly learned that we wanted to do more to ensure success for these women,” said Sabrina DeMarco, executive director of the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Center.
“We make sure they have the comprehensive mentorship and supports they need and that they are integrated into the surrounding business community and have easy access to the suite of programs available through the Entrepreneurship Center.”
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 to more resources and the business community in Windsor and Essex County.
Ruiz said that when most people think of the Mexican population in Leamington and Essex County, they think of migrant workers, but as a consulate, its job is to help support the entire diverse Mexican and Mexican-Canadian population in the region.
“Windsor Essex has business potential that I’ve pleasantly rediscovered every time I have meetings, or go out and talk to people,” Ruiz said.
“I think it’s important that Mexicans can contribute their own ideas and experience to that side of Windsor Essex, not just the work farmworkers do, but now more.”
The program is offered in partnership with the University of Arizona Thunderbird School of Global Management and the Consulate of Mexico in Phoenix. Topics in the first round of the program included business fundamentals such as planning, marketing, pricing, and management.
“They teach you the basics of running your business,” Moody said, noting that he started Seamless Spanish Linguistic Solutions last year. “I had no idea where to start and now I have a good business plan developed, and that is a plan that I am going to use. It’s all 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 boost female entrepreneurship in Windsor and Essex County.
“Women can sometimes find, I don’t want to say barriers, but they have more difficulties in their professional goals due to different factors,” said Ruiz. “We certainly don’t want lack of information to be one of them.”