ADVANTAGE - Dare. Dream. DO.
The ADVANTAGE Women’s Empowerment Conference is a powerful and uplifting event designed to inspire, educate, and empower women in business. Hosted by the Cape Breton Regional Chamber of Commerce and presented by The Centre for Women in Business, the conference features a full day of programming dedicated to helping women achieve their goals and reach their full potential.
This year ADVANTAGE will look a little different than previous years. After reviewing feedback from previous years the day will now be shortened and will feature a vendor market featuring local female entrepreneurs, instead of swag bags. Each attendee will receive tokens to shop at the market. This has allowed for lower ticket prices and will allow the Chamber to showcase more female entrepreneurs. This way everyone will be going home with something they really want and Attendees are also welcome to make additional purchases at their own expense.
Also new this year is the InspiHER Sponsorship Program. The sponsorship cost aligns with Chamber Member ticket pricing for attending the conference, allowing InspiHER Sponsors the flexibility to sponsor one or multiple tickets as they see fit. Through our InspiHER Sponsorship Program, we will collaborate with groups supporting underrepresented women, ensuring they have the opportunity to join our conference.
This year, we’re rewriting the playbook! Instead of traditional swag bags, we’re thrilled to introduce our first ADVANTAGE MARKET a female-owned vendor’s market. This market is a celebration of entrepreneurship, spotlighting local women entrepreneurs and their products. Attendees will receive tokens to shop, at your tables. Spots will be limited to ensure more visibility for our vendors. Vendor Pricing will be $40.00 which will include attending the conference, your market table and lunch. We expect to have over 200 attendees. This is a great opportunity to get your products showcased.
Please fill out the ADVANTAGE MARKET Vendor Application below to be considered as a vendor. Preference will be given to vendors in the CBRM as the area we represent. Applications will be open until January 31st and we will select vendors the following week.
Keynote Address : Finding Your Spark And Turning Inspiration Into Impact
As we get older, the desire to dream and the will to wonder are often suppressed. As a result, many of us go through life searching for our passions and purpose and putting our dreams on a shelf. In this presentation, Justice offers her audience the inspiration, tools, and resources to put their dreams into action and create the reality they want for their lives. She reflects on her unique path to finding her purpose, including quitting her corporate job in the middle of the pandemic to build a youth-led movement. She encourages others to think about their dreams for themselves and the world, while equipping her audience with a framework to make those dreams a reality and turn inspiration into tangible impact.
Justice Faith Betty - Keynote Speaker
Justice Faith Betty first encountered the world of politics at the age of 8 when she watched the government at the time present the budget at Queen's Park. This early exposure set the stage for her involvement in numerous campaigns across municipal, provincial, and federal levels of government. After graduating from Columbia University as valedictorian, Justice began her career as a management consultant at McKinsey and Company. There, she engaged with governments on matters of economic development and inclusive growth. Justice's commitment to creating impactful platforms led her to co-found Révolutionnaire with her sister, Nia. Révolutionaire is a youth-led movement to celebrate diversity and empower young changemakers to make a difference in their local communities and beyond. In addition to daily work with young people Révolutionnaire has launched partnerships with brands like Roots, L'Oréal, Rogers, and is now collaborating with the United Nations on initiatives focused on gender equality and racial justice. Justice also recently served as the Co-Chair of the City of Toronto Anti-Black Racism Advisory Committee. Justice is a champion for youth empowerment and her work has garnered recognition from Forbes (Top 30 Under 30 for 2024), Essence, Global Citizen, Black Enterprise, CBC, Toronto Star, and Top 25 Women of Influence, among others.
The ADVANTAGE of Advocacy– this panel discussion will feature three remarkable women who have dedicated their lives to advocating for social change. From championing gender equality to supporting the queer community, promoting diversity, and advocating for those with disabilities, their impactful work has reshaped narratives and forged a path towards more inclusive workplaces and societies.
Speakers: Eileen Paul, Manager at the Membertou Entrepreneur Centre, Madonna Doucette, Director of The Cape Breton Youth Project and TBD.
