Announcing Tsuts’weye: Women’s Entrepreneur and Innovation Network

A new project supporting female entrepreneurs has been launched in the Shuswap.  Tsuts’weye is a three-year, federally funded initiative managed through Western Economic Diversification Canada and facilitated locally through Community Futures Shuswap.   The project supports women-owned or women led enterprises in the start-up, expansion or ongoing operational phase of business in the Shuswap.

“Tsuts’weye means butterfly in Secwepemc and is symbolic of the “butterfly effect”. – JULIE JOHN

Julie John, Diversity Coordinator for the project explains, “Tsuts’weye means butterfly in Secwepemc and is symbolic of the “butterfly effect”. When one woman is empowered in a community the effects can often be powerful and far-reaching.”

“The purpose of Tsuts’weye is to support women entrepreneurs build skills, knowledge and networks to improve their businesses success,” says Carmen Massey, Tsuts’weye Project Manager.  “There are four main ways the project will support women:  through a mentor and consultant program; providing network opportunities; creating and facilitating training and skill development opportunities; and marketing the strength of women entrepreneurs in our community.”

“We know that women represent 17% of business ownership in our economy.” says Caroline Grover, Entrepreneur in Residence for the Tsuts’weye  project.  “This program will be designed to support their success.  The project follows a participatory approach, including an Advisory Round Table and a series of Women Entrepreneur Round Table sessions,” Grover adds.  “I am proud to be participating in this project as the Entrepreneur in Residence.   Experienced businesswomen in the Shuswap are acting as program advisors and mentors to help other women to reach their goals.”

Tsuts’weye will be hosting an Open House for the community to learn more about this project, at the Community Futures Shuswap office on Tuesday, November 5 from 3-6pm.  This will be informal, come-and-go event with Tstut’weye team members on hand to answer questions and discuss the project.

A series of facilitated round table discussions will be held in November 18-20 in three Shuswap communities, with the goal to reveal day-to-day, on the ground challenges and opportunities for female entrepreneurs in a local context.  These sessions will begin with inspirational keynote presentations by successful female entrepreneurs, and will include facilitated activities to gather feedback and share information from the perspective of the people living, working and operating in our community.  There will be limited room in these sessions, so please register early to avoid disappointment.  Details about the speakers and registration can found online at www.tsust’


Tsuts’weye is a 3-year federally funded project through Western Economic Diversification Canada, to support women entrepreneurs in the Shuswap.

Women involved in the start-up, expansion or ongoing operations of a business in the Shuswap.

Building skills, knowledge and networks to support women entrepreneurs of the Shuswap.

Mentor/Consultant program
Workshops, classes and courses
Building networks
Marketing the strength of women entrepreneurs

Carmen Massey, Project Manager. Working with a project and consultant team, Carmen will guide Tsuts’weye to project deliverables and effective outcomes.

Julie John, Diversity Coordinator.  Julie ensures that all women of the Shuswap are included in this project, and that barriers are recognized and addressed throughout the project.

Caroline Grover, Entrepreneur in Residence.  Caroline is the chair of the Advisory Round Table and provides guidance and support to the project and acts as a Mentor to women entrepreneurs.

Advisory Round Table: A voluntary group of experienced businesswomen in the Shuswap who guide the activities of the project.
Women’s Entrepreneur Round Table: These ad hoc groups will provide on-the-ground knowledge about Shuswap-specific challenges and barriers for women entrepreneurs.

Community Futures Shuswap: manages the contract for Western Diversification who is administering the Women’s Enterprise Ecosystem Fund for the Federal Government.

This project will identify the unique challenges and opportunities for women entrepreneurs in the Shuswap.  To that end, we are using a participatory, collaborative approach to guide this project as we implement programs, develop networks and provide skills training to support local women entrepreneurs.