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WeBC Supports Women Business Owners Around BC

Holistic approach blends financing, mentorship, training and support.


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Credit: WeBC

Holistic approach blends financing, mentorship, training and support.

Fifteen years ago, Tara Black and her friend Marion Neuhauser sat on the beach in Maui and mapped out a business plan to bring gluten-free baked goods to market in Victoria. There was a global recession, yet Tara and Marion knew they had to take this opportunity to open their own business, Origin Gluten-Free Bakery.

It gave us the opportunity to sit down and be aware of what we wanted to build, why we wanted to build it, and then how we would go about that,” Tara says. “WeBC saw the potential in us, and we were able to start out with a small financial footprint. That allowed us to grow in a way that didn’t leave us susceptible to the effects of the recession, which turned out to be a good case study in how to go about business going into the future.”

Today, Origin has survived two recessions and Tara Black continues to grow the business. Using her years of entrepreneurial experience, she’s now supporting other women business owners on the Island as a Regional Ambassador for WeBC.

WeBC is a not-for-profit that has been supporting women business owners across the province since 1995. Funded by Pacific Economic Development Canada, the organization works with regional partners to support thousands of entrepreneurs every year.

From WeBC, women in all areas of BC can access business loans up to $150,000, free and low-cost workshops, webinars and resources, free advisory services, and mentorship and support from the community. 

WeBC has recently received $2.89 million in funding to expand support for women entrepreneurs from the Women Entrepreneurship Strategy Ecosystem Fund. The funding will allow WeBC to offer more mentorship to current and aspiring women business owners and help women tap into the ecosystem of financing, training and support that goes with it.

“In my experience, the effect of mentorship is found within WeBC’s mentorship pool, and it’s also seen within the communities that these women are running their businesses,” Tara says. “These business owners are bridging gaps with information, and they’re looking to collaborate and support each other. It’s more than ripples. It’s more like waves.”

Learn more about WeBC’s financing, training and advisory services, or join the waitlist for the expanded mentorship program at

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Created by BCBusiness in partnership with WeBC