Madonna Doucette - Speaker
Madonna Doucette is a grassroots community organizer from Cape Breton with deep roots in the non-profit sector of the CBRM. She refers to herself as a professional homosexual as she has been a rural queer educator for 13 years now, most recently being promoted as Director with the Youth Project in 2022. Under her leadership, the Youth Project opened up a new youth drop-in centre for 2SLGBTQ+ youth and their allies in downtown Sydney while still providing education across the province.
On a personal note, Madonna has a beautiful wife named Mary and between them, they have 7 adult children, 3 grandchildren, 3 dogs and a very happy life together
Eileen Paul - Speaker
Eileen Paul possesses a unique talent for bringing together diverse elements and designing seamless experiences. With a focus on project management and coordination, she delivers cohesive and immersive engagements that leave lasting impacts. Her expertise in community consultations, negotiations, and communications play a big role in shaping experiences reflecting the distinctive qualities of each project.
Eileen demonstrates exceptional organization skills and a strong ability to navigate complex tasks. Her role as Manager at the Membertou Entrepreneur Centre (MEC) since 2005 showcases her dedication to supporting entrepreneurship and driving community initiatives.
During her 10-year tenure with Membertou Education, she served as a Student Program Trainer, further enhancing her skills in fostering growth and development among aspiring entrepreneurs. Eileen’s commitment to empowering women in business is exemplified by her 5-year role as a Coordinator at Balance: Women in Business, where she provided invaluable support and resources to women entrepreneurs in Membertou and beyond.
By overseeing the coordination of various elements, Eileen plays a pivotal role in bringing our team’s experiential vision to life. Her unwavering dedication to effective communication and her talent for creating seamless experiences ensures that engagements are thoughtfully executed and impactful
The ADVANTAGE of Unlimited Power – this panel will discuss the ability to overcome obstacles and unlock personal power. Our panelists will discuss how their professional lives have changed and how they navigated barriers to become the leaders they are now.
Speakers: Charlene Anderson, Owner/Operator of Charlene’s Nutrition Centre, and TBD.
Charlene Anderson - Speaker
Charlene immigrated to Canada at the age of 7 from Boston, Massachusetts. She attended school in North Sydney and received a BA from Dalhousie University and a BBA from Cape Breton University.Charlene learned strong entrepreneurial skills at a young age since her father was one of the first Chiropractors in Cape Breton. In 1998, Charlene opened a Health Food store on Kings Road in Sydney. The business has grown over the years and she furthered her education by graduating from the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition in 2015. She has served on boards across Canada and most recently with the Health First Network Buying Group in Burlington, Ontario. Charlene and her staff are very proud to have won three times the Chamber of Commerce People’s Choice award for the Favourite Place to Shop in the CBRM. In 2021 Charlene was the recipient of the Rose Schwartz Female Business Person of The Year Award.
Charlene and her husband, Robert, live in North Sydney and their son, Andrew, attends Queens University. In Charlene’s free time, she enjoys travelling, reading and expanding her knowledge of learning new things.
The ADVANTAGE of Taking a Risk — This lightning round session will discuss not being afraid to embrace. Our speakers have embraced change and pursued their dreams by packing up and driving across the country to start a flower farm and event space in Bras d’Or. They will recount their journeys into their new world and share how courage and a dream can lead to a remarkable new life.
Speakers: The Zucchini Wives
The Zucchini Wives - Speakers
Clary and Percy Ager, also known as the Zucchini Wives, are owner/operators of Ager Lane - a fledgling flower farm and event space in Big Bras d'Or. Since taking over the farm in May 2023 they've hosted over 1,000 Cape Bretoners for a sunflower u-pick, made headway on restoring the old cottage on site, and are looking forward to launching a multifaceted agritourism business in 2024". Follow them on their socials @zucchini.wives or @ager.lane on Instagram or Facebook.
The ADVANTAGE of Fueling Your Performance– Navigating occupational stress prioritzing employee/self-health and fostering motivation within your team will be the key messaging in this lightning round.